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Olight Olantern Music review
Olight Olantern Music specs
|Brand & Model||Olight Olantern Music|
|LED||Filament LEDs + SMD LEDs|
|Max. output||300 lumens|
|Max. beam distance||13 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||N/A|
|Review publication date||September 2023|
Olight has a pretty broad selection of lights. They make some great keychain lights such as the i3E EOS and the i1R 2 Pro. Olight also has EDC lights like the Baton series. But that’s not all… gun lights, tactical lights, high-power lights, general lamps/lanterns, and now branching out into things like knives and pens. For the most part, if it needs to be lit up, Olight has you covered. One of the things I love most about Olight is their attention to detail. Quality is generally fantastic, anodizing and machining are great… they just know how to make a solid product.
I own, and use daily, the Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro and the Olantern Mini. They’re just so dang handy and classic. I love the timeless looks of the Olanterns. And I’m guessing they’re selling pretty well, because Olight has blessed us with a new model. This particular model – the Olight Olantern Music – couples the retro-lantern styling of the Olantern with a modern Bluetooth speaker. Wait, what? Yes – Olight stuck a modern-ish speaker on the bottom of a retro-ish lantern. It sounds like an interesting mixup, but how does it play out? Let’s find out!
The Olight Olantern Music comes ready to go, but in locked mode. To unlock it, press and hold the Light button for 2 seconds. Or you can plug it in to charge it, as charging it automatically takes it out of Lockout mode.
The Olight Olantern Music came in a nicely designed white box with an image of the lantern on the front along with some key specs. The back contains a little description and additional specs. Upon taking off the shrink-wrap plastic and opening the box, you’ll immediately see a brightly colored card to inform you that the light is locked out. You can then slide out some carefully cut cardboard bits that securely hold the lantern and its accessories in place. In total, you’ll find:
- Olight Olantern Music
- USB-C charging cable
- Instruction manual
- FCC info card
Flashlight in use
Just like the Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro and Classic Mini, the Olantern Music has distinctive good looks. I was initially concerned that the speaker portion would disrupt the overall classic vibe of the lantern. While it does to a certain extent, I actually find that the larger base of the Olantern Music reminds me of the old Coleman white gas lanterns, which have a large base for holding the fuel.
The Olantern Music has a wide base and is very stable while sitting on a table. The metal bail handle has a rubberized coating and is (of course) useful for carrying the lantern. The handle can also be used for hanging it if you have a sturdy hook available. There’s also a ¼” tripod screw hole in the very bottom center of the unit, giving it additional mounting options, either with a standard tripod or with Olight’s Tactical Tripod.
The biggest differentiator between the Olantern Music and its other Olantern siblings is (obviously) its ability to play music. Channeling audio to the Olantern Music is done via Bluetooth, supporting the protocol up to version 5.3. Note that there is not a 3.5mm audio, although those seem to be becoming less prevalent these days. As for sound production, that comes from two 45mm drivers, rated at 12W each, along with a 80mm passive radiator. The frequency response is rated at 55Hz~18kHz. While Olight describes the audio as “full” and “rich”, I would say that’s plausible if you keep in mind the size of the speakers and the advertised frequency range. You can only get so much bass from smaller speakers – keep your expectations in check. The audio is loud and clear, though, especially in the mid and upper ranges.
Another cool audio feature of the Olantern Music is TWS (“true wireless stereo”) support. This allows you to connect two Olantern Music devices together for stereo audio (as in left and right channels). There are a couple things about the Bluetooth functionality that I find to be annoying. First, it makes loud chimes when you turn Bluetooth on, off, or connect a device. Second, the volume defaults to 40% whenever you turn Bluetooth on. I would much rather it remember the last used volume. Or perhaps default to the lesser of the last used volume or 40%.
I find lanterns to be incredibly handy. I have one hanging on the wall as a relaxing light for reading or doing puzzles, and another by my bed for similar uses. They’re great for power outages and backyard picnics. The Olantern Music will also be right at home at a campsite where it’ll provide illumination, audio (if desired), and can be used to top up the battery of other mobile devices.
Build Quality and Warranty
Olight is one of the companies that puts a lot of effort in the design and quality of their lights. I have not yet been let down by Olight in the “build quality” department. Just like I observed with the Olantern Classic Mini, the Olantern Music has top-notch build quality, fit, and finish. The shade and cage are constructed of metal, and the globe is polycarbonate. The rotary dial and buttons are easy to operate.
