Prior to starting this review we really hope you are all having a great time with your families and friends just like us (Christmas is that time of the year after all). Now as you all know we finished our last giveaway of 2012 a few days back and since two days now we've spend quite a bit of time dispatching most of the prizes some of you should actually have them by New Year’s Eve just as planned. However some of you also know that we don't really like giving away prizes that we haven't previously tested ourselves to verify their quality/performance and so for the past 2 weeks we've been trying out what is perhaps the most innovative product among the prizes we gave away 4 days ago. The product of course as clearly stated from the article title is none other than the latest Boost Plus Near-Field Audio Amplifying Speaker by iFrogz.
iFrogz (www.zagg.com/ifrogz/) manufactures brand driven iPod and digital audio accessories. A subsidiary of ZAGG, Inc., iFrogz launched its line of media products in March 2006. iFrogz sells products into nearly every corner of the globe. With offices both in and out of the United States as well as a logistics and development center in Hong Kong, iFrogz delivers product through a variety of distribution methods. iFrogz is small and nimble enough to create custom delivery and warehouse solutions, while robust enough to facilitate large orders. iFrogz mission is to create innovative products that are stylish, practical and unique. With countless awards and accolades, iFrogz has positioned itself as a company with limitless potential. In an industry saturated with generic mediocrity, iFrogz stands out as a brand with style and ingenuity. Marketing is always a priority. As a brand driven company, iFrogz continues to utilize a strong marketing mix both in and out of the digital audio industry. Implementing effective online and print ad positioning and taking advantage of a variety of editorial and review modalities, iFrogz has seen unrivaled success with both print and online media. iFrogz pledges to offer retailers unsurpassed support and resource in all marketing endeavors.
I've been testing portable Bluetooth speakers for quite a few years so when i first heard of the Boost Plus Near-Field Audio Amplifying Speaker by iFrogz the first thought that came to mind was that it would just be another similar product so nothing really to get excited over. That however quickly changed and actually that happened as soon as i watched a product presentation. As a matter of fact i was so impressed with what i saw that i didn't really believe it at first so it didn't take long for our friends over at iFrogz to send one over for testing. The result? Well let’s just say that if we weren't quite impressed with the results there's no way we would had included one Boost Plus in the prizes of our last giveaway. However seeing is believing so read the rest of this review to see just what you will be getting if you decide to buy the Boost Plus Near-Field Audio Amplifying Speaker by iFrogz.
SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
The product arrived inside a small colorful box with a picture at the front along with a short explanation about the Near-Field Audio technology.
Instructions on how to use the Boost Plus and with what devices are present on the left side.
Both the specifications and features of the unit are placed at the rear of the box.
Inside the box you will only find the Boost Plus Near-Field Audio Amplifying Speaker and a warranty paper.
THE BOOST PLUS
The Boost Plus features a nice (yet thin) rubber layer at the top and measures 161mm in length, 40mm in height and 71mm in width while weighing a total of 270g.
It may not be as small as the Sandberg X3 but it's half the size of the Jabra Solemate (as seen above).
There are three small drivers behind the front grille however this time over i was unable to remove it (without ruining the unit that is).
In order to use the Boost Plus you need to place the lower end of your smartphone (facing upwards) on the Sensor Here note placed ontop of the speaker.
I don't really know why (especially since I’d like it all to be black) but half of the speaker is black and half is gray.
The on/off power button, micro USB port (used for power) and the 3.5mm mini-jack audio input are placed at the rear of the unit.
I was surprised to see that iFrogz has placed green feet at the bottom of the unit (i guess because of their logo).
The thing i didn't like most with the Boost Plus is that instead of having an built-in rechargeable battery (like most portable speakers out there) you will need to either use 3xAA batteries or connect it with a USB battery (or a computer) via the micro-USB port at the rear.
A tiny blue LED lights up once you press the power on/off button and that's that, you just need to place your phone on the device to use it.
In order to be 100% certain about what we were giving away (don't worry we gave away a brand new Boost Plus) we used the Boost Plus Near-Field Audio Amplifying Speaker for a total of 13 days during which we carried it with us in several mountain "expeditions" we did with friends and i have to say that each and every single one of those friends were impressed with the simplicity of the product just like we were. I mean i can't figure out why no one has ever thought of what iFrogz did in the past. Sure you need to have your phone always placed ontop of the speaker but compared to the hassle of pairing your phone with a portable speaker every time you wish to use it (not even mentioning the power required by Bluetooth) that's nothing. So is the Boost Plus the perfect portable speaker? Unfortunately i have to say no because of two issues. First of all it lacks the rechargeable nature most portable speakers out there have so you either need to always swap the 3 AA batteries (you can use rechargeable ones with a separate charger to save on cash) or always carry with you a portable battery so you can feed it power via the micro-USB port. Of course iFrogz claims that with 3 AA batteries you can use the Boost Plus for a total of 15 hours and we did cross 13 hours during our test, still that’s a rather large drawback which i hope they can resolve in the near future. Secondly the audio amplification is not that impressive although i can't imagine who would use a portable speaker to have a party. In any case we also uploaded a short clip in YouTube demonstrating the iFrogz Boost Plus Near-Field Audio Amplifying Speaker (do ignore my cat scratched hands).
Innovation doesn't always have to come at a great cost and I’m very happy that this also applies for the Boost Plus since currently you can purchase it directly from iFrogz at a price tag of just USD59.99/59.99Euros regardless of where you might live (free shipping). Yes you can find probably find more powerful Bluetooth portable speakers in the market at around the same price range but the Boost Plus is a lot easier to use (hassle-free) so why bother with anything less? Of course if you just need the extra power offered by similar solutions like for example the Jabra Solemate then yes i can understand the need of using a Bluetooth portable speaker, otherwise no. For innovation, ease of use and good performance the Boost Plus Near-Field Audio Amplifying Speaker by iFrogz gets our Golden Award.
- Build Quality
- Innovation (Near-Field Technology)
- Ease Of Use (Just Place Your Phone On It)
- Battery And USB Powered
- Up To 14-15 Hours Of Use With Just 3xAA Batteries
- 3.5mm Mini-Jack Input
- Price (For Some)
- Not Rechargeable
- Volume Levels Could Be Better