DreamWave Extreme Portable Speakers - Overview and Comparison with Marshall

Portable acoustics are represented on the market by hundreds of dozens of brands. Size, power, price, design - more than enough criteria. What is remarkable about the young American brand DreamWave? In this review, we will try to understand, due to which the newcomer found his niche ( spoiler - extreme), and compare the model of the brand in segments with Marshall.

Part 1. Extreme acoustics

DreamWave has been on the market for only seven years, so the brand’s fame is not as high as that of the legendary Marshall. However, DreamWave feels surrounded by powerful competitors rather confidently.

DreamWave is a conceptual and niche brand rather than a massive one. The American manufacturing company positions its models as portable acoustics for extreme conditions. Naturally, no one forbids listening to DreamWave, lying seal on the beach, as in the picture below - why not? Hi-Fi sound, protection against sand and splashes. Still, the target audience of the brand is lovers of outdoor activities, hikes and trips with an aura of extreme romance.

The history of DreamWave Audio USA LLC began in 2010 during an international trip to Los Padrese National Park, and immediately with an idea. The founders of the company were young, ambitious, energetic guys, enjoying three things: outdoor activities, new developments and, of course, music.

The brand strategy is based on three priority vectors :

1. Creating portable audio systems that can be used not only for outdoor activities, but also in extreme conditions. This niche was practically free. DreamWave uncompromisingly occupied it, forming a new branch of demand and standing out among the mass of competitors.

2. Focus on the development of Bluetooth sound systems with high quality music playback in digital and wireless streaming formats. This is a tribute to relevance, since the modern consumer prefers these particular formats. As we all know, this DreamWave team’s bid turned out to be strategically correct - literally 3–4 years after the company opened on the market, the real boom of portable speakers began.

3. Audiophile, premium sound quality. And here, as you understand, we had to enter into serious competition with already well-known brands. The task was not easy, given that DreamWave chose the average level of the price segment. The task was set as follows: to achieve the best in its class sound - at least. The maximum task was to take away a piece of cake from the more expensive premium manufacturers.

What was the result?

Today, DreamWave speakers are audio equipment, which is characterized by:

It is important to emphasize that the emphasis on reliability does not contradict the emphasis on high-quality sound. The owner of DreamWave is not only a traveler, but also an audiophile music lover. Therefore, DreamWave speakers are equipped with premium speakers that are comparable in sound to high-end home audio systems. They provide a thick bass depth, an impressive variety of mids and pleasant high purity.

In general, in my opinion, DreamWave models fully meet the company's slogan:
"Music that moves . "

Khaki dominant

The design of the DreamWave speakers corresponds to the brand positioning: in the appearance of each model (with the exception of the standing baby Bubble Pods) there is a pronounced extreme extreme style, such an eclectic mix of “safari” and “military. Favorite shade designers brand - brutal khaki. The palette of the brand also contains the ocher color of the desert and the classic deep black.

The design lines of the DreamWave speakers are either brutal (square dominant), or swift and aggressively aggressive (brand designers like diamonds very much). The leather details in the trim fit well with this style.

Part 2. Middle invading Premium

The market of portable acoustics is now capable of providing companions for walks, picnics and trips to both a music lover snob and a student without a gelendvagen. There are quite a few offers in the budget segment - up to 5,000 rubles, and in the premium segment - over 30,000 rubles. Between them there is a middle segment, or middle, designed for buyers with rather high demands on technology, but preferring not to overpay for an ephemeral touch of prestige. It is in this segment that the DreamWave brand has settled, although one of the models - baby Bubble Pods - spoils the mood and competitors from the budget niche.

However, Bubble Pods stands alone among the brand’s products, and I’ll explain why just below. The main line of acoustic DreamWave with prices from 9 000 to 19 000 rubles. occupies a democratic niche middle. DreamWave is definitely not as pathetic as Bang & Olufsen (30-50 thousand rubles), but the claims for sound premiums can be considered valid: Hi-Fi sound and rich functionality are combined with careful design of every detail in the design.

Of the famous brands, perhaps the closest competitor should be considered Marshall. Prices for speakers of this brand start from 15.5 rubles, so three DreamWave models ( Elemental , Survivor and Tremor ) with prices ranging from 13.5 thousand to 19 thousand rubles. overlap the competitive zone of the lower Marshall line.

Competition areas

Part 3. DreamWave vs Marshall

It was time for a detailed review of the models presented by DreamWave, and comparing them (where appropriate) with counterparts from Marshall. In the blue corner of the ring, that is, the Dreamwave lineup, inexpensive baby Bubble Pods (2,700 rubles) and middle segment models with three gradations for the price:

Bubble Pods - an exception in everything

Perhaps, it’s worth starting with this model, since it is not typical for the brand and is an ultra-compact gadget for walking, jogging and cycling trips. Bubble Pods has a special ring for attaching to backpacks, bags or clothes. Actually, hence the name - "capsule with a bubble."

With a size of 100x78x46 mm and a weight of 400 g, the power at 5 W looks good, the battery power is 1800 mAh, hence 12 hours of autonomous work (or 5 hours at maximum volume). There is also protection against moisture and dust class IPX5. Bluetooth is the default.

Do not think that this is a model for girls only: the colors are different, including the completely “camouflage” green.


