The Bottom Line
The Doss Genie is an affordable mini Bluetooth speaker that offers a viable solution for moderate-volume casual listening. While it lacks audio performance when it comes to sound quality, it is capable of reaching impressively loud volumes due to the 5W driver. With a moderate battery life and fairly slow charging, there are better
The Doss Genie is a mini Bluetooth speaker that puts affordability first. It is one of Doss’s smallest speakers, alongside their Candy Cute model, which features a more novel approach than the Doss Genie.
Build & Design
The Doss Genie’s design is suited for indoors and outdoors, but with an IPX4 water-resistance rating, this speaker isn’t made for challenging outdoor conditions. While the various colorways offer some versatility to the buyer, these finishes tend to show wear after a few months of outdoor use, with paint damage most commonly occurring on the edges.
Durability of Finish: 5/10
Feel of Buttons: 7.1/10
At just 2.95 x 1.27 x 2.0” in size and weighing 331 grams, the Genie is an extremely small speaker that can be carried in your pocket or handbag. It comes with a detachable carry string looped into the metal hook on the upper right of the speaker.
There is a metal grill on both the front and the back sides of the speaker, which wraps around the edges. This feature helps protect the weaker plastic core of the design in case of accidental drops. The downside of this design is that when the speaker does fall, only a small portion of the surface area takes the impact, which causes the paint to chip and show wear fairly easily. This tends to occur most commonly along the corners and edges of the speaker.
At the center of the Genie is a blue LED-backlit logo (regardless of which color model you buy), which turns on when the speaker is powered up. This is a steady light and doesn’t offer any dynamic effects.
The main controls are located at the top of the speaker and feature a sliding switch as the main power control, with a play/pause, volume control, and microphone button located adjacently.
Four rubber extensions are meant to hold the speaker still at the speaker’s base and prevent it from vibrating during audio playback. These stands are made in an unusual manner that causes them to easily rotate or pop out, causing the speaker to sit slightly lopsided.
On the side of the Doss Genie, a rubber flap fits over the ports as a water-protection method. Under this flap, the Genie has a Micro-USB charging port, auxiliary input, and a TF-card reader. With the Genie released in 2018, some of these features are outdated, and the lack of USB-C charging means a slower charging process. Because TF cards and Micro-SD cards have the same support, you can use whichever you have available in this slot. An aux input is another positive feature not found on many mini Bluetooth speakers.
Regarding water resistance, the Doss Genie offers a modest IPX4 water-resistance rating, which will protect it from light drizzle and accidental splashes but won’t protect it from any prolonged or heavy pressurized water contact. In this regard, the Doss Genie falls behind speakers like the Sony SRS-XB13 or JBL Go 3 but still has a foot up over the Soundcore Mini, which lacks water resistance.
The Doss Genie has a lackluster audio performance, which struggles the most regarding dynamic performance and audio clarity. There is a distinct lack of bass, which makes this speaker best suited for casual listening. The uneven frequency response is most noticeable in the treble.
Bass Performance: 4.3/10
Mid-tone Performance: 5.8/10
Treble Performance: 5.2/10
Balanced Sound: 4.8/10
With a 5W driver, the Doss Genie doesn’t lack power. The speaker is capable of reaching fairly impressive volume levels. However, when it comes to the performance itself, the sound is lackluster and suffers from subpar dynamics, which causes the speaker to produce fairly substantial distortion, especially when compared to similar speakers on the market.
Breaking down the Doss Genie’s audio performance by frequency range, it becomes possible to isolate where the core problems in the sound lie.
A lack of low-end presence means the bass sounds thin and doesn’t extend very deep. The bass tends to be mostly audible in the upper bass range, and even then, it is mostly the low midrange that tends to come through in tracks.
The midrange frequencies are the strongest sounding of the Genie, and while there are still compression artifacts at higher volumes, the flaws are less audible than in both the low-end and the treble.
The upper frequencies aren’t the worst I’ve heard, but are a bit sharp and hollow-sounding. This is especially true for the upper treble, which can be grating in some songs. As you push the volume up, those compression artifacts again make themselves audible. There are also noticeable peaks in the treble, which cause certain sounds to take over in the mix and sound badly mixed.
While the sound of this speaker is not great from a technical perspective, many casual listeners may not notice all these nuances in the same way as I do as a critical reviewer.
The Doss Genie is sufficient for casual listening but lacks the audio characteristics we look for in a great speaker. When I compare the performance to other similarly priced speakers on the market, the Doss Genie falls behind in audio performance and weather resistance.
The Doss Genie features a built-in microphone that can be used for phone calls or voice recordings. However, the performance of this microphone is awful. With the speaker located a moderate 15 inches from the user, the audio recording is soft and extremely muffled. The volume is improved when one moves the speaker directly to one’s mouth, and at 5 inches, it becomes a little more audible but still suffers from unbearable distortion.
Below are two audio samples I’ve captured using the Genie’s built-in microphone—the first at 15” distance and the second at a closer 5” distance.
Charging Type: Micro-USB
Estimated Playtime: 8 Hours
Playtime: 6 Hours and 21 Minutes
Charging Time: 3 Hours
The Genie features a single rechargeable 500mAh Lithium battery that Doss rates for more than 8 hours of playtime. Our independent testing yielded slightly lower battery life, clocking in at just shy of six and a half hours. Listening at lower volume levels can reach closer to the manufacturer’s estimate.
In terms of charging speed, this speaker uses an older micro-USB charging port, which limits the charging speed. You’ll need to charge this speaker for around 3 hours to fully charge it from a discharged state.
If you’re considering the Doss Genie, there are better speakers on the market at a similar price point that offer improved weather resistance, better audio quality, and more impressive designs.
At the same price point, we’d recommend the Soundcore Mini for audio performance or the Oontz Angle Solo for build quality. For around $10 more, you can buy the JBL GO 3, which offers a distinctly more impressive audio performance. The JBL Go 3 is also IP67 water-resistant and has a more rugged design than the Genie. At the same price difference, you can also consider the Anker Soundcore Mini 3 instead.