Kove Commuter 2 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Feb 09, 2021 at 08:48 am
Kove Commuter 2 Picture
5.8
Music
5.2
Videos/Movies
7.2
Podcasts
2.8
Voice Assistant
6.5
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
Yes

The Kove Commuter 2 is a split portable Bluetooth speaker. You can connect both ends of the speaker horizontally, or you can use them separately as a stereo pair. It's very easy to bring on-the-go, and it even has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. While it can reproduce clear, detailed vocals and lead instruments, it struggles to produce the thump and punch in the bass range. Unfortunately, there aren't any sound customization features to help you switch up its sound.

Our Verdict

5.8 Music

The Kove Commuter 2 is middling for music. This speaker struggles to reproduce a thumpy, punchy bass, so it isn't ideal for fans of bass-heavy music genres. It doesn't get very loud, either, and it lacks sound customization options so you can't tweak its sound. That said, it can still reproduce vocals and lead instruments pretty clearly, which is suitable for pop music and other vocal-centric music.

Pros
  • Good soundstage performance.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
5.2 Videos/Movies

The Kove Commuter 2 is disappointing for videos and movies. While it can reproduce dialogue clearly, it lacks a thumpy, punchy bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in action-packed scenes. It doesn't get very loud, and it has high latency when paired with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth. However, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary. Fortunately, it has a good soundstage performance, so your audio is still pretty immersive.

Pros
  • Good soundstage performance.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
7.2 Podcasts

The Kove Commuter 2 is decent for podcasts. It can reproduce dialogue clearly and accurately thanks to its balanced mid-range. Also, it has a very portable design, so you can easily bring it with you from one room to the next. However, it doesn't get very loud, and you can only pair it with one device at a time, which some listeners may find a bit limiting.

Pros
  • Portable design.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
2.8 Voice Assistant

The Kove Commuter 2 doesn't support voice assistants.

6.5 Outdoors

The Kove Commuter 2 is fair for outdoor use. It's battery-powered, so you can use it outdoors without having to plug it into an outlet, and it can last for over eight hours off of a single charge. It even has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't test for this. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and its sound profile struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass.

Pros
  • Portable design.
  • IPX7 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • 5.8 Music
  • 5.2 Videos/Movies
  • 7.2 Podcasts
  • 2.8 Voice Assistant
  • 6.5 Outdoors
  1. Updated Mar 24, 2021: After reviewing our methodology, we updated the results for RGB Lights from 'No' to 'Yes'.
  2. Updated Feb 09, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Feb 04, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights Yes

Update 03/24/2021: After reviewing speaker light functionality, we updated our result for RGB Lights from 'No' to 'Yes'. Even though the white light doesn't change colors, it still pulses to the beat, so we've determined that it's a responsive party light.

The Kove Commuter 2 is a split Bluetooth speaker. You can connect the two speakers horizontally, or you can use them separately as a stereo pair. When you connect the speakers, one speaker points forward and the other speaker points backward. The speakers are almost identical, but the left speaker comes with a built-in rubber hook so you can attach it to a bag or backpack. Also, there's a light ring at the end of each speaker that pulses to the beat of your music and lights up when you're pairing to a device via Bluetooth. You can turn off the lights if you prefer, but you aren't able to customize them.

9.1
Design
Portability
Volume
80 in³ (1,311 cm³)
Weight
1.9 lbs (0.9 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Kove Commuter 2 is incredibly portable. When connected, the speakers are still small, lightweight, and easy to carry with one hand. They're also battery-powered, so you can bring them on-the-go without having to plug them into an outlet.

7.1
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Submersible (IPx7)
Dust Resistance
Unspecified
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Kove Commuter 2 has a decent build quality. It's made of two separate speakers that can be twisted together to create one unit. Once they're twisted in place, they have a tight connection that shouldn't fall apart. There's tight nylon wrapping around most of the speaker and the ends of the speaker are made of plastic and rubber. Also, the hook on the left speaker is made of rubber. It has an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

7.4
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Okay
Feedback
Decent
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
Yes (Physical)
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The controls are decent. There's an identical set of controls on each speaker. You can press the middle button once to play/pause your music. If you press the middle button on the left speaker, you can answer/end a call. Press the middle button twice to enter Bluetooth pairing mode, or three times to disconnect True Wireless Stereo pairing. The left and right arrows let you control the volume. You can also hold the left arrow to skip to the next track or hold the right arrow to skip back to the previous track. If you press both volume buttons at the same time, you can turn on/off the white LED lights during music playback. While there's a chime that plays when you reach max volume, there isn't a lot of other audible feedback, and the buttons aren't very clicky. Note that adjusting the controls on one speaker adjusts them on the other; for example, turning the volume down on one speaker turns it down on the other since they're a stereo pair.

