KABOOM from Katinkas is a brilliant name for a portable speaker, immediately springing to mind huge sound, but is this really the case? Katinkas even claim that this will transform any music playing device into a Hi-Fi. The KABOOM is available for £43.30 within the UK and roughly $74 within the USA.
When we first held the Katinkas KABOOM we thought that it required batteries to be inserted, but we swiftly realised that actually the KABOOM is just ridiculously light in contrast to its size. It's wider than the X-mini UNO, so it isn't so pocket friendly as the X-mini speakers, it measures 80 x 80 x 42 mm. Its enclosure is made from a sturdy aluminium, which is available in an orange, blue, pink, white and silver. It will withstand being stored within a bag with heavy objects intermingling, which is reassuring when taking into account how light it is. The circular shape, with a dividing LED line at the side and top black speaker grill, creates a very memorable modernist design too.
Bluetooth Performance & Controls
The Katinkas KABOOM speaker uses Bluetooth 2.1 EDR as the sole connectivity option. So if you don't have or like using Bluetooth, this would be a pointless purchase. The range of the Bluetooth connection when paired with an iPhone 5/ 5s is around ten metres, which Katinkas claim is the general range this produces. The speaker and device connect nearly instantly when in range of one another. Music control functionality is also built into the Katinkas KABOOM, skipping tracks and pausing/playing music is enabled via three buttons. The button placement is very interesting as they're scattered around the base of the unit, acting also as the grips. When the edge of the speaker with the button directly underneath it is pushed, it will function. It works really well and is a button design we've never seen before. We squeezed around six hours out of the battery and a USB 2.0 charging cable is included within the box.
Moving onto the sound quality, we were underwhelmed by the KABOOM speakers 3W output. We anticipated whopping sound that would be hard to conceive coming out of its compact design, but sadly the profile of the sound is what you'd anticipate from its size. It's somewhat on par with the X-mini UNO and is trenches away from the room filling Arctic S113BT speaker, which is larger but still portable. The KABOOM is good enough for a small group to use, but will not surround the ears with rich sound; when volume is fully cranked distortion is prominent too. The bass has shallow depth, the mid range can be a little muddled with busy tracks and the highs are sharp. So when this is all brought together and you listen to music in varied genres, the audio is just mediocre and lacks umpth. Vocals can brutally under-perform and sound tinny too.
The Katinkas KABOOM speaker had a promising and original design combined with Bluetooth wireless functionality. It boasted about huge sound, but unfortunately this is where the speaker falls down. Casual listeners could benefit from the boost, but better options like the Arctic S113BT or the very compact X-mini UNO and Marware UpSurge Mini are available for less.