I’ve seen these little Bluetooth speakers around for a while now. They come in all sorts of designs, all claiming to give you a great sound. The idea is that the speakers in your phone or MP3 player are pretty rubbish – they are, the speaker is definitely not an iPhone’s strong point – so you use one of these speakers instead to give you superior sound. I’ve never thought about buying one. At home we have a nice sound system in the lounge and a decent dock in the kitchen. And I’ve never really thought of using a speaker when I’m in a hotel room.
This is the BassBoomz. Made by the same people who make the Bass Buds I recently reviewed, the marketing material says it has explosive sound quality thanks to the “bass expansion system”. It is compatible with phones, MP3 players, tablets and laptops and can be connected to your devices using either Bluetooth or a 3.5mm jack output – so that’s pretty much anything then. It looks great, has a nice brushed finish in a really good bright blue.
I was pleased when the speaker arrived and I picked it up – it’s much heavier than I thought. I’m not an expert in speaker technology but I do know that heavy is good; weight often correlates to sound quality. It was really simple to pair with my phone and I had music playing very quickly.
Small speakers are very rarely good speakers. Sat on the granite kitchen worktop the sound was disappointingly tinny. It had no depth. I remember seeing similar speakers at The Gadget Show Live and spotting that they had them sat on specially made stands – and of course we know why! I moved it to the dining table, where there was some improvement. We wandered around the house putting it on different surfaces – each would make the sound change, dramatically in some cases. The best sound came when I put it on the window ledge, where the sound resonated and gave me some deeper tones to the music, but it’s still not “bassy”.
Having said that I should say that the sound is clear whereever the speaker is sat. It’s depth that it lacks, not clarity. It is just brilliant for playing podcasts – the spoken word is crisp making it very easy to listen to.
We were on our way down to Essex to see friends when we realised one thing this speaker is just perfect for. We use the TomTom app on our iPhones for our satnav and have always struggled a bit with the volume – the phone just isn’t loud enough. This speaker is just what we’ve been looking for – it’s loud enough, clear, sits on the space between the two front seats without sliding about thanks to the weight and non-slip feet, and can be charged from the cigarette lighter too. Isn’t it good when you find a solution to a problem?
And then we found another use. How many times have I complained on twitter that hotel rooms don’t have power sockets by the bed? I reckon I say it every single time I go away! But with the speaker I can have my phone plugged in wherever is convenient, and have the speaker on so I can still hear my music. And if you can find a decent resonating surface you get a pretty decent sound too. It seems I do need a little portable speaker after all.
This is a great little speaker. In everything but the name. Bassy it is not. I don’t think it could ever be bassy. Something this small is never going to satisfy my liking for deep bass or dramatic rumbles in film scores or songs. But it is a useful thing and I have had so much use out of it since it arrives I now don’t know what I’d do without one.
I’ve been given a discount to share with you. It’s good for £30 off so the BassBoomz will cost £49.95 instead of the current retail price of £79.95 when bought directly from their website. The code to use is BBZ304621- it’ll work til the end of the month.