External speakers are great for giving a boost to the sound coming from smartphones and smaller audio sources (iPods, MP3 players, etc). Typically, the bigger the speaker, the more air can be moved, and consequently the louder one can crank the volume before distortion kicks in. In other words, sound quality is very dependent on the size.
So when we were asked to check out a portable speaker called Pocket Party, we had limited expectations based on our previous experiences with these types of gadgets. However, we were pleasantly surprised and are happy to report that, while the Pocket Party doesn’t rewrite the laws of physics, it has reset our bar on what to expect from small portable speakers.
What is a Pocket Party?
The Pocket Party is a portable Bluetooth speaker with high-quality sound that, when attached to a suitable surface, can recreate some surprisingly decent low-end frequencies. Oh yeah, it also has a built-in light show!
Here are the features:
- X-Bass Technology: a flexible/expandable chamber to amplify sound and to create deeper bass than otherwise possible
- LED light show which can automatically sync with the music being played
- The light show may be personalized via an app
- Collapses into an ultra-portably unit which may be taken anywhere
- Internal USB-rechargeable battery
- Splash-proof exterior
The Pocket Party has four colorful light show modes (Beats, Party, Mood light, Lamp) that synchronize with the music being played. The light show can be controlled directly on the Pocket Party or through an app (not available as of this post). In addition to the preset sequences, there is supposed to be an app which will allow the user to create their own.
When we said the Pocket Party “doesn’t rewrite the laws of physics,” we mean that a speaker of this size can only move so much air. However, by being able to plop the Pocket Party on anything, and to potentially use that anything as a resonating surface to increase the bass, is pretty cool. The idea is not new, but the folks at 7×24 Technologies have wrapped it in a design which is fresh, functional, and easy to use.
We tried sticking the Pocket Party on a variety of surfaces and it stuck on to all of them. Not surprisingly, the best adhesion was achieved on smooth ones. Peeling the speaker off is made easier by the little tab built into the lip of the suction cup… a nice touch 🙂
One of the tradeoffs designers have to make is obviously size versus portability. A smaller unit is easier to carry around but has limited run time due to power constraints. The average play time for the PocketParty is spec’d to be 6 hours and will take 2 hours to fully recharge. Not bad for something this size.
We will have a more complete FirstUse write-up (sound quality, speakerphone, light shows, etc.) in the coming weeks. If you want to make sure you can be the first kid on your block to have one of these speakers, reserve one on their Indiegogo funding page. They are promising delivery before Christmas, but as is always true, it is a crowdfunding project so promises are “fluid.” Still, the device is real, and that is huge as these things go!!!