Thursday, June 14, 2012

SoundFreaq Sound Kick Portable Speaker Review

Decades ago, music players and speakers were the huge, standalone ones that needed to be plugged onto the wall socket. As technology advanced, we see smaller and more portable speakers that can do more than just playing music. Today, there are tons of speakers in different shapes and sizes, some with cords and some battery-operated. 

Presenting... the SoundFreaq Sound KickIt has the capability to play music via Bluetooth connection or a 3.5mm jack, and doubles as a charging dock for different brands of smartphones. It also gives the freedom of wires, because it has a built-in rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that lasts for about six hours of streaming music from my Blackberry and iPad (without charging any gadget included).

The Sound Kick speaker comes out of a box thicker than a usual keyboard container. Unboxing it reveals the actual bluetooth portable speaker, a charger, a 3.5mm cable, warranty card and instruction sheets.

The front panel is just plain and simple with lines similar to a griller, and with SoundFreaq's logo at the center. A white horizontal light is seen at the bottom part as soon as the speaker is switched on. This light stays steady when the speaker is just playing music, but blinks every time the volume is being increased or decreased. 

Here's how the back looks like. Unlike the front with fine lines, this one has thicker grill lines. On the left side is the port for a standard sized USB cable, below it is for the adapter, and over at the right side is for the 3.5mm cable.

Before being able to turn on the Sound Kick, I needed to pull the middle portion called XKICK chamber as instructed in the guide. This expands the speaker enabling better sound circulation and producing full sound. It also acts as the stand to allow the speaker to lean back a bit.

Looking at the top part of the Sound Kick, I saw the usual buttons similar to that of the SoundFreaq Sound Platform I reviewed before. The play, pause, back/forward and Bluetooth pairing buttons are at the left side, while the  UQ3, volume and power buttons are at the right side. Except for the power button that needs to be pressed down to take effect, all the other keys work on a touch basis.

Like the previous SoundFreaq speaker I've reviewed, the Sound Kick also has the UQ3 feature that adds "spatial enhancement" to the audio. When I tried playing several songs, I noticed that when it is on, it pumps up the reverb and widens the stereo. To be honest, I didn’t like it this time (unlike for the Sound Platform), because the music sounds more delicate and distant.

With the bass so strong, the Sound Kick stays stable onto the surface. It's not like other speakers that shakes or moves as it vibrates. Thanks to its firm rubber grips on its base.

Overall, the sound quality of the SoundFreaq Sound Kick is totally amazing! The sound is full and crisp, with the highs and lows very clear. I played Cascada's Evacuate the Dancefloor inside the room and the bass kept me dancing. I brought it outside to our living room and played David Guetta's Love is Gone at full volume. The result? Still clear without any distortions. And when the volume is maxed out, it's really loud enough for our neighbors to hear.

As you can see in the picture, I've attached my BlackBerry smartphone for charging even with the Sound Kick is operating on battery. Note that basing on the volume of the speaker, the speaker's indicator light (located below the USB port) turns green to signal that a phone or an iPod will charge. When the light goes off due to high volume, that means the USB port for charging won't give power to the phone or iPod anymore.

When the battery of the Sound Kick has been exhausted, the only way to charge it is via wall socket. Unfortunately, it does now allow USB charging. But that's certainly not a big issue.

HIGHLIGHTS. Good sound quality; strong grip on the base; can charge smartphones and iPods; long-lasting battery; easily pairs with Bluetooth and maintains the connection without any problems; provides audio-in for non-Bluetooth devices; size is great for traveling.

LOWLIGHTS. Not pocket-friendly; volume is limited down when charging; lacks design security to withstand fall; no USB charging; special feature UQ3 doesn't provide special quality.

After all the things I've written, it's needless to say that I am completely sold with the SoundFreaq Sound Kick. Since this is the second time I'm reviewing a SoundFreaq speaker, I can really say that this particular brand of the music player has good quality, great built, and top-notch sound output.

Suggested Retails Price: Php4,950

Available at the following stores:
  • Beyond The Box
  • Digital Hub
  • Digital Walker
  • Gadgets In Style
  • Gui - Davao
  • Heima
  • iCenter - Davao
  • iStudio
  • Mobile 1
  • Power Hub – Davao
  • Power Mac Center
  • Switch
  • Technoholics
  • Xsite Mobile


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