Monster, the company known for its cables and audio products, has come out with a small Bluetooth and NFC connected speaker that is perfect for people on the go. From kids to students to parents to just about anybody, the Monster SuperStar HotShot speaker has clear across -the-board appeal.
I’m no stranger to testing speakers. I’ve reviewed many of them here on HighTechDad. Some offer tons of features but at a hefty price. Others are much more minimalist. Some are portable while others just need to sit on a shelf somewhere. With so many options, it really depends on what your needs are.
Here’s a quick checklist of capabilities of the Monster SuperStar HotShot speaker:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- NFC connectivity
- Built-in microphone
- Decent sound
- Aux port
- Micro USB port (charging)
- Carabiner clip connection
- Low price
The Monster SuperStar HotShot does check off quite a few requirements, doesn’t it? Let’s look a bit closer at the setup and usage of this speaker.
Setting Up The Monster SuperStar HotShot Speaker
When I received the HotShot, it came partially charged so I was able to quickly test out the connectivity and features immediately. However, I would recommend fully charging the speaker prior to first use.
To charge the speaker, you plug in the (included) micro-USB cable into the Monster SuperStar HotShot port which is on the bottom of the speaker. The speaker does not come with a power plug but you can use a smartphone or similar plug.
Once the Monster SuperStar HotShot is charged, you can pair it with your smartphone. That process is very easy. On the bottom of the speaker, there is a little Bluetooth switch. It shows On, Off, and a pairing setting. You can’t actually leave the switch in the pairing setting the way you can with the On or Off state.
To initiate Bluetooth pairing, hold the switch for a few seconds in the pairing setting. Then open your Bluetooth settings on your phone. Search for “SuperStar HotShot” under the available Bluetooth devices and select it. If prompted for a Pairing Key, just enter “0000”. After that, the speaker should be connected.
For NFC pairing, the process is even easier. Simply turn on the speaker and enable NFC on your smartphone, and then just tap your NFC-enabled phone to the NFC sensor on the Monster speaker. With that, you should be ready to stream audio to the speaker.
Using the Monster SuperStar HotShot
For a very small and extremely lightweight speaker, the HotShot does pretty darn well. You control the volume via your smartphone’s volume buttons. At max volume (and full battery), the sound was loud but not deafening. And I didn’t find it to be particularly distorted. It sounded fine.
In fact, there is enough bass coming from the HotShot (and given that the speaker itself is so light-weight) that at full volume, it would wobble to the beat (which my kids thought was kind of cute).
I did find that it was important to play around with the sound settings on your smart phone. If you boost the bass too much, it can overwhelm the highs. I found that on my iPhone, having the sound/music setting on “Loudness” produced the best sound. But again, this is a personal choice. Definitely play with the settings on your phone to get the best.It does have a microphone built into the speaker so you can use the SuperStar HotShot as a speakerphone. You do have to initiate and end calls on your smartphone but during the call, you can just use the HotShot.
It does have a microphone built into the speaker so you can use the SuperStar HotShot as a speakerphone. You do have to initiate and end calls on your smartphone but during the call, you can just use the HotShot.
The fact that it comes with a carabiner clip means that you can easily clip it to a backpack or belt loop. While light-weight, it does seem like it can handle bumps and drops ok so if you have an active lifestyle, it should do just fine as your sound companion.
The battery life estimate is 5.5 hours (I haven’t confirmed this yet) which is decent enough for a half-day activity. There is also a 3.5mm stereo/analog input to connect to other audio sources – you do have to bring your own cable for this though. Its dimensions are 3.5” high by 3” wide by 1.875” deep and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
It comes in four colors:
- White with chrome
- Black with gold
- Black with black platinum
- Black with neon-blue
The Monster SuperStar HotShot portable Bluetooth speaker has a suggested MSRP of $59.99 but on the Monster site it is currently listed at $49.95. There are a variety of options on Amazon including (prices of as of this writing):
- Monster SuperStar HotShot portable Bluetooth speaker – $18.69
- Monster SuperStar HotShot portable Bluetooth speaker – $17.82
- Monster SuperStar HotShot portable Bluetooth speaker – $29.00
- Monster SuperStar HotShot portable Bluetooth speaker – $49.33
If you are looking for a small, lightweight, capable portable Bluetooth speaker that has decent sound, definitely add the Monster SuperStar HotShot to your short-list. It’s a great back-to-school gift or stocking stuffer!
Disclosure Text: I have a material connection because I received a gift, sample of a product or service, and/or monetary compensation for consideration in preparing to review the product/service and write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.
HTD says: The Monster SuperStar HotShot speaker thumps out great audio for the size and weight, acts as a speakerphone, and is perfect for bringing your music to you and your friends around you.
- Price Point
The Monster SuperStar HotShot speaker thumps out great audio for the size and weight, acts as a speakerphone, and is perfect for bringing your music to you and your friends around you. The SuperStar HotShot is an inexpensive, easy-to-use portable Bluetooth speaker that produces good quality sound for such a small form factor. It's extremely easy to set up and it is rugged enough to be really great for any member of the family, especially kids. Don't pay full price on this! Look for discounts and you will have a great deal.