Explorer and Harmony

DreamWave's low-middle class looks and sounds definitely better than you would expect from speakers for 9 thousand rubles. But which one is preferred? The price criterion here is insignificant, the difference is on average 200 rubles. If design matters to you, then everything is simple: it is impossible to confuse these models. Harmony and Harmony II are more elegant, Explorer is more expressive and aggressive. Now take a look at the possibilities.

As you can see, the parameters are very similar. Explorer is slightly wider, shorter and heavier by 300 g, while its power is slightly lower, albeit insignificant. The main difference is still in concept and designation: Explorer is first of all a companion for bike rides, and Harmony and Harmony II are models with a more elegant design and a claim to “appearance” with their velvet case. By the way, two curious facts about Explorer from personal experience: the column is great for bike parades and for some reason cats like it so much!

Actually, why velvet case extreme-device? The fact is that Harmony and Harmony II are a conceptual “aristocratic” branch from the main line of the brand. These are the only models of the brand that do not have IPX5 standard protection. But Harmony is also not a sissy: it's a decent DreamWave offspring with good protection features, albeit not as cool as those of the truly extreme brand models. So a velvet case is, let's be honest, a tribute to style, not a real necessity.


DreamWave Elemental is the middle middle, the golden mean of the brand. The cost of the model is 13,500 rubles, and this is less than the budget column of Marshall, and the data, again, exceed expectations from the cost.

Let's take a look at Marshall Acton BT (15 500 rub.) And see if DreamWave Elemental can compete with this model. We will not touch the design - there is exactly as much sense in comparing retro and military as in choosing the best artist between Rembrandt and Picasso, so let's focus on the characteristics.

As you can see, Marshall Acton BT is a bit easier, a little smaller, more powerful and with a wider frequency range. It would seem that a victory on all fronts - but no. The DreamWave Elemental has its own unique advantages: firstly, increased protection from all natural troubles. Secondly, Elemental has what it is impossible to imagine in any Marshall model - a powerful LED flashlight with an SOS signaling function. What's more to your liking, everyone chooses himself.


Tremor and Survivor

And finally, the hi-mid DreamWave models are Tremor and Survivor. These are two models that support the “ceiling” of the democratic segment and compete with premium models.

Let's compare them to each other (to understand why Tremor is more expensive by a thousand rubles) and with the columns of a competing brand - Marshall Stockwell and Marshall Kilburn (they are more expensive, but not much).

These four models together give an idea of ​​the approximate range of those choices that now have a music lover who decided to go on nature.

Marshall Stockwell is an expensive miniature. Light, very compact, with the best indicators of autonomy among these four models and at the same time outstanding wonderful sound. The frequency range is even wider than that of DreamWave Survivor, but the power is the smallest in this four.


Marshall Kilburn is a balanced combination of merit. This column is lighter and more compact than both models from DreamWave, has three dynamics. The claimed power is more than the Survivor, but less than the Tremor. If it is difficult to make a choice - perhaps, you can just take Kilburn and not suffer. Perhaps that is why this model is one of the most popular.


DreamWave Survivor is heavier than Marshall and bigger. Survivor is inferior in power to Marshall Kilburn and only slightly surpasses Marshall Stockwell. And the dynamics are only two. And the frequency range is narrower. Despite all this, the column is wildly popular with fans of the genre. First, DreamWave Survivor has IPX5 protection from all weather problems. Secondly, the LED flashlight with an SOS signal. And thirdly - a Jap-starter, which can start a motor boat or a car. It is this “trick” that makes DreamWave Survivor unique and favorably distinguishes the model not only from the competitors, but even among the brand's brethren.

DreamWave Tremor is the ultimate in brutality. 50 W do not need comments. We had the imprudence to include it in the office. Do not do this ... In addition to power, the Tremor has six speakers and IPX5 protection against moisture and dust, as well as a 20800 mAh battery and a 5V / 1A USB port for recharging gadgets. Yes, it is too heavy compared to the other three models, but in the context of the overall design sharpness, this is even a definite plus. And the leather belt greatly facilitates the carrying. Besides, what is 5.7 kg for an athlete? In general, the Tremor is a powerful machine that has its own army of fans.

About the design, as agreed, do not say.

Part 4. Summary

In conclusion, we can say that, despite the lack of models in DreamWave that correspond to the premium segment for the price, the Survivor and Tremor models by quality can well count on the attention of buyers who prefer the Premium zone. DreamWave is not inferior in power, depth and clarity of sound to more expensive competitor models, but at the same time stands out among portable speakers with preparedness for extreme conditions.

Perhaps, if the creators of DreamWave wanted, they would be able to present their offspring in the premium segment. But the extreme concept of the brand comes into some dialectical contradiction with respectability and pathos, and the creators of the brand seem to prefer to work with a wider audience.

All presented models can be studied in more detail on the website Inspector Gadgets . If you have questions, we will be happy to answer them here or consult by phone. If you are already familiar with the DreamWave speakers - share your impressions , the real reviews of knowledgeable people are always interesting!

PS With the previous version of this article, unfortunately, something incomprehensible happened by the layout - after publication 80% of the text was lost. Therefore, we placed it again - with the same text, but with new formatting. We apologize.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/405171/

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