Did we save the best for last? Perhaps. The Boombot REX is our final USB rechargeable, Bluetooth speaker review of the year. And it was worth the wait. This may be the one speaker for all activities, indoors and out. By far the smallest of all speakers reviewed, it also the most versatile.
At about 3-1/3 inches across, and a little less in height, our Savage Green Boombot REX is pretty compact. With the attached clip, it’s just over two inches deep. Yet Boombotix managed to pack a pair of 36mm drivers, plus a woofer for bass, into this tiny package. The result is much bigger sound than expected. Also inside are the bits necessary for it to function as a wireless Bluetooth speaker as well as a speakerphone. And it plays well with Siri, if you’re an Apple owner. It’s all wrapped up in an ABS housing with a steel grill. That makes for a durable speaker which is also water resistant.
Once charged via the included USB micro cable, slide the switch on top to power it up. It plays a little “Boombot” audio clip, and is ready to go. It paired right away with all the devices we had on hand, including an iPod, Android phone, and Nexus 7 tablet. As sound quality is one of the most important features, that’s what we judged first. It’s important to note that if you don’t start with a good signal, don’t expect good sound. Quality audio files sound really good on the Boombot REX at most volumes. Sketchy internet radio didn’t sound so hot. At higher volumes, there was some distortion, but we found that using an app with an equalizer allowed us to get the best sound without going flat or getting buzzy. Optimize your music for the speaker, and get the most out of it.
In a very short amount of time, we played music, watched Netflix on a laptop and tablet, annoyed coworkers, and took phone calls using the Boombot REX. It performed all those tasks well. Volume goes from low background music levels to filling a large room. Run time should be about 6-8 hours on a one hour charge, which is two to three days of use for us. The location of the small buttons on the back strike a good balance between ease of use, and staying protected. Volume up or next track on one side, volume down/previous track on the other, with play/pause in the middle. Boombotix includes a line in and line out on either side of the charging port as well, plus the necessary cable.
This speaker falls somewhere in the middle of the pack in price and sound quality. For some, the $119.99 MSRP may not match the audio quality. But for portability, it wins hands-down. Clip it to your pocket, backpack, or purse. It is just too easy to take it with you. As Boombotix is located in San Francisco, it should come as no surprise that the Boombot REX is right at home on a messenger bag strap. That seems a natural location for both music and taking calls. Or use the optional handlebar mount to attach it to your bike. With single digit temps, we didn’t get a chance to test it while riding, but the mount is solid, and holds the speaker securely while still making it easy to remove.
Currently, the Boombot REX is offered in four standard colors (Electric Blue, Savage Green, Arctic White, and Pitch Black), along with some limited editions. Those are Plox, Mudrunner, Tigerwood, and Brushed Aluminum. If you’re looking for an undeniably hip speaker that performs well for such a compact size, check them out at boombotix.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Boombot REX for free from Boombotix, in consideration for review publication