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A couple of weeks ago, the folks at Boombotix sent us one of their Boombot1 rechargeable speakers to try out. Described as a fusion of “Japanese urban design with acoustic technology”, this little speaker packs a pretty good punch (94 decibels at two feet) into a package that carries more visual appeal than some of its “competitors”. Fun factor aside, we set out to determine if the audio quality was there too.
Shaped like an alien with asymmetrically sized eyes and some stubby legs, the first thing my Boombot1 did was disappear. Well, not completely. To say that it walked off might be an exaggeration, but if you have a teenage daughter at home, you can just forget about ever seeing your Boombot again. This was a less than subtle hint that she needed new computer speakers, but it also validated the design efforts of the crew at Boombotix – oddly shaped it might be, it’s certainly likeable. I figured that the rechargeable lithium ion battery would eventually give out, and she’d bring it back, looking for the USB charging cable. That didn’t happen. With a run time of six hours, she used it off and on over a week, with no sign of it dying. So I stole it back while she was in school.
Once it was in my possession, I had to a chance to give it a proper review, and get some photos. Charging via the included USB mini cable did indeed take “about an hour” as evidenced by the LED star that is green when charging, and blue when in use. That done, I plugged in the 1/8″ (3.5mm) cord into the back, and into my iPod. Heed the warning on the self-storing cord spool, and pull both sides at the same time, otherwise they won’t retract at the same rate. After finding the best balance between the unit’s volume (controlled by buttons on either side of the top-mounted power button) and my device’s volume, I was pleasantly surprised how well the little Boombot could fill a room with sound. Reproduction of the mids and highs was more than acceptable, and as expected from a 50mm driver, bass response was present, but weak. That’s not a criticism, but an acknowledgment that it takes a large speaker to produce low notes. To test voice reproduction, we plugged it into a Kindle Fire and watched episodes of Archer and Arrested Development. No disappointment from the content or sound quality. Although I didn’t take it with me on a bike ride, I did use the attached belt clip on a windy day, and it performed admirably. I can see the appeal of clipping it to my hydration pack for mountain bike excursions. Note that the IP53 ensures your Boombot will continue working even during dust storms and light rain.
Boombotix backs their speakers with a one year “No matter what” warranty, but the $44.99 Boombot1 we tested seems durable enough that they probably don’t end up having too many warranty claims. It’s available in several fun color and graphics combinations, performs better than expected, and is versatile enough to be used indoors or out with a variety of devices. For those times when a speaker is better than headphones or earbuds, it shines. I just need to get myself another, or figure out how to hide this one from my daughter. boombotix.com