When I went to the Consumer Electronics Show last year, I was surprised at just how many companies in the iLounge Pavilion were showcasing wireless Bluetooth speakers. I’ve always questioned the purpose of these speakers, since I have a surround sound setup in my office or simply consider my MacBook Pro speakers to be good enough when I’m out and about.
A recent outdoor event in which I only had my iPhone on me quickly changed my perspective. If you’ve ever tried listening to music through the iPhone speakers, you probably agree that the smartphone sounds pretty awful. Thankfully, I had packed an ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker in my backpack. It’s called the Divoom Voombox-Travel, and I offer a full review ahead…
First and foremost, the Voombox-Travel is not exclusive to the iPhone. The speakers are compatible with any smartphone, tablet and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, using the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology to deliver up to six hours of playback time per charge. The speakers work within a 10 meter range of your device.
When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, there are a handful of factors that I weigh. The first is the price. In terms of simple, ultra-portable speakers like the Voombox-Travel, I would consider paying no more than $75 for such a product. The Voombox-Travel comes in at $50, so that’s a fair and reasonable price.
Even more important is the sound quality of the speakers. If your wireless Bluetooth speakers sound only marginally better than my iPhone, that defeats the purpose. After a week of listening to the Voombox-Travel speakers, and especially considering its price point, I walk away throughly impressed.
I certainly cannot pretend to be an audiophile, but these speakers sound great. The Voombox-Travel has a 2-inch full range driver with a 2-inch passive radiator that delivers incredible bass. In fact, considering the palm size of these speakers, I was quite surprised that they could deliver such powerful sound.
The third facet is design. My first impression of the Voombox-Travel was that it looks like a grenade. If you don’t believe me, I have quickly whipped up a side-by-side comparison below. In all seriousness, it has a rugged and splash-resistant design consisting of a sturdy metal body and shock absorbing rubber. A carabiner is included for clipping it to your pants or elsewhere.
In other words, take it outdoors and it will survive.
There are four buttons on the Voombox-Travel. The plus and minus buttons are for turning the volume up and down, or going to the previous or next track. The third is a power button, and the fourth is a phone button for controlling the built-in microphone for phone calls. On the bottom is a charging port with auxiliary functionality.
The speakers have a 550 mAh lithium-ion battery that takes between 2 to 3 hours to charge. You get about 6 hours of talk or playback time per charge, although I never used the speakers long enough in one continuous time to really gauge the battery life. It is definitely near the six hour mark.
You can get the Divoom Voombox-Travel for $49.95 on Amazon in a variety of colors: indigo blue, vermilion red, army green, vibrant orange, smart black, sky blue, grass green, royal purple and lemon yellow. A cable that doubles as a USB charger and auxiliary is included in the box.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received these speakers as a review unit at no cost to me. Read our disclosure for details.