Beats - Beats Pill +


Beats Pill +: a concentrate of energy not sufficiently controlled

Aprox. 186€

See specifications

The Beats Pill + belongs to the third generation of portable speakers from the manufacturer and is placed between the Pill and the Pill XL. This model benefits from a facelift, especially in terms of design, and promises a sound “that transcends its size”. Let's check it out in fact ...

Positive points

Deep, warm bass.


Nice construction.

Ease of use.

Bad points

Sound rendering that lacks subtlety and control.

Full power not usable.

Narrow stereo.

Lightning connector.

Weight of the speaker.

Our review


The Beats Pill + gently abandons the pill aspect to turn to a slightly more conventional format, dedicated to listening stereophonically horizontally. Rounded and much more refined, this model benefits from a design that is both robust and very neat even if it does not promise any particular resistance (water spray, etc.).

There are two rigid metal grids on the front and rear faces of the enclosure, supplemented by a central part covered with rubber. This part, in addition to improving its grip, makes it possible to keep the enclosure in place once installed. The Pill + may be a portable speaker, but it remains relatively heavy. Its 746 g class it among the heaviest in its category.

The connectors are hidden behind a rubber cover. There is always the Lightning port for recharging, which is clearly a handicap in the event of loss or breakage, as well as a USB port for recharging a device and a 3.5 mm mini-jack input. Bluetooth is obviously part of the wireless connection. Pairing is done without any problem with an iOS device. However, the speaker is sometimes a little more capricious with Android or another operating system, mainly because it does not have a clear indicator for the pairing mode (an audible alert and / or a fast light game like many speakers, for example). This lack is also detrimental when we want to connect a second source. In this case, it is absolutely necessary to go through the dedicated application.

Apart from this particular point, the Beats Pill remains easy to use. Many indications are present to guide the user. The Beats logo lights up depending on the state of the speaker, a row of LEDs indicate the battery level fairly precisely and some sound notifications appear depending on the state of the speaker (pairing, disconnection, ignition / extinction…). There is no shortage of control possibilities either. The Beats logo is also very useful here, because it also serves as a multifunction button (pause / play, navigation between tracks, call management). Only downsides, the volume control of the speaker and the source are not linked on a device other than iOS / OSX and there is a latency when using the main button.

The Beats Pill + can count on a new application dedicated to it. The built-in features are far from numerous, but they have the merit of working without any problems. It is possible to rename the speaker, to add a second speaker to double the power or obtain a stereo rendering and to pair a second device simultaneously on the speaker.

The autonomy promised by the manufacturer is 12 hours and it is verified without problem in reality. We even managed to go a little further to a comfortable level of listening (more than 13 hours between 50 and 60%). Finally, the on-board microphone offers a correct quality of capture, as long as one is located less than 1 m from the speaker and in a calm environment. We perceive some artifacts due to the compression / automatic detection of the voice, but the latter remains intelligible all the same in most cases.



The Beats Pill + reconnects with its demons and delivers us a very marked and not really subtle V-shaped sound signature. Despite its size, this speaker descends surprisingly well in the bass. This provides a nice depth and a good scenic base. In addition, the bass radiates well around the speaker and is particularly warm. These are the only things we can give him at this level, because the exaggeration is both too important and lack of control. Instead of being really punchy, the bass tends to drag and the mids are finally crushed under a wave of bass. We also perceive some resonances between 180 Hz and 250 Hz which impact sources such as the drums (bass drum, snare drum and toms), bass, acoustic guitars or even male voices.

To try to catch up, the sound signature of the Pill + greatly pushes the treble to gain an impression of clarity and presence. The subterfuge does not really work and rather we get a bright metallic color with a boost of cymbals and room / reverb effects, etc. The restitution of the voices lacks a real presence. They are brighter than anything else. When we switch to richer songs in this area or when we start to increase the listening volume more seriously, the sound rendering becomes more and more sharp, rough, bordering on aggressiveness.

Beyond 80%, which already corresponds to a very comfortable level of listening, aggressiveness and distortion are extremely important. A kind of limiter also starts, which causes pumping effects in the bass. The Pill + is naturally powerful in terms of its size, we rarely need to push it to its limits, but it is still a shame not to be able to fully exploit it. Finally, the Pill + is much more directive in the mids / highs. What is more, the stereophony is extremely tight, not to say almost nonexistent, which is rather unfortunate on this type of speaker.

Wireless communication latency is around 200 ms with the Pill +. A slight discrepancy, already identifiable in the use of playback management commands, is perceptible between sound and image. If you can, do not hesitate to compensate for this delay with your reading software (VLC type, for example).



Difficulty for the Pill + to impose itself in the jungle of nomadic enclosures, especially with such a typical restitution. In a similar vein, the Bose SoundLink Mini II offers a better listening experience. For sedentary use and 360 ° sound, the Zipp Mini is also more interesting, as are the Boom 2 or Flip 4 in terms of resistance.