We were surprised by just how much we liked Divoom’s Voombox, so we were excited to receive its Voombox Travel Rugged Portable Wireless Speaker ($50) for review. The size, shape, and price tag are all very similar to that of JBL’s Clip and Logitech’s X100. That is to say, it’s a palmable round speaker, with metal, plastic, and rubber elements. It streams audio using Bluetooth 4.0, and has physical control buttons around the edges, as well as a solid carabiner clip at top. Instead of separate ports for charging and audio-in, a combined cable connects to the Micro-USB port on the bottom for both purposes.
As we’d expect from a speaker so small, Divoom packs a single driver into the 3.5”-diameter housing. The build quality is actually pretty impressive, with solid metal rings around the metal grilles on the front and back of the speaker, and screws holding them together around the ridged rubber center. It’s certainly dense, weighing 262 grams to Clip’s 147g. Much like Voombox, Divoom is vague about the exact amount of abuse the speaker can take, saying only that it’s water resistant without any further specs.
On the left side, toward the top of the speaker, are rubber buttons for power and answering phone calls; on the opposite side are volume controls. The combined power and audio port is found right at the bottom, underneath a rubber door. We found the provided cable works well for transmitting audio, although the headphone plug is too wide to work with many cases. Voombox Travel’s battery is slated to last for six hours per charge, an hour more than either Clip or X100.
In terms of audio performance, this speaker isn’t far off from what we heard in our tests of JBL and Logitech’s speakers. Compared to Clip, Voombox Travel’s bass isn’t quite as powerful, but the mids and highs are about the same. Really though, you’ll have to listen very closely to find differences between the two — that’s a good thing, considering how much we like how Clip sounds, especially given its size. Both get equally as loud. As for the speakerphone feature, Voombox was described as a bit clearer, but again, the differences were small. If we had to choose one over the other on audio alone, we’d give the edge to JBL’s speaker, but they’re really very similar.
Although it feels more rugged, Divoom’s lack of specific data in its claims makes us a bit weary of just how much abuse Voombox Travel can actually take. Otherwise, it’s a very good sounding speaker that certainly falls in the same category as Clip and X100, earning our strong general recommendation. While it doesn’t have the same brand recognition behind it as those two, Divoom’s hardware has been pretty impressive lately.
Company and Price
Model: Voombox Travel
Compatibility: All Bluetooth-Equipped iPads, iPhones, iPods