Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Mar 24, 2021 at 08:25 am
Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR Picture
5.3
Music
5.2
Videos/Movies
6.5
Podcasts
2.5
Voice Assistant
6.1
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is a Bluetooth speaker with a rock-like design that's intended for outdoor use. It comes with a solar panel on top, which helps charge the battery, but we don't currently test for this. It has an incredibly long-lasting battery life, and you can pair it with up to two devices at the same time. Unfortunately, its sound profile is quite uneven, so vocals and lead instruments are honky and harsh while it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass. There aren't any sound customization features available, unfortunately.

Our Verdict

5.3 Music

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is disappointing for music. Its sound profile is quite uneven, and it lacks a lot of low-bass, so you don't feel the thump and punch in your audio. Its mid-range is overemphasized, so vocals and lead instruments are forward, boxy, and honky in the mix, while sibilants like S and T sounds are dull and dark. Unfortunately, there aren't any sound customization features available, and its soundstage performance is poor. It doesn't get very loud, either, but at least there isn't a lot of compression when you play it at max volume.

Pros
  • Not a lot of compression at max volume.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Poor soundstage performance.
5.2 Videos/Movies

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is poor for videos and movies. It struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the thumps and rumbles in action-packed scenes. Dialogue can also sound forward and harsh due to the overemphasized mid-range. Its soundstage performance is poor, and it has to downmix stereo content into mono, so you don't feel very immersed in your videos. On the upside, its low latency with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth is suitable for movies, but some apps compensate for latency differently.

Pros
  • Not a lot of compression at max volume.
  • Low latency via Bluetooth.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Poor soundstage performance.
6.5 Podcasts

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is fair for podcasts. You can pair it with up to two devices at the same time, which is handy if you like to switch your audio source frequently. However, its sound profile is a bit uneven, especially in the mid-range where vocals are reproduced, so they can sound forward, boxy, and even harsh. This speaker also doesn't get very loud, but on the upside, there isn't a lot of compression present at max volume.

Pros
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
  • Not a lot of compression at max volume.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Poor soundstage performance.
2.5 Voice Assistant

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR doesn't have a microphone and doesn't support voice assistants.

6.1 Outdoors

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is acceptable for outdoor use. It's battery-powered, so you can use it outside without having to plug it into an outlet, and it has long-lasting battery life. You can also power it using its built-in solar panel, though we don't test for this. It has a decent build quality, and it's also advertised to be water-resistant. However, it doesn't get very loud, and its poor soundstage performance means that audio doesn't really sound clear from all angles. It also isn't very portable.

Pros
  • Incredible 22-hour battery life.
  • Advertised water resistance.
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Poor soundstage performance.
  • 5.3 Music
  • 5.2 Videos/Movies
  • 6.5 Podcasts
  • 2.5 Voice Assistant
  • 6.1 Outdoors
  1. Updated Mar 24, 2021: Updated battery life results.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is a speaker intended for outdoor use with a unique design that makes it look like a rock. There's also a solar panel on top of the speaker, which you can use to charge it, though we didn't test for this. It should easily blend into your outdoor landscaping. You can buy it in 'Grey' or 'Brown' color variants.

7.3
Design
Portability
Volume
1081 in³ (17720 cm³)
Weight
6.8 lbs (3.1 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
No

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is decently portable. It's big, so you can't really carry it with one hand. That said, it's battery-powered, so you can use it outside without having to plug it into an outlet.

7.0
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Water-resistant (IPx rating unspecified)
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR has a decent build quality. It's mostly made of a hard plastic coating. The speaker is covered by a metal grille, which helps to protect the drivers. There's also a solar panel on top, but it's a bit smudged from the sealing glue around it.

Note:The manufacturer advertises this speaker as water-resistant, though they don't specify an IP rating. Since it's meant to be used outdoors, we also expect it to be water-resistant, though we don't currently test for this.

3.6
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Decent
Feedback
Good
Music Play/Pause
No
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
No
Track Next/Previous
No
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
No

The controls are poor. There's only a power button to help you turn the speaker on and off, but there aren't physical buttons to help you adjust the volume or skip tracks. That said, there's also a charging light indicator that's red when the speaker is charging and green when it's fully charged. The Bluetooth indicator light also flashes different colors when it's in pairing mode and when it's paired with another device. The speaker beeps to let you know when you're adjusting the volume, and there are even specific beep tones for when you reach min and max volume.

Design
In The Box

  • Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR speaker
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Owner's manual

Sound
5.1
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
0.03
Std. Err.
3.68 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
118.1 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
7.2 kHz

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR has disappointing frequency response accuracy. It really struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and punch in bass-heavy music or action-packed videos. While vocals and lead instruments are present in the mix, they can also sound forward, boxy, and harsh due to the overemphasized mid-range. Sibilants like cymbals can also sound a bit dull or dark. Unfortunately, there aren't any features to help you customize its sound.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
4.8
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
5.90 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR has poor soundstage performance. Its directivity is sub-par, resulting in a narrow and directional soundstage that doesn't really make your audio sound clear from all angles. It also has to downmix stereo content into mono to play it, which isn't as immersive-sounding. If you're looking for outdoor speakers that can play stereo content, check out the Pohopa EF-B210G lantern speakers.

