Review: Boombot REX Wireless Portable Speaker

Boombot REX speaker - front
Boombot REX speaker
Boombot REX speaker

Boombot REX is an ultraportable wireless speaker originally started out as a KickStarter project. The speaker is wireless, rechargeable, water resistant, build-in speaker and support Siri. GeekZen online store is very kind to send me a unit for this review article. Read on to find out more!

Unbox

Boombot REX speaker package
Boombot REX speaker package

Boombot REX comes in a cute hexagon box. Flip the cover to reveal the speaker and a list of highlighted features. More on the features later.

Boombot REX speaker package
Boombot REX speaker package

Inside the box, you have a Boombot REX speaker, an auxiliary audio cable, a micro-USB charging cable, a Boombotix sticker, and a user guide.

Design

Boombot REX speaker
Boombot REX speaker

Boombot REX ultraportable speaker is hexagon shape. The case is ruggedized ABS with soft touch treatment. As a portable speaker with build-in rechargeable battery, Boombot REX is lighter than I expected.

The front face is replaceable steel mesh grill, though I didn’t manage to twist the grill to remove it.

Boombot REX speaker - back
Boombot REX speaker – back

At the back is a big hip clip to attach the speaker on your bag or pocket. The clip is strong that need quite strength to hold it open. I can’t hold the clip open for over 30 seconds.

Boombot REX speaker - controls
Boombot REX speaker – controls

The on/off switch is at the top. It is flat and difficult to switch if you don’t have long nail.

Boombot REX has simple controls, 3 buttons at the top of its back: + button, center button, and – button. The buttons may be blocked by the hip clip if you clip the speaker on something thick.

Boombot REX speaker - ports
Boombot REX speaker – ports

It has 3 ports with weather seal located at the bottom of the back: Line-in, micro USB charge port, Line-out. I will detail the interesting features later.

Features

Boombot REX is small in size but it has some unique features. Read on for the details.

Bluetooth pairing made easy

Bluetooth pairing is easy. Boombot REX is immediately discoverable after power on. Simply choose “Boombot REX” on list of bluetooth devices and the pairing occurs automatically.

When paired with iPhone, a speaker battery meter also displayed on the menu bar.

You can also use REX as a wired speaker by plugging in audio cable into the Line-in port.

Smallest 2.1 sound-system

Boombot REX has dual 36mm drivers and a bass woofer. On the specs, the power output is 3W x 2, and the loudness is 87db at 2ft.

On the KickStarter page, the company claims that it is the “smallest 2.1 sound-system in the world”.

Despite the small size, Boombot REX is strong. But human voice is not clear. The sound is a bit stuffy, as if the sound comes out from a closed box.

It is not easily noticeable if you do not compare with other speakers. In my case, I compared it with X-mini stereo speakers which has better treble but less bass.

Microphone with Siri integration

Boombot REX build-in noise cancelling microphone with Siri integration. You can answer, deny, or end a phone call with the simple control buttons.

You hold the center button to activate Siri. Speak directly to the speaker and Siri will answer back through the speaker.

Water Resistant

Boombot REX is water resistant portable speaker with weather rating of IP53 (light rain and snow).

In order to find out the truth, I splashed water to Boombot REX while it is playing back music wirelessly. The result? It is working fine!

Check out my Boombot REX water resistant test video below:

Daisy chain

Boombot REX supports “daisy chain” mode where you can link multiple Boombot REX speakers by plugging OUT port to IN port of the next speaker, and repeat infinitely.

SoundHub

With “SoundHub” technology, Boombot REX can act as a bluetooth receiver and turns any speakers into a wireless speaker by connecting to the OUT port! Example: Connect Boombot REX to your home sound system to wirelessly playback songs on your iPhone.

Battery

Boombot REX build-in 1000mAh rechargeable battery. You can charge it via micro USB port with the included micro USB cable via computer or USB outlet. A full charge will take 2 hours and 4–8 hours runtime depending on conditions, based on the specs.

I played the speaker for about 5 hours and the battery meter on iOS still shows half left. I am sure the battery life is good enough for your outdoor activities.

“No matter what” warranty

Boombot REX comes with a “no matter what” one year warranty.

This includes, but is not limited to, break-dancing accidents, fixed gear bicycle stunts gone wrong, overshooting or over-rotating a jump on skis or a board, you name it.

Photo Gallery

Where to buy?

You can buy boombot REX on Boombotix online store for USD$120 and USD$130 (limited edition).

For Malaysians, GeekZen online store is the sole exclusive distributor of Boombot REX in Malaysia. GeekZen is selling cheaper than the official price: RM325 and RM340 (limited edition).

