The Sharp GX-BT60 offers punchy sound for a smaller speaker, but it is not without its flaws.
Price When Reviewed
Unavailable in the US
You can fork out a good amount of money for a portable Bluetooth speaker. However, if you are strapped for cash and want something that produces powerful sound and is easy to take around with you, then you should consider the Sharp GX-BT60.
Sharp offers several Bluetooth speakers in its audio line-up, and the GX-BT60 is the smallest and cheapest of the bunch. I have spent some time with it to see how it holds up day-to-day.
Design & Build
Small build that can fit in a pocket
You can get the GX-BT60 in one of three colours: black, grey and blue. I tested out the latter, which is a bold and fun shade that will suit users who prefer their tech to be more outside of the box.
The speaker itself measures 100 x 100 x 40mm and weighs 230g. This means it can easily fit in one hand and is easy to port around in a small bag, or even a large pocket thanks to its square shape similar to the Tribit StormBox Micro. It also comes with a wrist strap which I used both for carrying it around and for securing it to things.
On the front side of the device, there are volume controls and a play button. The volume controls can also be used to skip forward and backwards on tracks if you hold them down, and the playback button can also be used to activate the voice assistant or take calls using the built-in microphone.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
The power button is located on the right-hand side of the device, along with a covered micro-USB port which can be used for charging. There is also a 3.5mm aux-in port next to this, should you want a wired connection from your device. Both cables come included in the box.
The GX-BT60 comes with an IP67 rating, meaning that it is resistant to dust and water. You should therefore be able to take this by the pool or out on a rainy day with no worries about it getting damaged.
Loud sound with decent bass
Some details lost in highs and mids
No support for aptX or AAC codecs
Connectivity-wise, the Sharp GX-BT60 comes equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, and support for both Siri and Google Assistant. Pairing the speaker is extremely quick and easy – it automatically goes into pairing mode if it is not connected to a device. In addition, you can take your phone to a different storey in your house whilst still enjoying your music.
Whilst the Sharp GX-BT60 only has a 45mm driver and a 6W output, it still packs a punch, with a strong bass and a decent volume output. I personally preferred using this speaker for chilled out music, streams and the occasional big rock song to really push that bass to the limit.
However, those big bass tones end up overshadowing some of the mids. For example, when listening to Sebastian Bohm’s cover of Call Me by Blondie, the low tones were thumping throughout, but the backing operatic vocals were barely noticeable over the rest of the tune.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Highs are clearer, but if you crank the volume all the way up then they can sound spiky and sharp. Podcasts and YouTube videos are sufficient, but do not expect any majorly colourful or detailed audio that you would find on more expensive speakers.
Sound is mainly directed from the centre of the speaker, and will fill a room if you position it in the middle. However, you won’t want to place it face down, otherwise the audio will become quite muffled.
Whilst I have not personally had the opportunity to test it, you can also link up two GX-BT60 speakers for a more stereo experience, or to boost those volume levels if you are using them at a party.
Sadly, there is no support for aptX or AAC codecs – but that is quite common on Bluetooth speakers in this price range.
Up to 13 hours of battery life
Sharp claims that the GX-BT60 has up to 13 hours of battery life. However, if you are playing the speaker at full blast, you will get less than this. Regardless, the speaker should last you the day if you take it out on a trip.
The GX-BT60 uses micro-USB charging rather than the more standard and modern USB-C. This is slightly annoying and outdated, but you do get a cable provided in the box. It roughly takes around three hours to charge the speaker from flat to full so it’s not fast.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Price & Availability
The Sharp GX-BT60 Bluetooth Speaker costs £29.99 in the UK, and you can currently get it from Amazon and Currys. The GX-BT60 is not available to purchase in the US.
Considering the decent battery life, the waterproofing and strong audio, this is a competitive price for a Bluetooth speaker and undercuts rivals which offer a similar audio experience.
Our top-rated cheap Bluetooth speaker is the EarFun Uboom, which retails for around £50. This comes with different audio modes, including a dedicated outdoor mode. For a similar price to the Sharp model, I would also recommend the Tribit StormBox Micro – which also boasts the same compact square design but has better audio quality overall.
If you do not want to fork out lots of money for a Bluetooth speaker, then the Sharp GX-BT60 speaker fits the bill. With a compact, waterproof design, all-day battery life and decent bass tones, there is a lot going for it.
However, the audio quality doesn’t quite match up with what rivals can produce – with mid tones like vocals drowned out by the lows and highs sounding sharp when cranked up. If you are not too fussy about the audio quality though, then it is still a viable option for listening to music on the go.
Hannah Cowton is a Senior Staff Writer at Tech Advisor and Macworld, working across entertainment, consumer technology and lifestyle. Her interests and specialities lie in streaming services, film and television reviews and rumours, gaming, wearables and smart home products. She's also the creator of The London Geek, a geek culture and lifestyle blog.