BOOMPHONES Pocket Speaker Review – An Appropriately Named Pocket Speaker

Boomphone Portable Speaker-4 When I was a kid (and I won’t say how many years ago this was) my parents used to take us to Friendly’s, a now defunct ice cream parlor/restaurant chain.  I’d often have sherbert or a sundae but around the Christmas holiday I would often order a jubilee roll, a tasty ice cream cake-like treat. Now…since the average age of our readers is in the low-to-mid 20’s, I doubt the majority of you are familiar with Friendly’s or jubilee roll.  So why do I tell this story and begin the review of the Pocket Speaker this way?  It’s simple; just go to Bing or Google and search under “jubilee roll.”  Well go on, I’ll give you a moment.  Do you see a resemblance?  For me, this speaker is an electronics homage to the jubilee roll I had as a kid. You older readers can relate.  Somewhere in Heaven, the creator of the jubilee roll is smiling.

One month ago at CES2014, I was introduced to the Boomphones brand. Although I had an appointment with them, I didn’t have to search hard in the Hilton for their booth was the one with all the people in it, no exaggeration here.  The only downside to my visit was listening to a loop of Ke$ha (pronounced LOO ZAH) and Pitbull for 20 minutes. (I’ll share my Ke$ha story another time.)  Since that day, I’ve been testing the white with pink trimmed speaker with satisfaction. There are six color style options to choose from as seen in the product sheet below.  Each come with a hard clear plastic case, a hybrid USB/3.5mm charging cable, and a multi-language quick start guide.  I suspect the black-faced speaker comes with a black cable, but don’t quote me on that.  It would look better with one.  The case is worth keeping as it 1) protects the speaker if you transport it in a bag, purse, etc., and 2) it looks cool.  But one doesn’t need to use the case as the speaker is ideally sized to fit in one’s pocket. (See photos below.)  Although I don’t know the weight of the product, it is light enough for a coat pocket. The dimensions come in at around 5″ x 2.5″ x 1″ (LHW) give or take a little and the design is solid.  The face of the speaker is a hard plastic with a flexible “boom” in the middle.  The trim is a tightly wrapped rubber component that encompasses all the controls of which, there are a handful.Boomphone Portable Speaker-1
Now the speaker controls are straight forward.  Starting from left-to-right, you’ve got a built-in mic, power LED and on/off (2 second hold), volumes down and up, a Bluetooth power (2 second hold) and LED, and a micro USB jack for charging. The BT button has multiple uses which is great: play and pause as well as mobile phone answer and hang up provided your mobile device doesn’t go into password protected mode after 30 seconds like mine does.  Volume up/down is also affected by password protected mode.  You may want to disable the password while in your home and re-enable when you step out.  Setting it up in BT mode is a synch.  From your mobile simply search for devices and pair them up.  The speaker will even state “Ready to connect to Bluetooth device” in a friendly and well-sounding woman’s voice.  Now the coolest feature in my opinion is pairing two pocket speakers to one source.  Simultaneously hold the BT button on both speakers for 2 seconds and they’re synced with each other.  Turn on the BT from your mobile and snap, dual speakers.  And I almost forgot, speaker life is a good 8 hours or more. Charging time is about an hour as indicated by the flashing LED beside the power on/off button.
And what about the sound you ask.  How does its 6 watts of audio sound?  Answer: fairly decent.  The speaker is well-balanced, not moving a smidgen (a popular word nowadays) at the highest volume while resting on my desk.  Now I tested the speakers abilities from both Bluetooth and via connection to my laptop.  I do this for a couple of reasons: 1) I don’t like the sound processing of my LG mobile and 2) I very much like the sound processing of my Toshiba laptop.  For this testing, I added a couple of albums to my standard list of 4-5.  These newer downloads: Mumford & Sons Babel and Lorde Pure Heroine (Grammy winner) sounded amazing!  I was curious how the banjo sounds and the pocket speaker pulled it off well.  Lorde’s vocals are clean and crisp as were the keyboards and drums behind her.  For the most part, my standard list sounded well.  The songs on John Coltrane’s Ultimate Blue Train sounded great as did those from others who specialize in instrumental music. Lana Del Ray’s Born To Die was another winner.  The only letdown was from My Chemical Romance The Black Parade. I attribute this to their style of music and louder recording.  Hard rock has shown to be harshest on every brand of small speakers tested.  My final test was with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way (don’t make fun of me, you know you own it.)  Well-recorded pop music like this shines.  I dare you to listen to Judas with this speaker at any volume between 50-100% and say the sound is poor. Because if you did, I’d quickly call you a liar.
 As this speaker produces plenty of sound, I view it as best suited for large rooms, 300 sq ft or greater as well as outdoor settings.  It’s ideal for beaches, barbecues, picnics, etc. Do people even picnic anymore?  I don’t know. Regardless, the Boomphones Pocket Speaker is available for purchase for $129 at