Fabriq Chorus Review: A Better Echo 2?
Fabriq is a newer speaker brand, previously debuting with their Riff smart speaker and now their newer Chorus smart speaker. The Riff came on the scene looking like a fabric-covered (probably where Fabriq got their name) Amazon Echo Dot. It was able to be used battery-powered, had Alexa capabilities and was priced at $50. Fabriq’s recent Chorus speaker continues with the Riff’s success but in a more prominent, louder package.
The Chorus will come to you in a cardboard-like box. Once you remove it from its packaging, along with the cords and instructions, you’ll notice it’s unique fabric design and a charging base. With the Chorus weighing in at a little over a pound, it should easily be able to be placed anywhere. The charging base’s cord is also long enough to have it set in any spot around the room and enjoy the near 360-degree sound.
Fabriq’s Chorus is a little over 6” tall, which is taller than Amazon’s Echo 2nd Gen., it’s also a little bit skinnier. It’s effortless to hold and carry around with you anywhere you go. There are two active drivers and one passive radiator inside to supply the sound you get from it. Once again, the Chorus is cylindrical and supposed to give out near 360-degree sound.
Speaking of sound, the Chorus is a good, but not great, option for when it comes to an averagely priced speaker. When listening at normal sound volumes (between 25-80%), the sound is good, warm, and bassy, Most of the downfall with the Chorus comes from having a somewhat muffled sound. The muffling is likely due to fabric texture covering the speaker, but it’s still worth noting. When comparing it to other speakers in its class or having a general consumer listen to it, you wouldn’t notice any downfall.
Fortunately, you are not buying this speaker only for its sound quality, but also from its smarts. The Fabriq Chorus has Amazon Alexa smart capabilities enabled. This allows you to ask the speaker questions, set alarms and times, control smart home accessories, and more just by using now Amazon Alexa hot words.
The only problem with its Alexa capabilities is that when Amazon introduces new features (such as multi-room audio), you have to wait for 3rd-party companies to implement them. There are also a couple of other unique options, including not being able to pair different, individual, 3rd-party Alexa-enabled devices together. Overall though, the Chorus will do everything a regular Echo would.
The significant benefit the Chorus has over Amazon Echo 2 is its inclusion of a built-in battery. You can remove the Chorus from its base and listen to it for up to 5 hours. While this may not be tremendously long battery life it (a) longer than the Echo 2 and (b) is long enough for most listening scenarios — camping, studying, etc. Also, that 5-hour battery estimation is pretty accurate from my usage.
Fabriq is selling the Chorus for $100, and this is the same price as the Amazon Echo 2. Looking at that shows direct competition and makes the consumer take a second look when buying a smart speaker. You can buy the Chorus from Fabriq’s website or through Amazon. Fabriq also sells it’s mini speaker, the Rift, for $50 at both places as well.
Overall the Chorus is a real competitor to other smart speakers in its class thanks to the sound and included battery. Tag on to it, its low price tag and you have a sure-fire winner in most cases. Now you’ve just got to make sure if the designs are what you want on your portable speaker. Personally, I think they’re RAD!