We test lots of speakers at iLounge, very few of which are designed to be “fun.” Three recent iPod-friendly toys from BlueBox were featured in our 2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide, combining speakers with other features that make the $20-$30 items fun and easy gifts for younger iPod users.
The first of them is BlueBox’s miJam WassUp ($30), a single speaker inside of a dancing egg-shaped enclosure. A dancing egg? Well, WassUp looks like an egg mixed with a rabbit and rollerskates, if the rabbit’s ears and legs could bop to the beat of your music. There’s also a bottom tube that WassUp can squat down on, enabling him to spin around in an almost kazatsky-like manner. Left to its own devices, and with the required and included three AAA batteries in his rear compartment, WassUp makes weird, alien sounds, flashes lights from its thighs, and dances around—better on a floor than on a table, because it can be quite active.
But connect him to an iPod with the included white audio cable and he’ll settle down a little, restricting his motion so as not to send your iPod tumbling off a table. You’ll still see his arms and legs groove to your music, but he won’t zip around. Two speaker settings (high and low) are available from a rear switch, along with three behavior settings (dance, dance with built-in sounds, and dance to connected iPod), and a top-mounted start/stop dancing button button.
Like many toys, WassUp is bizarre, and whether you’ll want to give or receive it as a gift will depend a lot on your tastes, but there are a couple of pieces of good news: for the price, the speaker sounds pretty good, and there’s no doubt that this particular miJam adds a little amusement value to whatever you’re playing on the iPod. Its only audio detractor: the sounds of its motors spinning while he dances. Keep the speaker on “high” when an iPod’s connected; it won’t hurt your ears and it’ll keep the motors from sounding as strong.
Company and Price
Model: miJam WassUp