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Review: Scosche’s boomSTREAM BT Speaker

As a regular reader at iSource.com, you know the contributors here have various interests which focuses what we review. One of my focuses is on technology to use when traveling to present workshops in front of adults. Speakers for streaming sounds from videos and music are paramount, and I have reviewed the Supertooth Disco and recommended the Jambox as exceptional choices.

Scosche’s bluetooth speaker, boomSTREAM, is another competitor in the wireless field of portable speakers. For $99.99, the boomSTREAM provides an exceptionally lightweight speaker that doubles as a speakerphone when paired with an iPhone (or other bluetooth 2.1 – A2DP, HFP – compliant smartphone).

Initial bluetooth pairing was easy with my iPhone 4S as well as the MacBook Pro. I did experience one time when the pairing dropped – I presume because I was not streaming music – but locating and re-pairing was quick.

Sound & the Internal Mic

Foremost for any speaker is the sound it delivers which is challenging to describe in words. Here’s Scosche’s claim for the boomSTREAM:

With a wireless range of 33 ft. boomSTREAM is perfect for the backyard, dorm, office and more.  boomSTREAM features dual 40mm drivers and a down-firing passive subwoofer to delivers an enhanced bass response and produces an excellent listening experience.

The sound is indeed sufficiently loud for indoor use but washes out pretty easily on high volume and when used outdoors. Although the high pitches (frequency) are clear and concise, the lows sound more shallow than deep. The boomSTREAM has a 90 Hz to 20kHz frequency response – while the deeper sounding, similar sized Jambox has a 60Hz to 20kHz range – which accounts for some of its slightly treble-heavy sound despite the claim of the “down-firing” subwoofer that supposedly produces an “enhanced bass response.” Since my primary use of a speaker is for music during breaks and audio for movie clips I show, the boomSTREAM does a satisfactory job depending on the size of the room. Fortunately, to compensate for the lackadaisical sound, the wireless speaker is easily relocated.

The boomSTREAM also has a built-in microphone and can be used with a smartphone as a bluetooth conference speakerphone. The sound on the receiving end, however, is pretty awful – as in an underwater tin can sound. Paired with my iPhone 4S, the sound from the boomSTREAM during a call was also muffled and below par.

Design

The curved design is appealing and the brushed aluminum top is a nice touch. The idea of raising the speaker slightly on two feet is good since the intent is that the subwoofer sound is focused downward to reverberate off a surface. The execution of this is fair since I’m uncertain whether the subwoofer is capable enough to produce the depth of sound to match the treble that the speaker produces.

The top has only three labeled buttons – a bluetooth, a (+), and a (-). The side has an unlit power switch, a mini-jack for wired input, and a mini-USB port used for charging the unit as well as used as an output to charge an iPhone with a USB-30pin cord (not supplied), though this is a speaker, not a backup battery, so I would only use it in a pinch.

Overall…

The Scosche’s boomSTREAM succeeds at streaming but could use help with the booming. It’s light, easily portable, and charges quickly, but comes at a cost: unless the portability is your key desire, the price and poor speakerphone performance may outweigh the average sound it produces.

boomSTREAM ($99.99) is available here

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boomSTREAM was provided by the MaxBorges Agency and Scosche Power for review at iSource.com. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see our “About” page.

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