So I got the opportunity recently to review the Bassboomz portable bluetooth speaker and as much as I love new gadgets I was eager to proceed.
I received the unit earlier today while I was at work, thus the wife had already gotten hold of it before I managed to get home. She enjoys some of the gadgets almost as much as I do but I normally have to set them up first. As I said, my wife had already unboxed (half of the fun) the portable speaker and had it charging for me.
The Bassboomz speaker itself retails for around $130 US which while it seems a bit high to me is quite within the price realm of some of the other bluetooth speakers I’ve looked at, although a bit on the high side (more on that later).
The Bassboomz is compatible with your laptop, desktop, cell phone or tablet. Since you can hook up via line-in OR Bluetooth chances are you can use it with whatever you’ve got.
Inside the box is the bluetooth speaker itself, a standard microUSB cord for charging, a 3.5mm line and directions to get set up. It’s actually pretty easy to set up with or without them but it’s always nice to have easy to follow directions included.
It takes about and hour and a half to fully charge the Bassboomz and luckily the wife had already charged it for me so I was able to set it up immediately upon arrival and check it out.
In order to open the speaker up you twist it slightly counter-clockwise. Don’t jerk it or yank it, let the speaker open up on it’s own otherwise you could damage it.
Once it’s open here’s what you get.
Pretty nice and simple setup. Logo on the front and you can see the green LED on the front showing it’s powered on. It’s red when it’s charging.
On the backside you’ll notice three things immediately. A line in jack, standard micro-USB port and the on/off switch.
I first tested it using the line. It has to be powered on whether you are using Bluetooth or line-in. The sound quality is ok, pretty decent actually, but not great. It sounds much better than my phone speaker, my Nexus 7 and my laptop (you can use it as an external speaker for your laptop too) but not as good as my wife’s iPad. I tested it with my Verizon Galaxy Nexus as well as my wife’s Nexus, my daughter’s iPhone, my laptop and my wife’s iPad. During testing I tried several different songs, mostly the Black Keys as I seem to be listening to quite a bit of their older stuff the last year or so.
Next I hooked up with Bluetooth on all of the above devices except my laptop, it’s old and has no Bluetooth built in. It connects and pairs pretty easily as you would expect. There seems to be a slight lag and the first couple of notes are occasionally cut off but otherwise does an admirable job. The lag itself seems to be somewhat normal with other devices as well. I would say that the Bassboomz is right in the middle range for that. Doesn’t connect as fast as the uConnect in my car but I’ve tried headphones that take longer. The sound quality is about the same using Bluetooth as it is using the line-in jack.
I mentioned the sound quality above. I tested it sitting on a wooden side table, my Formica kitchen counter and in the palm of my hand. You’ll want to make sure you have it sitting on a smooth clean surface according to the directions in order to optimize the sound quality.
I started out at medium volume and went up from there. Best results seem to come at 50-70% volume. Anything higher than that and there was noticeable distortion. Not a huge deal breaker for me, if I want to blast music I’ll use my stereo anyway.
Once thing that they might consider adding later on down the road are longer cables. The USB and line-in cables seemed pretty short to me, slightly shorter than what I’m used to getting with other devices but that may just be me being picky. I usually end up replacing my charger/USB cables with ones that are at least 2-3′ in length for ease of use. The line included is 12″ and the USB cable is 18″.
One of the things I really liked about the speaker is it’s heft. While not unwieldy it’s much heavier than I expected from looking at it, which was very nice.
As far as bang for the buck that’s your call. Is this something we’ll continue to use? Certainly. As a matter of fact my wife has already claimed my review unit, she’ll use it while she’s working out. Anyone who is very active can tell you that ear buds can be a real PITA so having a portable Bluetooth speaker is very cool. Would I buy one for myself? Not for $130 but that’s where the guys over at Bassbuds have kicked in. Right now if you head over to http://www.bassbuds.net/usa/
If you’ve got a Bassboomz and use it regularly let me know. I would be interested in knowing if the distortion is just the one I have or if that’s common.