Looking for an inexpensive, but sturdy Bluetooth speaker for outside use? The DIvoom Voombox Travel (US$49.95) is going to fit the bill, being both built like a tank and available for less than fifty bucks. Read on for the review, and then enter for your chance to win one of these little speakers.
Dimensions: 90 mm in diameter, 45 mm thick (3.54 inches in diameter, 1.77 inches thick)
Speaker drivers: Two 2" drivers, 4W output each
Battery capacity: 500 mAh, 2 hour charge time
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP Stereo profile support
Talk time when used as a speakerphone: up to 6 hours
Music playback time: up to 6 hours
Well, I'd be a bit worried taking the dark green version of the Voombox Travel through security at an airport, because it looks remarkably like some sort of little grenade. It's a circular puck with a thick rubber ring around the middle and black polycarbonate surrounding the speaker grills. One LED port provides an outlet for both a blue LED used for pairing and a red LED that denotes that you're charging the device.
Atop the Voombox Travel is a little ring that looks a lot like one that used to be found on the winding stem of pocket watches in past centuries; in this case, it's actually a carabiner connection for attaching the speaker to a belt loop or a backpack. While the speaker is splash resistant, it won't take a full dunking.
The bottom of the speaker has a port covered with a solid rubber door -- that's where you'll plug in the included USB to micro-USB cable to charge the unit up. That same port and cable works if you wish to connect the speaker to a device through a standard headphone port rather than Bluetooth.
While the two 2-inch speakers don't exactly provide high-fidelity sound reproduction, they're not bad. I was surprised with the volume this little speaker puts out. It's solid, with no loose parts to cause buzzing like we've found on some other inexpensive speakers. The music reproduction is somewhat muffled, which shouldn't make too much of a difference outside where this speaker is meant to be used.
The speakerphone function worked flawlessly. There's a toggle switch on one side that is used to power the speaker on and off, and the other side of the switch is used to answer or hang up during speakerphone operation. It's workable as a speakerphone, but be prepared to have folks on the other end of the call complaining about your voice quality -- that comes with the territory with Bluetooth speakers.
Pairing was extremely fast and easy. I did notice that the Voombox Travel didn't have as much as range as some other speakers that we've tested; not sure what that was all about, but as long as you're within about 20 feet you should be just fine.
Divoom seems to be getting better at making inexpensive accessories. Some earlier speakers we tested were of very poor quality, while the Voombox Travel is solidly built. That being said, if you're an audiophile and want an outdoor speaker with better sound reproduction, you'd be better served spending the extra quid for something like the Braven BRV-X or BRV-1. For the money, you're getting a serviceable outdoor speaker that should hold up to a lot of abuse.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible
Summer's coming up and you're going to want a speaker for those long days and nights spent outdoors. We're giving away our review Voombox Travel -- Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before April 19, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Divoom Voombox Travel valued at $49.95.