Having already tested the larger and more costly VAVA Voom Portable Bluetooth Speaker Full 20W Surround Sound which was a top notch premium product, I was interested to see how the little brother version would stand up against it.
From the start it was clear this was a high end product. It arrived elaborately packaged all in black in a rather stylish presentation more or less identical to the larger version. Presentation is all important when pitching a product at the higher end of the market and in this respect they got it right. Opening the box leads you to expect an expensive top of the line item within.
Inside of the very impressive box which was the speaker itself, a short USB to micro-USB charging cable, a mini-jack to mini-jack speaker cable, and a large format, well written and easy to read User Guide. I append a copy of the User Guide to my unboxing video
The speaker looks good but not quite so premium as I was expecting, maybe it is the size or maybe the fact that the form factor and design is a fairly common one but it did not strike me in the way the larger one did. It is heavy for the size which adds to the premium feel of the device. The speaker itself is very attractively designed in matt black throughout. The control panel, which features the usual volume controls but unlike the larger model lacks separate buttons for Bluetooth, phone use and EQ mode selection. The other model has dedicated buttons for track advance/return but this one does not and in fact you have to control this from the connected audio device, which is a significant failing of this device. The button layout is otherwise pretty standard for this type of Bluetooth speaker. This model is IPX5 splashproof and has grommet protected ports, a feature lacking in the larger model.
It was quick and easy to pair the phone to my Android phone and once connected the link seem fast and stable and it later reconnected automatically without incident. Curiously for a product in the price range they decided not to use voice status prompts but just the traditional LED’s and bleeps. It can also connect via NFC but this I did not test. It also will connect to two Bluetooth devices which means there is no need to repeat pairing when switching between them.
The sound quality as I expected it to be is first rate for the small size with plenty of volume and good powerful bass. A difference between this and the larger sibling is that it lacks EQ modes and has a single flat response, which is really all you need. It features the latest Bluetooth aptX technology which may or may not help with the sound quality as opinions vary about how effective this new protocol really is.
The device is charged via a micro-USB port and lacks the option to use an external charger in as the bigger model does. I doubt if many users would use a dedicated power charger rather than USB and so I do not regard this omission as important. It features a single USB power out port so the speaker can double as a modest 5200mAh powerbank to recharge or power external devices such as phones or tablets
It is clear then that this model is not just a scaled down version of the £72 VAVA Voom Portable. It lacks some more arcane features, which may or may not be of use, and instead offers splash proofing and a perhaps more robust build quality. Unlike most rivals in this class it lacks an FM radio as it does any form of track advance/return. The sound quality is first rate as is the presentation but that aside this is very similar to a host of less expensive and better specified speakers..
The sound quality of this speaker is first rank and can be compared to that from devices several times the price. The build quality is to the highest order and the overall presentation of the product is that of a high end premium device.
I was tempted to knock a star off due to the high price, lack of track controls, FM radio, and voice prompts which can be found in many less expensive similar sized devices but in the end decided the audio quality overrode these failings and made the device still worth a five star rating. This is an excellent speaker but less innovative and well specified than the larger brother.
Good volume level
Robust build quality
Easy to use controls
Non slip base
Excellent User Guide
Dual device pairing
No dedicated Bluetooth or mode buttons
No FM Radio
No voice prompts
No track advance/return controls