The Olight Olantern Music is IPX5 rated, so you should be good-to-go through a bit of rain and splashing. Olight has given the Olantern Music a 0.8m drop rating.
If you purchased an Olight® product from Australia, China, France, Germany or the USA after January 1st, 2023, the local service centers in these countries will honor your LIFETIME WARRANTY for your purchase. If your Olight® product (including its structure, built-in battery, LED, or lens) ever experiences any issues, we promise to take care of it. If we are unable to repair your product, we will promptly replace it with a product in perfect working condition, which will be of equal or better physical condition. If your purchase is a limited or discontinued edition of Olight® product, we will repair or replace it with another Olight® product of the same or higher value.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
As is typical of Olight, there’s no word on exactly what LEDs are at play here. The LED setup on the Olantern Music is the same as what you’ll find on the Olantern Classic 2 Pro and Classic Mini. There are 3 LED filaments that Olight describes as “warm light” (2000-2100K). Those are supplemented by SMD LEDs on a PCB in the top shade, just above where the polycarbonate globe mounts. There is also a ring of SMD LEDs behind a diffuser that Olight calls “white light” (5000-5500K). The control knob allows you to steplessly ramp the brightness of the warm LED filaments before those give way to the neutral LEDs which also ramp smoothly.
The two CCT ranges give you a lot of flexibility and help cover different use cases. Sitting around a campfire? Winding down in your tent? Snuggled up in bed with your favorite novel? Dial the Olantern Classic Mini to its warm light range and kick back. Alternatively, if you’re using it for task lighting or need to illuminate something more clearly, dial it up to the white light range.
White Light, High:
- CCT: 5088K
- CRI: 87.3 Ra
- DUV: +0.0012
Warm Light, High:
- CCT: 1979K
- CRI: 87.3 Ra
- DUV: +0.0044
Dimensions and its competition
|Olight Olantern Music||Millimeters||Inches|
|Height||230 mm||9.1 in|
|Width||124 mm||4.9 in|
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.
|Olight Olantern Music||Weight in grams||Weight in oz|
|With built-in batteries||980 g||34.6 oz|
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.
Flashlight size comparison with its competition:
Group 1: Olight Olantern Classic Mini, Olight Olantern Music, Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro
Group 2: Other great camping lanterns: Sofirn LT1S Pro, Olight Olantern Music, Sofirn BLF LT1
Olight Olantern Music UI: User Interface and Driver
The Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro and Classic Mini have pretty much the easiest UI you’ll ever use: a single rotary knob. Due to the additional functionality that it brings, the Olantern Music has a lot more controls. It uses 6 buttons and an adjustment knob.
- Infinitely variable brightness with dual tint: Warm Light and White Light
Available blinky modes: Rhythm mode
This image shows the Olanter Music UI
Additional/summary info on the UI:
- The Olantern Music is certainly a bit more complicated than Olight’s other lanterns. Those lanterns don’t have Bluetooth, though. I feel like the buttons are appropriately labeled, which greatly helps with operation. When I first went to use the Olantern Music, I did have to break out the manual to figure out how to unlock the lantern. After a quick read-through of the manual, I was able to get the light turned on, Bluetooth paired, and music playing in very short order.
- I feel like the light’s Rhythym mode is one of those “oh neat! …but I’ll never use that” features. Maybe I just don’t party as hard as ya’ll, though.
- The buttons get illuminated any time you move the lantern. That’s pretty handy because with so many buttons, you’re going to need that in the dark.
Olight Olantern Music Charging and batteries
The Olight Olantern Music has a built-in battery pack with four 18650 cells. The pack is spec’ed at 11200mAh, 3.6V nominal for 40.32Wh. That’s enough to keep the light going for over 11 hours at its brightest, and of course to keep the tunes going for a long time. The lantern is charged via a USB-C port, and a quality Type-C to Type-C cable is included. Olight recommends using a power supply of 18W (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A) or higher, which should charge the lantern up in under 4 hours.
I used a 33W PPS USB-C power supply and observed a charge rate that hit the 18W spec: 1.51A at 11.90V for 18.02W. It was able to fully charge the Olantern Music in 3h 28min. In that time, 48.7Wh of power was transferred. When charging, the indicator ring around the knob glowed red, and then turned green when it was fully charged… sorta.