7.2
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
83.0 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
0.37 dB

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR has a decent dynamics performance. While it doesn't get very loud, there isn't a lot of compression at max volume, so your audio is clear and pure. That said, it probably isn't suitable to use at parties.

Active Features
7.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
22.2 hrs
Charge Time
2.3 hrs
Power Saving
No
Charging Port
Micro-USB

Update 03/24/2021: This speaker comes with a solar panel that helps recharge the battery. To get a more accurate result, we retested the battery life with the solar panel taped up and with the speaker placed in a box to prevent any light from coming in. We've updated our results accordingly.

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR has a decent battery performance. Though it's advertised to last for ten hours off of a single charge, it lasted for over 22 hours in our tests. However, battery life can vary depending on usage, so your real-world experience may vary. The manufacturer also says that you can use the built-in solar panel to charge up the battery while outdoors, but we don't test for this. Unfortunately, there isn't a power-saving feature to help conserve battery life when not in use, so you should remember to turn it off manually.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Siri
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No Microphone
Far-Field Performance
No Microphone
Ambient Noise Performance
No Microphone
0
Active Features
App
App Name
No App
iOS
No
Android
No
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No
Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

This speaker doesn't have any wired inputs. While it comes with a micro-USB cable, that's just for charging the speaker.

7.4
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.0
Bluetooth iOS Latency
44 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
20 ms
Bluetooth Range
98.4 ft (30.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR has satisfactory Bluetooth connectivity. Its range is disappointing, so it has trouble staying connected to a paired device that's far away from it. That said, it has low latency with iOS and Android devices, making it a suitable choice for watching videos and movies. Some apps compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary. If you're looking for a similar rock-like speaker with a better Bluetooth range, check out the Theater Solutions B83GR.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR comes in 'Grey' and 'Brown' color variants. We tested the 'Grey' variant, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. We expect both color variants to perform similarly.

If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is a budget-friendly outdoor speaker with a very unique, rock-like design that can help it blend in with your landscaping. It has an exceptionally long battery life that's suitable for long days outside, and it's also solar-powered, though we don't currently test for this. That said, its sound profile is quite uneven and may not be ideal for fans of a more neutral sound. See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best Bluetooth speakers under $100, and the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers.

JBL PartyBox 310

The JBL PartyBox 310 is a better overall speaker than the Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR. The JBL has a more neutral, balanced sound profile, and it can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. It has lots of inputs for guitars and microphones, and it can get a lot louder. That said, some listeners may prefer the Alpine Corporation's outdoor-friendly, rock-like design with a built-in solar panel. It also has a longer battery life than the JBL.

JBL Xtreme 3

The JBL Xtreme 3 is a better speaker than the Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR. The JBL is better-built, more portable, and it can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. Also, its out-of-the-box sound profile is more neutral, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass. That said, some listeners may prefer the Alpine Corporation's rock-like design for their outdoor decor, and it also has longer battery life.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better overall speaker than the Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR. The Ultimate Ears is smaller, more portable, and better-built. It has a more neutral sound profile, it can play stereo content without downmixing it into mono, and it has a better soundstage performance. It also gets louder. That said, some listeners may prefer the Alpine Corporation's outdoor-friendly, rock-like design and its built-in solar panel for charging. It also has a longer battery life than the Ultimate Ears.

Sony SRS-XB12

The Sony SRS-XB12 is a better overall speaker than the Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR. The Sony is smaller, more portable, and better-built. It has a more neutral sound profile and a better soundstage performance. It also supports voice assistants from your paired smartphone, which is handy. However, the Alpine Corporation has an outdoor-friendly, rock-like design with a built-in solar panel, and it has a longer battery life and gets louder.

Limitless Innovations TikiTunes

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is slightly better for outdoor use than the Limitless Innovations TikiTunes. The Alpine Corporation gets louder with less compression at max volume, has a longer battery life, and supports multi-device pairing. Some listeners may prefer its rock-like design, which comes with a built-in solar panel, while others may prefer the torch light style of the TikiTunes. The TikiTunes is also smaller and more portable, and its 360-degree design offers better directivity for its soundstage.

Pohopa EF-B210G

The Pohopa EG-B210G Speakers are better outdoor speakers than the Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR overall. They come in a pair of two speakers that can be paired together. They also have unique lantern designs with LED lights that alternate colors to the beat of your music. Unlike the Alpine, they can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. They also get louder and have a more extended low-bass, though their sound profile is a bit uneven. They're also rated IP54 for dust and water resistance though we don't test for this. However, the Alpine has better latency performance with iOS and Android devices than the Pohopa speakers, and some users may prefer its rock-like design with a built-in solar panel.

Theater Solutions B83GR

The Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is a slightly better speaker than the Theater Solutions B83GR. Though they're both designed to look like rocks to blend with outdoor landscapes, the Alpine Corporation QLP542SLR-GR is slightly better built, has somewhat of a more balanced sound profile, and a significantly longer battery life than the B83GR. That said, the B83GR has a larger Bluetooth range and can link to up to 99 additional speakers of the same model, which can be useful for those with a large outdoor space.

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