Previously on ZNF, we had the opportunity to review two Bluetooth speakers, the massive, if not questionably looking, G-Boom speaker, and the Pringles shaped Logitech Ultimate Ears Boom. Both of these speakers had their pros and cons depending on your situation. The G-Boom was great for parking in one place and letting the music rock. The UE Boom on the other hand offered a smaller package, great sound, and the ability to update features via firmware updates. Today we’ll be looking at an even more compact – the $100 Soundfreaq Pocket Kick.
Hardware and Setup
Compared to the sharp corners of the G-Boom or the circular shape of the EU Boom, the Soundfreaq Pocket Kick features a slab design with rounded off corners. The speaker grills are made of a steel featuring a nice pattern with the Soundfreaq logo in the middle. The outer edges of the of speaker feature a nice rubber material that makes the Pocket Kick easy to hold without slipping out of the hand. The rubber sides also allow the speaker to stay put on any surface while the music is jamming. Speaking of size, the Pocket Kick is the smallest of the three speakers we’ve had the chance to review. It’s roughly the size of an iPhone 5s from a surface area perspective, and about 3 times as deep.
On one side of the speaker is the power button, Bluetooth paring button, micro-USB power input, and a 3.5mm aux input. The power button slides up and down so there is no way to accidentally turn the speaker on while in your pocket. The other side features volume up/down buttons, a pause/play button, and also a nice clip that you can attach a lanyard. The top of the speaker features and imprinted Soundfreaq wording and a microphone for when you need to use the Pocket Kick as a speakerphone. You answer and end calls with the play/pause button.
The battery is rated around 10 hours and with my time using the Pocket Kick, you can easily reach that. I have also found that by lowering the volume of the speaker while listening (i.e. not full blast!), you have the ability to extend the battery life past the 10 hours. The Pocket Kick was easily paired to an iPhone 5s with no problem, using the latest 4.0 Bluetooth standard – there was no need to enter any pass codes while pairing. It just worked.
Overall, the Pocket Kick fits nice in the hand and is easy to move from place to place or throw into a larger pocket.
Being roughly the surface area of an iPhone 5s, you need to set your expectations for sound you’ll hear from the Pocket Kick. First, the Pocket Kick will not out blast something like the G-Boom or even the UE Boom. It will also not have the lower end bass of either. That’s just physics. The Pocket Kick is too small to provide the warm sound that the other two speakers can and in terms of volume, it just can’t beat the other two.
Where the Pocket Kick shines is the clarity of sound without any distortion while turning it up. For a smaller room (Office, Den, etc), the Pocket Kick provides ample sound. It offered a nice balance, but leaned towards the treble side for reasons stated above. This is not a bad thing because it allows you to hear more of the music and instruments during playback. For podcast listening, voices sounded loud and clear. In terms of stereo sound, the Pocket Kick could not really provide that because of the size limitation. The connection to my iPhone was solid while using the speaker and only dropped when I would walk 2 rooms away with walls in between. This is similar to any other Bluetooth speaker as the signal is subjected to interference.
If you are looking for a very portable Bluetooth speaker that has excellent clarity for sound and can double as a speakerphone in a pinch, the Pocket Kick should be on your short list. The build is solid and the design allows to easily adjust sound and attach the speaker via the side clip and lanyard. The Pocket kick can be purchased directly from SoundFreaq or at Amazon.