The Tronsmart Element Force is quite small, measuring 8 x 3.1 x 2.5 inches (width x height x depth) and weighing a mere 27.5 ounces (1.7 pounds). It carries an IPX7 water-resistance rating, which means you don’t need to worry about getting it wet or even submerging it in the pool or ocean (at a depth of less than a meter and for no more than 30 minutes).
The specified frequency response extends from 80Hz to 18kHz (no tolerance given) with distortion rated at less than or equal to 1 percent. Sound is reproduced by two circular 2-inch active drivers firing forward and two oval-shaped passive radiators measuring 1.9 x 1.2 inches—one facing forward and the other facing backward—in a sealed enclosure. Each active driver is powered by a 20-watt amplifier.
Tronsmart touts a maximum power output of 40 watts thanks to a technology called SoundPulse. According to the company website, SoundPulse uses DSP (digital signal processing) and a beefy battery—two batteries, actually—in addition to the passive radiators to boost the output and bass response of the Element Force.
The controls are located on the top surface of the Element Force. They are physical buttons beneath a flexible silicone covering that keeps water out. They include power on/off, input selection/Bluetooth disconnect/system reset, volume down/skip to previous track, play/pause/answer phone/hang-up phone/redial last number, volume up/skip to next track, and EQ preset selection.
Each button has a specific shape molded into the silicone, depending on its function. Unfortunately, the buttons are nearly invisible, being black on black. You can find them by feel, but I’d much prefer to be able to easily see them as well.
In addition to the buttons, there are three tiny LED indicators on the top: Bluetooth status, charging status, and EQ status. That last one indicates which EQ preset is selected.
Pairing the Tronsmart Element Force to my iPad went without a hitch. I listened to each selection four times: once with each of the EQ presets, and again on a JBL Xtreme 3, which I recently reviewed on TechHive. I’ll comment on that comparison shortly.
The Extra Bass EQ mode sounded surprisingly rich and full—and fairly loud with the volume control set at 50 percent. Surprisingly, the sound field extended beyond the confines of the enclosure. By contrast, the 3D Stereo preset had much lower volume at the same level setting and a much thinner sound—more like it was coming from a small box. Also, I didn’t hear any sense of a stereo sound field. The Standard preset was a bit louder but still fairly thin with no stereo spread.