Design
In The Box

  • Kove Commuter 2 speaker
  • 2 Micro-USB to USB-A charging cable
  • User guide

Sound
5.2
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.43
Std. Err.
2.71 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
140.5 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
12.5 kHz

The Kove Commuter 2 has disappointing frequency response accuracy. It struggles to reproduce a thumpy, punchy bass, which isn't ideal for fans of bass-heavy music like EDM. Thanks to its balanced mid-range, vocals and lead instruments are reproduced clearly and accurately. However, there aren't any sound customization features to help you tweak its sound.

Note: We tested these speakers separated at one meter apart and slightly angled to mimic sound towards the rear of the listener's head. Our results are only valid in this configuration.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
7.6
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
4.43 dB
Stereo
Yes

The soundstage is good. It can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is nice. Its directivity is reasonable, but its soundstage may be perceived as a bit narrow.

7.2
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
86.4 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.14 dB

The Kove Commuter 2 has a decent dynamics performance. It doesn't get very loud, so it may not be suitable to use in large rooms or at crowded parties. That said, audio reproduction is clear and pure when you play it at max volume, which is good.

Active Features
7.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
8.2 hrs
Charge Time
2.3 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
Micro-USB

The Kove Commuter 2 has a good battery performance. It lasts for over eight hours off of a single charge, which isn't as impressive as other speakers we've tested like the OontZ Angle 3 but should still be enough for long listening sessions. However, battery life can vary depending on usage, so your experience may vary. Also, the speaker has a power-saving feature that shuts it off after ten minutes if it isn't paired to a Bluetooth device. This can help conserve its battery life.

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

This speaker doesn't support voice assistants.

0
Active Features
App
App Name
No App
iOS
No
Android
No
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
No
Party Mode
No
Multi-Room
No

This speaker doesn't have a companion app.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
No
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
No

The Kove Commuter 2 doesn't have any wired inputs.

6.5
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Bluetooth iOS Latency
282 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
294 ms
Bluetooth Range
223.1 ft (68.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

The Kove Commuter 2 has fair Bluetooth connectivity. Its range is outstanding, so it can receive audio from your paired mobile device even if it isn't very close to the speaker. Unfortunately, its latency with iOS and Android devices is likely too high to be suitable for watching videos. However, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

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

This speaker isn't Wi-Fi compatible.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Kove Commuter 2 comes in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

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

Compared To Other Speakers

The Kove Commuter 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a unique split design, so you can use the left and right speakers separately or connected horizontally. Like most small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low-bass and it doesn't get very loud. That said, it has a neutral mid-range that can reproduce voices clearly and accurately, though it lacks sound customization features. See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers under $100.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a better speaker than the Kove Commuter 2. The Ultimate Ears is better-built with longer battery life. Its sound profile is more balanced and neutral, and it offers a more open, spacious soundstage performance. However, some listeners may prefer the Kove's split design.

Marshall Emberton

The Marshall Emberton is a better speaker than the Kove Commuter 2. The Marshall has a more neutral sound profile and a better soundstage performance. Also, it has lower latency with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, though some apps compensate for latency differently. However, the Kove gets louder with less compression at max volume.

DOSS SoundBox Plus

The Kove Commuter 2 is a bit better than the DOSS SoundBox Plus for most uses. The Kove is better-built, and it has a better soundstage performance, so you feel more immersed in your audio. That said, the DOSS supports voice assistants from your smartphone, and it has longer battery life.

OontZ Angle 3

The Kove Commuter 2 is a better speaker for most uses than the OontZ Angle 3. The Kove's sound profile is more balanced and neutral, and it has a better soundstage performance. However, the OontZ gets slightly louder with less compression at max volume, and it has longer battery life.

Discussions