Small speaker smackdown: JBL Micro vs Boombot Rex

When it comes to Bluetooth portable speakers, smaller is better

We recently compared the JBL Micro speaker to the Boombot Rex and were a bit surprised to find how closely the speaker matched up against latest line of awesome speaker gadgetry.

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Here’s what we found:

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Admiral Scott Sanders Reviews the Boombot REX

Admiral Sanders is officially the first person in the world to own the Boombot REX.  A couple weeks ago we had a contest to determine who the would get this exclusive opportunity.  Scott Sanders was injured in combat and found that the Boombot REX was the best portable speaker for him to tune in while he works on hand drawn mazes and intermediate photography.  Apparently Scott has a wide taste of music too.  Watch his video review.  This reaffirms the Boombot REX as being military grade legit!  Thanks for posting this Scott!

Top Wireless Bluetooth Speakers Showdown

Poratable-Speaker-Review-BoombotREX-versus-Beats-Pill

Beats Pill v. Boombotix boombot REX portable speaker review

Today we compared the Beats Pill to our Boombot REX to determine what are some of the Top Bluetooth Wireless Speakers here in 2013.  Below is a chart showing you some the key differences between these two speakers.  Beats has become a household name in the headphone market owning more than 65% market share of premium headphones.  This will be a true test on whether or not they can take the headphone expertise and apply it to a slightly more challenging project in building a great sounding speaker.

Beats Pill x Boombot REX Portable Speaker Review

pricing

The Beats Pill retails for $199 although it is currently seeing an Amazon street price at $156.  SOMEHOW, despite this abysmal sound quality, it is maintaining a 4-star rating on there.   The Boombot REX is currently on pre-order at $119.99 with an anticipated launch date poised for June 1st from Boombotix direct and Apple.com.

sound

Despite the millions of dollars of R&D, the Beats Pill has some of the most bizarrely distorted acoustics we’ve seen out of all the portable speakers we’ve tested.  It’s almost as though whoever built it was on a pill of some sort.  The Beats Pill is driven on four small one-inch drivers while the Boombot REX runs off of two 1.5-inch drivers and a passive radiator.  To get an idea of just how bad the Beats Pill sounds, you should probably watch the video.

Design + function

The Beats Pill has a couple of bells and whistles including NFC pairing.  For those of you that use Android, this is pretty useful.  If you’re familiar with the Jawbone Jambox, the Beats Pill is like the round version of the Jambox without nearly the low end frequency performance.  We actually maxed out the Beats Pill to the point where the amp seemed to just quit and make a static humming noise.  We thought that was very interesting.  The Pill is wrapped 360-degrees in a fine speaker mesh.  While it looks good, I worry a little that it will get bumped very easily.  It is small enough to slide in my pocket, but it kind of looks like a banana if you catch my drift.

The Boombot REX is quite a bit lighter and more compact that the Beats Pill.  If you are looking for a more adventurous companion, this could be a better bet.  The integrated clip makes this unit infinitely more versatile and mobile than the design of the Beats Pill.  The Boombot REX also incorporates built-in Siri/Voice-Control allowing for a more seamless handsfree experience.

The Beats is available in a narrow selection of 3-colors (red, white, and black) while the Boombot REX will be launching with 4-colors in the initial run and a full Limited Edition series to be released in July 2013.

Check out some of our other Portable Speaker Reviews and comparisons if you want to get the pulse on all the best mobile audio gear on the market.

Portable Speaker Guide

pick out the right portable speaker system

Portable speakers have been around for decades now, but a lot has changed in the industry since the orignal boombox was introduced.  Technology has evolved and the source of our music has changed too.  Thousands of portable speakers have entered the market in various shapes, sizes, and costs.  We wanted to compile a list of things to consider when you buy a portable speaker.  Maybe Boombotix speakers are right for your lifestyle, but if not, we’re glad we can help find an audio device that works for YOU.

HOW DO I GAUGE PORTABLE SPEAKER SOUND PERFORMANCE?

Don’t listen to anything manufacturers say about power consumption. Power ratings should be in Watts (W).  Loudness should be in Decibels (dB).  Consider the distance that the manufacturer measures dB from.  Also keep in mind you can have a loud speaker that sounds like crap.  The Boombotix Boombot2 hits 87dB with a high quality recorded song which is great for a room, studio or small group.  Other manufacturers like Logitech and Jawbone make larger portable speaker systems that are louder, but a bit less portable.  Most portable speakers have Class D amps that have a high efficiency.

What other features should i look for in a portable speaker?

  • Bluetooth connectivity (at least 2.1)
  • Device compatibility.  Make sure it works with your music source.
  • Volume/Track adjustment controls
  • Connector types (most common is 8mm or 1/8″ for standard headphone jacks)
  • How many speaker drivers are there?  Is it a mono speaker or just stereo?

should you get a speaker with rechargeable batteries?

In this day and age, there is no reason to every use a speaker that uses alkaline batteries (D-Cell, AA, AAA).  These types of batteries cause a lot of material waste, they’re heavy, and they get expensive as you replace each one.  Buy a speaker with a rechargeable battery source using lightweight lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries.  They may cost a little bit more up front, but it will be well worth it if you really like to travel with your speaker.

How do i determine if a speaker is portable enough?

Picture yourself using the product.  What is your most practical use case is? If you are primarily using it to lug to the beach, are you the type that needs deep, rich, pumping bass or are you fine with a little bit of bump for the background?  Look at the way the speaker is transported.  Does it have a simple handle?  Does it have a clip-on design?  Is the design of the speaker conducive towards the environment that it is being placed in?  Boombotix speakers have added seal and connector covers to make them more resilient to dust and moisture.

Yellow topography Boombot

portable speaker pricing

Portable speakers range anywhere from $20-400.  When considering the pricing, be sure that you are getting value.  Look at the manufacturer warranty terms.  If you are making a substantial investment in a product, you should expect that the manufacturer will support the longevity of the product in normal working operation.  If the speaker is designed to be ultraportable, then it should be able to take a beating.  If something happens in the field (you crash, you fall, or butter fingers gets the better of you), a good manufacturer of a portable speaker system should have your back to some extent.  We have a policy called the No Matter What warranty program where we offer free repair or replacement for all of our speakers.

Also consider the build quality of the product.  Boombotix speakers are made of thick high impact ABS plastic with a durable soft touch coating.  Some cheaper speakers use thin flexible plastics which make the product less durable and even sound poor.

in summary

We hope that you find this article helpful.  We’ve spent a lot of time and thought developing portable speakers that fit our active lifestyle.  If you are looking for a larger system there are a lot of great options out there, but if you like to put your music in motion, we hope you will consider investing in a Boombotix speaker.

Boombotix drops in music stands today!

JUST IN!!!! Boombotix hits music stands today! Check out Filter Magazines Good Music Guide #37 that drops today and you can find us in their product review section featuring the BB2. WHAT WHAT!!! Hardcopies are also available  at Urban Outfitters stores and Landmark Theaters locations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to download the pdf version of the magazine and let us know what you think.

Make sure to also check us out in Teton Gravity Research gear review section on their website which showcases our BB2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to read the full review!