- Beautifully designed and hand-made
- Stunning sound with plenty of power
- AptX Bluetooth capable
- Handy leather strap
- Battery is optional extra
- Review Price: £699
- Class-D amps
- AptX Bluetooth
- 200W of power
- 20-hour battery option
- Aux connectivity
What is the BoomBocs?
At first glance the BoomBocs looks like a boombox portable speaker from the 1980s. On closer inspection, however, you’ll notice that it’s a high-quality Bluetooth-connected modern speaker system.
It takes the best of what a boombox used to be about and combines it with modern mobile tech. The result is a Bluetooth speaker like no other in terms of sheer power and balance of audio, thanks to the heft of speakers.
Of course, the design is a huge part of that since these are all handmade in Brixton, London. It’s certainly unique, which in a world of churned-out Bluetooth speakers makes for a refreshing change. But is it worth that £699 price?
Related: Best Bluetooth speakers 2018
BoomBocs – Design
The BoomBocs (full name, BoomBocs BRX v2.0) is a genuine pleasure to look at. It enhances whatever room it’s placed in and, thanks to its minimalist look, will genuinely be at home wherever it sits. As such, its large form – the BoomBocs is bigger than most Bluetooth speakers – is actually a positive thing.
On the outside is a wooden-box finish that encases class-D amps and a two-way speaker setup with woofers and tweeters. The control switches found on the rear are metal flip units that give it a really solid and analogue feel, a bit like flicking a switch in a fighter jet, or so it feels.
While the standard build comes with a power block, there’s the option to add a battery pack for 20 hours of on-the-go playback. This costs £99 and adds an extra 1.1kg.
In terms of mobility, the BoomBocs sports a thick and sturdy leather handle, which makes moving this speaker unit a doddle, even with that 9.5kg weight. Set it down anywhere and the four rubberised legs keep it reassuringly in place, while the moisture-resistant finish lets you rest easy that this can survive its surroundings.
The company says that since the BoomBocs are all handmade, no two units will be alike. This will be rarer still if you decide to splash extra cash for the metallic Deluxe model or the Super Deluxe liquid-metal finishes.
BoomBocs – Features
In the main, the BoomBocs offers power – and plenty of it. The class-D amplifiers make for powerful 200W audio, while remaining more compact than a class-A or -B amp in order to stay mobile.
The two-way speakers offer a 60Hz to 28kHz frequency response, while the 6.5-inch flax sandwich woofer cones with ferrite magnets offer plenty of bass power, punch and precision. This is all well balanced out by the 1.75-inch aluminium and magnesium inverted dome tweeters with neodymium ring magnets.
Beyond the audio offerings, the BoomBocs delivers connectivity in the form of a standard aux-in 3.5mm port but also Bluetooth aptX v.4.2, meaning high-quality streaming. This can achieve a sample rate of 96kHz (24-bit); it’s actually better than CD quality of 44.1kHz.
Of course, you’ll need to have a smartphone that supports aptX Bluetooth, but most decent models do nowadays. What’s nice is that in some Android phones, at least, you get a little aptX logo next to your Bluetooth connection when you link up, providing the reassurance that what you’re hearing is the best possible quality.
Surprisingly, there isn’t an app to accompany the BoomBocs. This is a good and bad thing. While it’s nice to keep things analogue and as simple as possible, some might have preferred to use an app to make minor adjustments.
That said, since the BoomBocs is the creation of a professional sound engineer, perhaps it’s best left tuned as he sees fit.
BoomBocs – Performance
What sets the BoomBocs apart from the competition in the busy Bluetooth speaker market isn’t only a unique design, but also sound quality.
It’s possible to forget just how good sound can be when listening to Bluetooth speakers. Sure, there are some amazing examples out there such as the B&O BeoPlay A1, which crams impressive sound into a tiny package, but it’s still limited by size. Once you get to the BoomBocs size, however, you suddenly hear what a full array of larger and well-balanced speakers, tweeters, subs and amps can really do.
Power is plentiful, but not in a showy way. This will climb all the way to full volume without distortion – in fact, the louder it gets, the better it actually sounds. That stage amp-style speaker form factor can produce audio akin to a live performance. But it isn’t just the 200W of power that’s impressive, it’s how it’s distributed.
You can clearly hear the different layers and channels of audio, like you would on a dedicated system of multiple speakers in a studio. So, when listening to ‘Money For Nothing’ by Dire Straits, for example, that rolling drum intro really feels like you’re listening to multiple drums being hit. The quality of definition across the speaker is magnificent.
Then jump up to Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ and you realise the vocals are also balanced to perfection for a clear and concise reproduction of the voice. With this particular track we did notice that the bass line was a little soft around the edges, but that was only on the lossless version of the song, where detail is taken to the extreme.
On a full-power bass test one of the subs did create a little flapping sound, but this was the BoomBocs being pushed its neighbour-bothering limit.
Bearing that in mind, this speaker really does have a huge range and produces even more bass depth than a unit of this size might appear able to.
When listening to Paul McCartney & Wings classic, ‘Live and Let Die’, you can hear each of the orchestral instruments as if they’re being played right in front of you. Then when that reggae vibe kicks in, the speaker effortlessly jumps to carrying the bass line as if a new guitarist had just walked in the room.
In short, the BoomBocs is fantastic at separating detailed audio to give the feel of a live performance. It has more than enough bass to do any song justice, and those tweeters and speakers help to create vocals that are so realistic that you’ll feel like you’re in the room with the singer.
As a result, that £699 price suddenly doesn’t sound so steep. Even the hand-made design could go some way to justify that price; hear the audio and you’ll realise you’re actually getting way more than that price should offer, making this a real deal.
Related: Best DAB radios 2018
Why buy the BoomBocs?
If you appreciate high-quality audio and want to listen to music as if you were there live, then the BoomBocs is a great option.
While the speaker isn’t at the level that thousands of pounds spent on a multi-speaker system and amp could buy you, it’s head and shoulders above the mobile Bluetooth speaker competition.
The BoomBocs combines the ease of modern streaming with the quality of classic analogue design and build quality into a space-saving cube of beauty. Plus, if you spend the extra, it can be truly mobile with a battery power source too.
One of the most impressive audio quality Bluetooth speakers out there, with a gorgeous design that adds charm with its hand-made origins and solid feel.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.