LiewCF’s Buying Advice

Previously, I recommended Jabra Solemate portable speaker. Boombot REX is smaller in size, rugged, good sound quality, and cheaper. Now, I would recommend REX for users who are on-the-go, travel light and want to enjoy music anywhere, anyplace.

Pro: small size, rugged, SoundHub, Siri integration
Con: too focus on bass
Rate: 4 out of 5

LiewCF recommends Boombot REX portable speaker.

I would like to thank GeekZen for the opportunity to review Boombot REX. This is a free product review with honest write-up. Interesting to submit your products for review? Get in touch with me.

2013 Women’s Month Giveaway: Jabra SOLEMATE Wireless Portable Speaker (Worth RM699) [Closed]

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

Happy Women’s Month! In conjunction with the 2013 Women’s Month celebration, LiewCF Tech Blog will give away a Jabra SOLEMATE bluetooth portable speaker worth RM699 (USD225).

The Prize

Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker giveaway
Giveaway: Jabra SOLEMATE Portable Speaker

The prize is the Jabra SOLEMATE multifunctional bluetooth portable speaker I previously reviewed. It is a beautiful portable speaker in white colour with multiple subwoofer inside, plus sweat, dust and splash resistant. With SOLEMATE, you can enjoy your music at anytime and anywhere.

SEE MORE: Review: Jabra SOLEMATE Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker

Please note that the SOLEMATE speaker has been opened for review purposes. It is unboxed but new.

How to Enter Giveaway

As usual, it is easy to enter LiewCF’s giveaway contest. Simply follow the following widget (please wait for it to load…) or click Here to load it on our FB fan page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click to Tweet: Enter LiewCF’s Women’s Month Giveaway to win a Jabra SOLEMATE Wireless Portable Speaker (worth RM699)!

The giveaway will end on March 15, 2013. One (1) winner will be randomly selected then contacted by email for prize delivery. Prize will be shipped via POS Malaysia parcel.

Good luck! Enter to win now!

[box type=”note”]Update: The giveaway contest has ENDED. Check out the winners here.[/box]

I would like to thank Jabra for giving the SOLEMATE portable speaker. Interesting in sponsoring? I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with me.

OS X: How to Check Bluetooth Connection Signal Strength of Any Paired Devices

Mac Tip: Show Bluetooth signal strength
Mac Tip: Show Bluetooth signal strength

Mac: Have you ever wished to check the bluetooth connection strength between your computer and your wireless devices (keyboard, mouse, speaker, headset…) for troubleshooting? In this article, I will tell you how to check bluetooth signal strength on Mac by pressing 1 key.

  1. Make sure your bluetooth device is paired with your Mac.
  2. Launch “System Preferences”
  3. Click “Bluetooth” under “Internet & Wireless”
  4. You will see a list of bluetooth devices in the left column. The connected bluetooth devices have a green dot and say “Connected”.
  5. Now, here is the magic, press and hold “Option” key. Dang! Dang! Signal strength bars and number will show next to the connected bluetooth device names.

The more bars, the better signal. The bigger number (closer to 0), the better signal. In the screenshot above, you can see that my Apple Wireless Trackpad has weaker signal (–54) than the other 2 devices (–49).

Bonus: You can monitor the bluetooth connection continuously by selecting a paired bluetooth device, click the gear button at the bottom of left column, then select “Monitor Connection RSSI” from the dropdown menu. A new window opens and stay on top to monitor the device’s bluetooth connection.

monitor bluetooth rssi
monitor bluetooth rssi

[via Cult of Mac]

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Astro WiFi Dongle Adds Wireless Connectivity to Astro B.yond PVR

Astro WiFi Dongle
Astro WiFi dongle connected to Astro B.yond PVR

Astro WiFi dongle is now available for Astro customers to access and download their favorite Astro VOD (Video On Demand) programs on their B.yond PVR box.

What is Astro WiFi dongle?

Astro WiFi dongle adds WiFi Internet access to the Astro B.yond PVR. Previously, you have to connect a LAN cable to the PVR box to access Astro VOD programs.

You will need to have your own home WiFi Internet access for Astro WiFi dongle to work. Astro recommends broadband speed 5Mbps, or minimum 1Mbps.

Note that Astro WiFi dongle does not serve as a backup of Astro TV service nor it allows you to access websites on your TV.

[box type=download]Get your Astro B.yond VOD step-by-step installation guide(PDF)[/box]

Price

Astro WiFi dongle price is RM110. Super Pack customers with B.yond PVR enjoy a special price of RM50. It can be purchased from Astro’s Customer Service.

Offer

Astro is offering a free trial of Astro B.yond VOD Catch-Up service for all connected B.yond PVRs until 31 January 2013. The regular price of the service is RM10/month.

➤ Visit www.astro.com/vod or call 1300–82–3838 for more information.

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