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This itsy bitsy Bluetooth speaker is super loud and charges over USB-C or Qi
Mobile industry trade shows are an uncanny beast. Walk the unending showfloors and you’ll see everything from the most advanced unreleased technology to the most random dime-a-dozen white-label accessories. But every once in a while, there’s a little gem that grabs your attention and you must stop and check it out.
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That happened to me at IFA last weekend with the Boompods booth. My eyes were immediately drawn to the rainbow-colored Zero speakers on display. I skeptically expected a cheap gadget, but I was quickly proven wrong. The Zero is probably the tiniest and most awesome Bluetooth speaker I’ve ever seen.
First of all, it’s small. How small? It has a 45mm diameter (1.77 inches) and is 35mm tall (1.38 inches), with a 36g weight (1.27oz). It fits more than comfortably in the palm of a hand or a jeans pocket. But in this teensy size, it packs a punch both in terms of sound and features.
It's rugged, IPX6-rated, and it has all the features you want from a Bluetooth speaker.
The Zero is IPX6-rated, drop-proof, and rugged. It has a covered USB-C port on the back for charging, but it also supports Qi charging. I just plopped it down on a wireless pad and it started filling up. The rubberized black bottom hides a button that’s used for power, taking calls (yes, it has a mic), controlling the volume, and as a remote shutter for your phone’s camera app. The battery should last about five hours on a charge.
That spec sheet is already more impressive than many larger speakers, but there’s one more thing: You can pair two of these for stereo sound. And let me tell you they’re loud. Way, way louder than I expected.
One of these tiny speakers punches above its weight. Two in stereo are impressive.
Boompods’ co-founder David Tansley tried to warn me that they wouldn’t sound very good on the noisy IFA showfloor. But when he turned one on, I was taken aback. Then he paired another and I was positively impressed. Even with random sounds coming from every direction, the music was more than clear and easily filled the open booth. Of course, I wasn’t in a perfect setting to test the audio quality, but you can get a feeling for it from this short video I posted on Twitter.
After my demo, I walked away a little smitten by the Boompods Zero. (I almost “inadvertently” kept one in my hand.)
It’s the kind of speaker I imagine taking to places where my phone’s built-in speakers aren’t loud enough, like the shower, balcony, or park. Just toss it in a pocket and I have something to enjoy music and podcasts. And when I’m back at my desk, put it on my wireless charger and let it fill up. It’s so small and convenient to carry I wouldn’t even have to think about it too much.
The Boompods Zero comes in 12 eye-striking colors and costs $39.99 in the US (£29.99 in the UK or €35.99 in the EU), though you can find it cheaper in some countries.
Continue reading: In an age of smart speakers, Bluetooth is still king