The charging indicator automatically turns off after 5 minutes and doesn’t light back up until you jostle the lantern. I would much rather the indicator stay on while the lantern is plugged in. Having the indicator light go to sleep doesn’t make much sense to me.
The Olantern Music can also be used as a power bank. You can use the USB-C charging port for that. There is also a USB-A port that can be used for the power bank function. My phone showed “charging rapidly” which is a good sign of a high charge rate.
There is a rough battery level indicator. After any operation, the ring lights around the knob will light up for 5 seconds:
- Green solid: 30-100%
- Red solid: 5-30%
- Red flashing: 0-5%
Lumen measurementsHow Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards: The ANSI FL1 standards specify that output in lumens should be measured 30 seconds after turning on, as this is the standardized time for measuring brightness according to the industry standard. This is why we focus on this part in our measurements.
Lux was measured by a UNI-T UT383 BT at 1 meter. Lumens were measured using a VEML7700 sensor, calibrated with a calibration light provided by 1Lumen. With this being a lantern, I couldn’t rely on my lumen tube, and instead, used a large white “integrating booth”. Due to the design of the battery, current tests were not possible.
Since the brightness is stepless ramping, I measured the lumens at the lowest and highest points.
|Mode||Specs||Lumens @turn on||Lumens @30 sec||Lumens @10 minutes|
|Warm Light, Low||10||7||7||–|
|Warm Light, High||130||120||120||118|
|White Light, Low||130||132||132||–|
|White Light, High||300||312||313 lm||317|
The output tested to be right inline with Olight’s specs, which is no surprise – Olight is generally pretty reliable when it comes to output claims.
Olight Olantern Music Battery Life: Runtime graphsHow Runtimes are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About ANSI FL1 runtime standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime ANSI||Time till shut off|
|Warm Light, Low||110h|
|Warm Light, High||13h||14h 7min||14h 7min|
|White Light, Low||17h|
|White Light, High||11h 10min||14h 56min||14h 56min|
Olight says that White, High shines at max brightness for around 20 minutes and then ramps down to 50% brightness for another 650min (~11 hours). My tests were inline with that; output ramped down between 15-17 minutes; going from 317 lumens to 163 lumens. The test actually ran for more than 3 ½ hours over the spec’ed runtime, which is a pleasant surprise. The Warm, High test ran for an hour past the spec.
Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurementsAbout Peak beam intensity: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About peak beam intensity The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object). This means that the intensity has decreased so much, it becomes difficult to see darker objects, or objects that don’t reflect light. The columns ‘Meters’ and ‘Yards’ use rounded numbers.
Because of the low, floody output I tested throw at 1 meter with my UNI-T UT383 BT.
|Warm Light, Low||2 m||–||–||–|
|Warm Light, High||6 m||30 cd||11 m||12 yd|
|White Light, Low||8 m||–||–||–|
|White Light, High||13 m / 58 cd||92 cd||19 m||21 yd|
These lanterns are hanging in a pine tree approximately 3 meters away. The shots were taken with a Pixel 7 set to ISO 852 with 1/12 second exposure time
Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:
- Olight Olantern Music (warm white and white light)
- Olight Olantern Classic 2 Pro (warm white and orange light)
- Sofirn LT1S Pro (cool and warm light)
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Olight. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Classic design (mostly)
- Bluetooth music functionality
- Great fit and finish
- Stable, regulated output
- Tripod mount
- Dual-tint output
- USB-C charging
- Power bank feature
- UI is more complicated
- Charging indicator turns off after 5 minutes
- Loud Bluetooth on/connect/off chimes
- Volume always reverts to 40% (would be nice to have it lower, or the same as last used)
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: a match would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4 stars: ★★★★
While our star rating provides a reliable indicator, we encourage you to read the full review to make an informed decision based on your own needs and preferences.
It’s no secret – I’ve been a big fan of the recent Olight Olanterns. The designs have been beautiful and operating them is easy as pie. The Olantern Music retains those good looks… mostly. As long as you don’t mind fabric speaker mesh covering the base of the lantern. And because of the need for speaker controls, it’s definitely more complicated to operate. I would say that if you frequently find yourself needing both a lantern and a Bluetooth speaker, this is your ticket. For what I do, I usually need just one or the other, and so this may not always be needed. But I guess regardless of which one I need, the Olantern Music has me covered.