When considering different laptops, one area that can oftentimes get overlooked is the audio department. Most notebook speakers leave a lot to be desired, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your portability to get some better sound on the go. At least Choiix doesn’t think so.That’s where we find the Choiix Boom Boom Slim Travel Speaker. It won’t be able to compete with the much larger audio systems that you can have at home, but its smaller size means you can take it with you. Is the Boom Boom really better than the speakers built into your laptop? Let’s find out.

Features and Specifications

Measuring just 12.1mm thick, the Choiix Boom Boom is undeniably skinny. This makes it easy to shove into your backpack or laptop bag, but bear in mind that its 160 x 90mm footprint is a little bit on the bigger side.

The folding design and glossy black finish are somewhat reminiscent of old PDAs and pocket dictionaries, but make no mistake; this is “just” a portable speaker. Power comes by way of the mini-USB port and the integrated 3.5mm audio cable wraps around the outside into a recessed channel for ease of travel.

On the technical side, you get four highly-sensitive drivers and an amplifier, promising “rich and clear sound for your music, movies, and teleconference calls.” Available in black or white, the Boom Boom has a total of 4W of output with a pair of 2W channels.

The Choiix Boom Boom Slim should run you about $22.99 US for the black edition while the white edition is curiously priced a buck lower at $21.99 US.

Where’s the Internal Battery?

Choiix is an interesting off-shoot from its CoolerMaster parent brand. This is where they experiment with less conventional products like the Air-Through Stash and the Easy Fit Sleeve. The Boom Boom falls into this category too.

You see, its only source of power is that USB port. It was designed from the beginning to work in tandem with your notebook (or netbook), but it can’t actually accept the audio signal via USB; it’ll only do that through the regular 3.5mm audio cable.There is no internal battery to get charged and you can probably attribute this to the slim profile. So, if you choose to use the Boom Boom speaker with another portable device, like an iPod, you’ll want an external battery like the HyperMac Micro as shown.

This isn’t such a bad configuration for a little bit of music on the run, but it would have helped tremendously if the Choiix Boom Boom could hold some juice on its own. Maybe it could have had a docking battery station as an optional accessory, for instance, that has the same footprint as the main unit. Or perhaps one could pair it with their very own Choiix Power Fort but then the price starts to increase substantially. Clearly the device would be more versatile with a battery onboard.

General Sound Quality Observations

So, what about sound quality? Well, you really have to go in with the right set of expectations. I was anything but blown away with what the Boom Boom could do, but the loudness that it can produce is impressive.You can crank up the volume and this slim little speaker can get quite loud. At the higher end, however, you will experience some significant distortion. This is particularly pronounced with bass-heavy tracks (like Kanye West), but it is more easily overlooked with mid-range “pop” songs (like Paramore) which emphasize more mid-range frequencies.

MegaTechie Big Boom or MegaTechie Careless Whisper?

What can I say about the Choiix Boom Boom Slim Travel Speaker? Its super skinny form factor is certainly appealing, as is the cover design (which can double as a speaker stand). The universality of the integrated 3.5mm stereo audio cable is a plus too, as is the built-in cable management system.However, the Boom Boom is nowhere near perfect.

The lack of an internal battery, even as an option, really limits the utility of a device like this. The total 4W of output can get loud, but it also distorts considerably at higher volumes. Sound quality is decent for a slim speaker of this size.

Would I recommend it? If you go in with the right set of expectations and you just want something for some extra sound, it’s worth a shot. It might be a good pairing with an underpowered netbook, but it’s not far enough beyond most notebook speakers to warrant the extra purchase. Even if it is only$22.99 US for the black edition while the white edition is curiously priced a buck lower at$21.99 US.

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