Although, nowadays music is immensely played on smartphones or tablets, it has become obvious how inadequate these handsets could be when one would like listening music out loud. At time like this, it turns out the best solution is to get a Portable Bluetooth Speaker.
The Rocker Armor XL Portable Bluetooth speaker from ZOOOK is one such product. ZOOOK is a France-based audio brand that has been selling its audio products in the Indian market since a few years now, competing among wide-range of Bluetooth speakers available from big players like JBL, Boss and many more.
As the described by the brand, a ‘portable rugged stereo speaker,’ Rocker Armor XL bears a rugged and stiff design, and appears to be a solid-black coloured-gadget, that is about the size of a brick, with a waterproof body and an amazing audio output.
Rocker Armor XL has a metallic speaker grille protecting both the front and rear. Precisely, up front, the speaker bears mesh grille with ZOOOK branding marked in white. The front also features multi-colour LED on the top-half below the grille, which indicates charging, battery-life and connectivity status of the speaker when switched-on.
The top and bottom is wrapped around by a rubber layer, with tough plastic support for the frame, giving it a good grip, further preventing from being damaged when mistakenly dropped or slipping off the table when playing aloud.
The top, it features an AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile) control panel with sealed rubber buttons. These include power, which is also used to trigger Bluetooth pairing, volume, next and previous tracks, and a single button for call, play, and pause. On the rear, the Armor XL includes a micro USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting external audio devices. These ports are protected by a rubber flap for additional waterproof support. However, considering the speaker has been rated IPX5, the speaker isn’t actually waterproof, instead it’s just splashproof, which won’t be easily damaged with minor splashes from liquids.
Those unaware, the IPX 5 rating means the speaker can survive protection from a 6.3mm spray of water for about 3 minutes, but cannot be placed/used underwater. We advise you not to expose it to rain, or at be cautious enough when using it near a pool.
The Armor XL measures just 79mm high, 203mm wide and 69mm deep with a total weight of 650g. The company has also provided a silicon strap or hanger, which is convenient for carrying around.
The speaker is about the size of a large pencil box, which is highly portable but not as convenient to carry around in your pocket or purse. It is best tagged around when going on trips, camping, hiking, or alike.
As mentioned, the speaker supports Bluetooth v4.0 with the option to connect up two devices at any given time. However, at one time only one device audio will be played. In order to switch to switch the playback device, user will need to stop/pause the playback on the currently streaming device and start the playback from the other device directly.
Apart from this, user can also connect their handsets/music players via the 3.5mm AUX input. But do remember, when connected via AUX, the Armor is prone to water damage, if exposed. The Armor XL can connect to Bluetooth devices over a distance of 33 feet.
Rocker Armor XL boasts of a massive 30 Watts of audio power in total. It features a 2.1-channel driver system with two 50mm subwoofers and a 45mm driver that delivers higher frequencies. The speakers work together producing a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of <80dB.
The speaker is powered by a 4400mAh battery and can deliver continuous music for about 8 hours. The speaker can charge completely in around 5 – 7 hours, which is probably pretty slow as compared to similar rated devices. In our tests, the speaker managed to last for 4 hours on a single charge, when subjected to all kind of variations from loud to low at times. Do note, the playback time completely depends on number of factors — which varies from the type of songs played, the volume at which it is kept and distance between the streaming Bluetooth device.
It’s really, really loud and the clarity is really great! Yes, the speaker delivers an impressive audio punch, which is generally not easily found in conventional Bluetooth speakers available out there. The speakers can pack a good thump when it comes to bass heavy audio. The mid-range is good, and watching movies to vocals in classical music are very clear and audible. However, we did find a little lack in high frequencies which was a tad put off. The speakers are also directional and you need to make sure they face towards you for pleasurable audio. As far as the bass is concerned, you need to ensure you are not in a very large room or outdoors. For loud music, the speakers are great, but for enjoyable or pleasurable music, use in personal rooms is recommended.
Rocker Armor XL is available for a street price of Rs 3,399. As compared to conventional speakers in the market, the price may seem a bit higher, but the audio quality, design, and IPX5 rating does justify the price.
It is pretty portable, you could fit into your backpack, carry it around in your luggage or car, but definitely not an everyday object for your purse. The speaker is built rugged, and hence you would find it a bit heavy. It’s a perfect Bluetooth accessory for ‘house-party’ animals. We definitely recommend the ZOOOK Rocker Armor XL for those looking at cheaper alternatives with great audio quality.