To start my testing I had to get a device connected to the SoundTube, initially turned it on and turned Bluetooth on my phone and searched for it but I couldn’t find it. I then remembered they did include an NFC spot on the side, so I bumped my phone up against that location and after a few seconds everything was up and running.
For testing I was listening to music off of my phone from Pandora and my Google Music so the audio quality wasn’t as high as the FLAC files I use for testing on my PC but they did represent about what you would normally deal with. I tested mostly in the office but I did move it out into the garage and out back to see how it sounded. The backyard and the garage are the two areas where I am more likely to use a portable speaker myself but I know others might use them when hiking, at the beach, camping, etc. In the office, while running the Indoor mode I was really impressed with the bass levels coming out of the small bass driver out of the bottom. This was especially true when I had the SoundTube sitting vertically on my desk, it would shake everything. The audio quality was good, as good as you can expect over Bluetooth and with a streaming source and I would say the SoundTube was on par with the other portable speakers I have used.
Moving outside I tried both inside and outside modes. The main difference was in outside mode the bass driver on the bottom is turned off. When it can’t shake your desk it doesn’t really do much and I suspect this might also save battery life. Audio quality was still good and the volume levels were good enough to fill the garage up and to be heard anywhere in the yard. Enough for a small get together or cookout at least, not a concert or anything.
Beyond audio performance, I liked that they went with Micro-USB for the charging port but I do wish it was in a different location. You can't charge and sit the speaker flat on its feet so it rolls around a little and covers up the speakers as well. Beyond that, the only other issue I ran into was with the volume knob. I love that you can reach it from any angle because it wraps all the way around but even with a grip on both sides it was a little hard to hold on too. More traction would be needed to spin it easier from just one side, for example when you have the speaker sitting flat.