If you’re familiar with the Braven brand, there’s a good chance Divoom’s Voombox ($100) will look like something you’ve seen before. Although it’s not a direct clone, the portable Bluetooth speaker resembles units such as 625s and BRV-1. Quite substantial in its heft, and sporting a metal core surrounded by rubber, Voombox is advertised as being weather resistant and shock proof. The 12-hour rechargeable battery charges over micro-USB, and the port is located under a rubber flap, next to an aux port; cables for both are included. It comes in black, blue, red, or green, and each includes a fabric lanyard.
Based on earlier Divoom units we’ve seen, such as Bluetune-Solo, we weren’t expecting a lot from the brand. Voombox sports a build quality and feature set that helped change our mind, though. Weighing just over 1.5 pounds, it’s heavy, but in a good way. The footprint is inline with that of Jawbone’s original Jambox and any number of other speakers; it’s almost exactly as tall, wide, and deep as JBL’s Charge, which serves as a worthy comparison in many ways.
Divoom’s choice of materials was smart. Metal rings surrounding the speaker grilles, and ridge rubber covering the rest of the body both look and feel premium. It was also smart to hide the ports while making them easily accessible, helping justify the company’s claims of weather resistance. There are four physical buttons along the top edge: power, volume down, play/pause, volume up.
When JBL’s Flip came out in 2012, we were truly impressed with its sound quality, considering its size and price. Since then, sequels and spin-offs have maintained the audio performance, with added features and higher prices. Voombox comes in at the same price as Flip, and sounds just about identical to it. We directly compared against Charge, which features the same audio drivers as Flip, and found the differences between the two to be almost indistinguishable.
They sound the same at all audio levels, even at top volume. That is to say, Voombox is really an impressive speaker. If there’s anything that’s lacking, it’s bass performance, but that’s not surprising considering the size of the unit. We found speakerphone performance to be slightly better than that of the iPhone itself, with a caller reporting we sounded less distant and slightly clear.
While we never would have expected it, Voombox gives JBL’s great speakers a run for their money. Offering highly similar sound inside a well-designed package, with a long-lasting battery, it merits our high recommendation. Divoom didn’t omit anything here, as Voombox delivered in the realms of price, performance, and design. There are only a few reasons to knock the speaker. Most important among them is the ambiguity of the “rugged” claims. Because the company doesn’t get into details or certifications, it may turn out that the speaker doesn’t live up to expectations when it comes to the damage it can take. There’s also the familiar look, but we’ll leave that to the lawyers. Voombox is a great portable speaker and should very much be under consideration for anyone looking to buy.
Company and Price
Compatible: All Bluetooth-Equipped iPads, iPhones, iPods