Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Divoom Voombox-Travel rugged Bluetooth speaker
You can use this colourful little speaker while on outdoor adventures, or even while you're in the bathroom. The choice is yours because it has an IP44 ingress rating
- Plenty of volume and good overall sound
- No line-in jack
Price$ 69.00 (AUD)
Christmas is a great time for Bluetooth speakers. They make for a useful gift for all ages due to the wide selection of colours, shapes and capabilities that are available, and prices are equally varied. Mixing up the category a little is the Divoom range of Bluetooth speakers, which includes splash- and dust-resistant models that can be used outdoors. The one we're revieweing here is the Divoom Voombox-Travel.
This is a colourful little speaker that shouldn't cost you any more than a about $70, and the big deal about it is that it has an IP44 rating for water ingress and dust penetration, and is designed to be used outdoors. Whether you're camping by the lake or picnicking at a city park, whether you're sitting by the pool or mixing it up at the beach, as long as you don't sumberge the speaker in water or sand, it will be sweet.
If too much water ends up on the speaker driver, it will be weighed down and struggle to make the air move and produce sound. You'll have to clear the water and let it dry a little before the sound gets back to normal. Just remember that it will withstand slight splashes only!
It has a rugged exterior with a rubber lining around the edge that acts as a bumper, and the micro-USB port is covered so that dirt from your adventures doesn't end up clogging it. There are buttons for power, volume, and for the hands-free phone function, and they are all sealed as well. At one end, there is a metal clasp so that you can pass a strap through it and hang the speaker from wherever you desire (perhaps the base of your shower head).
Sound is delivered through one 2-inch, full-range speaker at the top, and there is a 2-inch passive bass radiator on the bottom. It's the radiator's job to enhance the low-end frequencies (kind of like a bass port in a bigger speaker would).
You can't expect stellar sound quality from a speaker such as this one. It's not like it's a Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A2 or anything, but for the price you pay, it's definitely a serviceable little unit. We hooked it up to our Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone without any issues using Bluetooth 4.0 and streamed some of the tunes we have stored in Google Play Music.
In terms of genres, we played a bit of everything on it, including Mariah Carey's Emotions album. The singer's glorious vocals came through loud and clear on songs such as Can't Let Go and Till The End of Time (our favourites), but the music did sound a little flat — expectedly so considering the size of the speaker and the fact that it's not stereo.
When we played heavy hip-hop beats, the speaker bounced around on the table a little in a comical fashion and we could really feel the vibrations coming through the furniture. It was an awesome display of power, so we just turned the volume down a little. We found that the speaker sounded best when we placed the it on a soft surface so that some of the bass could be absorbed.
Overall, though, it's hard not to be happy with this speaker. We could definitely listen to it on a daily basis, either at work, at home, outdoors, wherever. The sound from it is enjoyable and it comes out with plenty of volume. There is an internal lithium ion battery that Divoom states can last for up to six hours. If you're really stuck for power, you can always juice it up with a portable charger such as the TP-Link 10400mAh Power Bank.
Pick up this little Divoom Voombox-Travel speaker yourself or for any outdoors lovers who would enjoy listening to music while adventuring.
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• Best Bluetooth devices for streaming music from a smartphone or tablet to a stereo system
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