Review: Boombotix BoomBot2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Boombotix Boombot2 is loud acoustically and visually. It lets you bring the party to the trail, the beach, the slopes or just for living room dance parties with the kids, holding up to riding and the generally adventurous lifestyle. I’ve put this little purple monster to the test on a number of rides, both casual and while mountain biking, plus a trip to the beach, and it’s been just about perfect.
Tech specs are: 3-watt 50mm driver with separate tweeter, wireless Bluetooth or wired connectivity, impressive six hour battery life and power/volume buttons. It’s USB rechargeable in about an hour, and it can be piggy backed to another Boombot2 with the dual function in/out audio jack.
Jam past the break to catch the groove…
In the box: Boombot 2, USB charging cable, retractable audio cable, instructions, sticker and info on their swag program. The circuitry automatically switches the audio input to an output when it’s connected via Bluetooth, letting you piggy back another Boombot2 for more volume.
The charging and audio ports are covered with silicone flaps to keep the grit and water out. They don’t feel super tight when pushing them in, but they’ve kept the beach sand and any rainy mist and mud spray out just fine. The belt clip is the only means of attaching it to something, and it’s pretty firm. I clipped it to the back of my Camelbak (below) for a 3.5 hour ride and it never budged.
The audio is impressive. Say what you will about broadcasting your tunes on the trail, but being able to ride with a soundtrack and not have something stuck in your ears is liberating. When it was facing backward like shown above, the hear-ability of it dropped off a bit at speed, but it didn’t need to be obnoxiously loud to be heard at my usual pace. If you need it louder, just clip it to the front of a shoulder strap.
We also used it on a beer-n-bikes ride through downtown and it was easily loud enough for anyone in a 25ft radius to hear over traffic and other street noises. Again, we were just using it to put a little soundtrack to our ride, not drown out the conversation.
Two things stood out: Sound quality at volume and battery life. No speaker this size is going to be crystal clear at its peak volume, but the Boombot2 seems to control the bass response a bit to avoid garbling the rest of the sound. Whether this is done through circuitry or just a matter of having the tweeter separated from the driver doesn’t much matter to me, it just works. For it’s intended purposes, or for creating a little poolside or backyard ambience, it’s perfect.
On its inaugural ride, after topping off the battery, I rode about three hours on the trail, then rode 30 minutes home, then kept listening while I showered and cooked dinner. All the while it was connected wirelessly through Bluetooth to an iPhone 5. At that point, I just turned it off. Seems to me that’s plenty of run time, and we have yet to kill the battery completely with random usage and even more random charging. It’s also worth noting that even when streaming Pandora and transmitting the music wirelessly, my phone’s battery didn’t suffer too badly.
Only two small issues popped up. On the beach, the range seemed limited to about 12-15 feet from the phone to the speaker before the signal cut in and out. Around the house, the range is better. Secondly, the device is supposed to connect to multiple devices, but we would occasionally have to unpair it from one iPhone to get another iPhone to connect and play. Not every time, but more than once.
Retail is $69.99 and it comes with a one-year “no matter what” warranty. It’s available in eight different color/graphics combos, but I’m pretty sure the cables are purple for all of them. More info at Boombotix.com.
- IN THE BOX – 3FT 1/8″ AUX & MINI USB CABLES
- LOUDNESS – 94DB@2FT (WIRED)/83DB@2FT (WIRELESS)
- BATTERY – RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM ION
- RUNTIME – 6 HOURS
- CHARGING – ABOUT AN HOUR
- DIMENSIONS – 96MM(W) X 92MM(H) X 54MM(D)
- H20 RESISTANCE – IP53 (OK IN LIGHT RAIN/SNOW)
- AUDIO INPUT – 1/8″/3.5MM FEMALE JACK
- POWER – 3W RATED/5W MAX
- CONTROLS – MODE SELECT, VOLUME UP & DOWN
- INDICATOR – FULL COLOR LED
And yes, it should play that new Daft Punk album just fine!