Peachtree Audio Deepblue2 Bluetooth Speaker Review

The front of the Peachtree Audio Deepblue2 Bluetooth speaker
The front of the Peachtree Audio Deepblue2 Bluetooth speaker. Brent Butterworth

The Peachtree Audio Deepblue2 Bluetooth speaker had a rough and protracted birth. The first time consumers might have heard about the original Deepblue speaker was early January 2013. Although test samples went out that spring (we took the opportunity to test it out, but sent it back after knowing the speaker wouldn't become a reality), the retail-ready product never actually shipped. The Chinese manufacturer went belly-up, which meant that Peachtree had to go looking for another one. The company also had to create all-new tooling (quite expensive) for the speaker too, resulting in the Deepblue2.

Almost two years after the original Deepblue speaker, the Deepblue2 made its debut. It shares a strikingly similar shape and size to its predecessor, but at a higher price point. You may be wondering if Peachtree's two years of agony has paid off or not. Read on to find out.

01
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Peachtree Audio Deepblue2: Features & Specs

The top of the Peachtree Audio Deepblue2 Bluetooth speaker, showing buttons and remote control
The top of the Peachtree Audio Deepblue2 Bluetooth speaker, showing buttons and remote control. Brent Butterworth

• 6.5-inch pulp fiber cone woofer
• Two 3-inch pulp fiber cone mid-ranges
• Two 1-inch fabric dome tweeters
• Internal Class D amps rated at total power of 440 watts
• Bluetooth wireless
Optical digital input, accepts up to 24/96 signals
• 3.5mm analog input
• Mini USB input (for service only)
• Remote control
• 9.1 x 14.2 x 6.5 in / 230 x 360 x 164 mm (hwd)
• 16 lbs / 7.3 kg

Most wireless speakers employ a couple of full-range drivers plus a passive radiator or a powered woofer. That's the reason why so many of them have a 'so-so' kind of sound. Then you have the Deepblue2, which is built like a high-end desktop audio system packed into a single box. Thus, it can theoretically attain similar fidelity, minus the stereo separation.

The optical digital input is an especially nice feature, allowing it to connect a TV set or a streaming media player (like an Apple TV). For everything else that needs a wired connection, there's a 3.5 mm analog input.

The remote control is another nice touch. We normally wouldn't think  that Bluetooth speakers need it, but the Deepblue2's room-filling sound makes it the kind of speaker you might want to operate from across the room. There's also a handy bass control on the remote that lets you fine-tune the sound.

Using the Deepblue2 is simple. It pairs to your smartphone or tablet just like any other Bluetooth speaker would. The controls are totally intuitive, with LED indicators on the front that illuminate the volume and bass settings. The unit itself doesn't have a rechargeable battery – and it's fairly large – making it the kind of Bluetooth speaker you generally leave in one place.

02
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Peachtree Audio Deepblue2: Performance

The rear side of the Peachtree Audio Deepblue2 Bluetooth speaker
The rear side of the Peachtree Audio Deepblue2 Bluetooth speaker. Brent Butterworth

Despite the passage of time from our initial testing of the original Deepblue speaker, it was obvious to us that the Deepblue2 is even better. And we thought the Deepblue was an incredible Bluetooth speaker to begin with!

The Peachtree Deepblue2 is a great compact audio system; the kind even a serious audiophile would be proud to use in the office or a vacation home. Or in the garage. Or in a bedroom. Or anywhere you want great sound when a conventional stereo system wouldn't be practical.

One striking aspect of Deepblue2's audio performance is that it sounds good with practically everything. For example, take "The Mule," Ian Paice's drum solo on Deep Purple's live classic Made in Japan. What's amazing about this piece played through the Deepblue2 speaker is that it actually sounds like drums. You feel the heads of Paice's toms and kick drum punching through the air and vibrating. There's not a trace of distortion or strain or boom (and this is with the bass set to full). It's rare to find a Bluetooth speaker that can do the same.

Even though the Deepblue2 is a one-box system, it doesn't sound as 'one-boxy' like with Marshall's Stanmore or Woburn speakers. Playing Cape Verdean singer Fantcha's sprightly, dense "Cme Catchor," the Deepblue2 delivers a surprisingly big sound. We wouldn't call it enveloping, but it's definitely not boxy. The 6.5-inch woofer makes the tune's bass line sound smooth and grooving. There's no booming notes, port noise, or passive radiator rattling. Even at full volume, Fantcha's voice sounds smooth, distinct, and undistorted.

From our favorite stereo test tracks (tonal balance in particular), Toto's sonically-packed "Rosanna" plays surprisingly loud and clear. The bass is shocking; we can't believe we're hearing such tight, deep bass from an all-in-one system. The vocal reproduction from the Deepblue2 seems to have a slight emphasis in the lower treble, maybe around 3 kHz. But this coloration is at the kind of magnitude we'd expect from a decent small bookshelf speaker (i.e. fairly subtle, not the gross coloration you typically hear from an all-in-one wireless audio system).

Even audiophile recordings sound pretty good through the Deepblue2 speaker. One favorite is "I Only Have Eyes for You," a brass choir and drums recording by trumpeter Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy. "Eyes" doesn't have anywhere near the depth we've heard from any high-end pair of speakers, but it has the fidelity of a good small set of bookshelf speakers. Bowie's tone sounds like a real trumpet (although thankfully quieter); the other horns have the kind of character you might hear from, say, the Hsu Research HB-1 Mk2 minispeaker; the drums sound remarkably natural and uncolored.

Playing Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart” at the loudest level before distortion intrudes (with the Deepblue2, this means both volume and bass turned all the way up), we measured the average output during the first verse with a SPL meter at 1 meter. The result? 105 dB. That's +3 dB more than measured from the original Deepblue, which is the same measured from Marshall's excellent Stanmore speaker (Marshall's Woburn speaker peaks at 110 dB). All in all, 105 dB is still louder than most people would even want their system to play.

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Peachtree Audio Deepblue2: Final Take

A close up shot of the Peachtree Deepblue2 speaker remote
A close up shot of the Peachtree Deepblue2 speaker remote. Brent Butterworth

Like any compact wireless audio system, the Peachtree Deepblue2 has its downsides. However, they are more related to price and specs than anything else. It doesn't have AirPlay or Play-Fi or any other wireless audio connections, therefore unable to perform multi-room audio without some adapter. Some may feel disappointed that the Deepblue2 is not available in a pretty woodgrain, or in Ferrari red. The speaker also doesn't have a rechargeable battery.

But despite all it may lack, the Deepblue2 speaker makes up for it with amazing audio. If we were the guessing type, we'd say it sounds like the Deepblue2 was made by a veteran speaker designer who had six months to work on it, complete with full veto power over any and all  suggestions from marketing or accounting. And that says a lot!