The portable speaker gets more powerful
A bigger splash: Divoom Voombox-Power speaker offers 30 watts audio, 360-degree sound, packed in waterproof, rugged casing.

The portable speaker gets more powerful

THE X-PAT FILES - Scott Garceau (The Philippine Star) - November 28, 2020 - 12:00am

The boom box is back. Not the old school, LL Cool J kickin’ speakers, held aloft on a shoulder to maximize ear contact. The new breed is stealthy, tactical, with tactile speakers imbedded in sturdy, waterproof metal cases that resemble ye boom boxes of olde, but rely on better technology for sound reproduction (digital signal processors, not those ferrous dioxide cassettes of the crumbling past). They’re Bluetooth-friendly, able to sidle up to any nearby device, and even blast your phone calls.

Recently, we received a model from Divoom that’s as ready-to-go as any of our other Bluetooth speakers. The Voombox-Power model offers a 30-watts-audio, 360-degree-sound blast, packed in a rugged, gunmetal gray casing.

It’s beautifully packed and slides out of the box in its foam casing, with USB charger, lanyard (for maximum mobility) and headphone-to-headphone jack.

We’ve become a big fan of these sturdy, mobile Bluetooth speakers, but not all of them carry through on the bass end, or allow a proper mix of trebled acoustic sounds and bottom-heavy notes. Out of the box, the Voombox-Power pairs up easily to your smartphone, and even at minimum volume, quickly fills a room with balanced sound.

Of course, it’s important to put pedal to metal on these things. “Led Zeppelin II” announces itself with the trademark balance of “shadow and light,” with Whole Lotta Love settling into a tingling bath of effervescent sound. Same for Kashmir.

That out of our system, let’s turn to some specs.

The brick-sized speaker is actually lighter in weight (770 grams) than expected; behind the sturdy metal speaker grill are six DSP-tuned drivers with 30W of audio powering two 3-inch subwoofers, two 2-inch silk tweeters and two passive radiators.

It’s easy to pair, even without scrolling through your Bluetooth settings; just tap the speaker with a NFC-enabled smartphone, and there you go. No “dock blocking,” which often happens if you shift between Bluetooth speakers a lot.

Another feature is the TwS stereo double-pairing option. Get two of the speakers (each costs about P4,500 or so) and expand your sound capabilities. (I’m not sure if this actually reproduces stereo, because I haven’t tested two speakers in a room.)

Since these boxes are for mobile music, it’s handy to have the lanyard, so you can haul it around by the wrist; it’s got an IPX5-rated waterproof design, which will come in handy for a beach party. The 5000mAh Li-on battery features eight hours playtime, and if your phone is dying, you can charge it off the ample Voombox power supply.  You can even do hands-free calling.
My go-to test is how it sounds next to a swimming pool at cocktail hour, or blasting from an open rooftop, and the Voombox-Power outperforms my other small-sized speakers. Crisp, balanced sound, though bass and treble can get a little murky together in the mid-range. Volume-wise, it does not disappoint. Crank up some Groove Armada or Leftfield if you’re feeling ‘90s.

A relatively new player (10 years), Hong Kong-based Divoom offers a range of smart home-enabled and iTour-friendly portable speakers. The 360-degree sound makes it useful for filling a small condo with serviceable sound or looking to start a party just about anywhere.

Will this replace your tube stereo amplifier and Bang & Olufsen speakers? Uh, no. But it’s a very workable addition to anyone’s current setup, offering the magic of mobility. To paraphrase what Robert Fripp once said about King Crimson, the Voombox-Power is a “mobile, intelligent unit.”

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Available on the official LazMall store online. Follow them at @DivoomAudioPH.

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