Little Big Sound: Review of Scosche Boomcan Speaker for iPhone, Kindle, Smartphones, Laptops and Portable Players
© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin.
My inexpensive purple Sansa Clip 4GB MP3 player is lightweight and durable, and plays beautiful music through earbuds. But sharing my audio delight with others is impossible because it has no built-in speakers.
So I scoured the aisles of my local Fry’s Electronics Store for a solution. Some of the options were portable and cheap, but produced terrible sound. Others thundered with incredible bass but were bulky and inexpensive. On the iPhone accessories aisle, I stumbled onto the Scosche Boomcan, which combines the best of all speakers with none of its drawbacks.
Frequency Response: 100Hz-20kHz
Signal noise ratio: >80dB
Playback Time: 4-7 hours
Battery Capacity: 300mAh
Battery Charge Time: 2.5 hours
Retail Price: $24.95
The unit is a small cylinder measuring about 2 inches high and 1.5 inches in diameter, and weighs less than 6 ounces. It comes in black, silver, blue and red, which is the color I chose. The shielded speaker appears on the top surface while underneath lies the volume control. The indicator light, mini-USB port and 3.5mm audio jack are on one side near the bottom, which allows the speaker to stand upright when it is connected.
Packaged accessories include a cloth pouch for storage and a three-ended cable that contains standard USB, mini-USB and audio plugs. Instructions are listed on half of a letter-sized sheet.
The speaker light showed a blue full-charge when I took it out of the box. Charging requires connecting the USB plug to a laptop or computer, and then connecting the mini-USB plug to the boomcan port. You can use the bigger plug for charging only and not for playback. Times for charging and playback match the stated specs.
To use the speaker for iPhone, Kindle or portable players, connect the mini-USB plug to the boomcan and the audio plug to the earphone jack of any portable player. Then set the volume control to either medium or maximum. There are no intermediate volume settings. Apparently, several boomcans can be connected together for greater volume.
I don’t have sophisticated audio testing instruments so it’s difficult to quantify sound performance in text. But AudioCheck did provide useful frequency response tests. The lowest frequency I could hear was at the supposedly inaudible 10Hz while the highest frequency was at 17kHz.
More subjectively, I found the speaker to have a sound that was louder than its small size would seem to allow. In most situations, the first volume setting was more than adequate, and I would have to turn down the volume on the player itself. I only used the higher setting in crowded areas or inside cars.
The audio was more than acceptable with excellent treble and better-than-expected bass. I could clearly comprehend voices and distinguish between musical instruments. However, there’s no mistaking that this is a small speaker because the quality cannot equal that of larger units. You can improve the output slightly by putting the boomcan in a corner or enclosed area where the sound can resonate against a solid surface.
Given the combination of small size and good sound, the Scosche Boomcan is a worthwhile speaker for iPhone, Kindle or laptop use. It is frequently available at 75 percent or less of the suggested retail price. This makes it inexpensive enough to buy for each of your phones, laptops and portable devices. I highly recommend it.