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GadgeTell Review: Boom Swimmer Waterproof BT Speaker

Sections: Accessories, Audio, Communications, Mobile, Portable Audio, Smartphones, Speakers

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Any company can go and create a speaker design that is stylishly modern and classy. Sure, sophistication is great, but at the same time it tends to be the “safe” choice. Sort of like how the color black goes with everything, but it can get pretty boring rather quickly.

It takes guts to step out of line and create something that’s wild and different. But it also takes smarts to make sure the product has what it takes to deliver quality.

When I first saw the Boom Swimmer speaker, I couldn’t help but laugh. I went to show my wife, and, by the look on my face, she could tell I was being gleefully dirty in thought. But even with that initial impression, she was eventually curious enough to give it a real listen. She, too, was quite surprised about how well the speaker actually performs.

Design

The Boom Swimmer Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless speaker has an element of shock value to it. You know what it looks like, and I know you’re not thinking “tadpole.” But that’s also part of the fun and half of the utility. The unique tail lets you place, hang, or mount the speaker almost anywhere you can think of. Give yourself 5 minutes, and you’ll start scanning each room to find the best or craziest place that other speakers could only dream of being.

Boom Swimmer Speaker contents

Box contents

Roughly the size of a juicy plum, the Swimmer is designed to go where you go. It’s a bit too large for a standard pocket, but bags, backpacks, and purses are big enough to simply throw it in and go.

Bluetooth pairing is standard and quick. It would have been nice to have a beep or notification that wireless pairing has been successful. The Boom Swimmer speaker does announce when it’s powering on and off, thankfully.

Each button delivers a solid click when pressed, and the volumes dual-purpose for track repeat/advance when the button is held. There is a 3.5mm audio jack to connect to non-Bluetooth devices, but it’s located on the underside of the speaker. It’s slightly awkward to use it, since the Swimmer has to be set on its side instead of being propped up.

The suction cup is neat and can keep the Boom Swimmer speaker stuck for days. I left the speaker attached to my kitchen window for over 5 days straight, and it didn’t budge even once.

The Swimmer is built quite well. It feels solid in the hand, and all of the silicone parts maintain a snug seal to keep water and liquids out. This is something that I would certainly take with me for roughing it. It can take a pretty decent beating.

While I have not submerged the Swimmer for more than a few minutes, I have left it in the shower for over a week with all the cleaning that goes on. Water drips off and the speaker dries off in a pinch.

Audio Quality

If the Boom Swimmer speaker doesn’t surprise you by its looks, it certainly will by its volume. This thing gets loud, blasting out sound that goes toe-to-toe with speakers at least 3-4 times its size.

Boom Swimmer Speaker buttons

The buttons are solid under the silicone jacket

But when you consider the compact form and achievable decibels, the Swimmer is one of the best speakers I’ve heard in terms of being able to keep distortion in check.

Distortion and crackle are most noticeable at the high- to max-volume levels, depending on the music type and complexity.

If there are a lot of different things going on in a particular track, the sound can acquire a gravel-type of quality to it when the volume exceeds a certain point. It varies from genre to genre, tune to tune.

You can actually feel the music coming from within the Boom Swimmer. The speaker vibrates with sheer power as the beats course out. I believe that this also contributes to added noise at the higher volume levels, depending on how the Swimmer is mounted.

Boom Swimmer Speaker ports

3.5mm port is on the bottom, slightly awkward to use

Generally, the speaker sounds best while hanging from the tail, especially from a central location up high. I don’t really prefer the tail for desk-use, but it works. The suction cup mount, while interesting, is like a double-edged sword.

The music can be complemented by the added sound effect from the Swimmer speaker’s vibration. Glass surfaces tend to make the music sound a bit more clear, while wood enhances it with a subtle richness.

But the Boom Swimmer is not designed as to be a reverberation speaker, and the vibrations aren’t always a benefit. Incompatible surface materials and/or incorrect positioning will add distortion, and/or buzzing, and/or an overall muddiness while using the suction cup. Attempting to use the Swimmer on a flat surface without the tail or suction cup will 100% add a rattle as the speaker tap-dances around to its own music.

Overall, music from the Boom Swimmer speaker comes out clear, which is also impressive for its size. The levels aren’t completely balanced as the mids have the strongest presence over the highs and lows. This is more noticeable at the higher volume levels too.

Boom Swimmer Speaker stand

The tail can curl into its own little desk-stand

The speaker can hit some serious highs without breaking or turning shrill, though once it hits a ceiling the notes start to distort.

Instruments typically in the background, such as cymbals, hi-hats, and some drums, tend to sound slightly tinny and/or pale. The ends of some wind and string instruments blur slightly.

The lows are clean at the low-to-moderate listening levels. Drums and bass have a micro-boom type of quality, as previously indicated by the power of the Swimmer’s output. The beats come out very tight and quick, though the lows suffer from a dampened-, somewhat distant-sounding effect.

Because of its small size, the Boom Swimmer speaker lacks a real distinction and dimension of instruments. Separate-yet-similar sounding instruments can start to blend with each other. Part of this is likely due to the cramped soundstage and general inability to deliver a greater sense of space and depth. But again, such limitations (not unique to this speaker alone) come at the cost of having a pocket-worthy form.

Vocals are very forward and shine like a star. One might argue that they’re a little too forward, leaving the instrumentals slightly behind. But the overall music quality has a lot of good technique that is mostly accurate and sharp. The Boom Swimmer speaker does an exceptional job at moving back and forth between quiet and loud parts of songs, staying taut even at higher volume levels.

Wireless & Battery

There are a number of compact Bluetooth speakers that claim range yet fail miserably. Not the Boom Swimmer. It has an excellent range, especially for the size

Boom Swimmer Speaker suction cup

I find the suction cup to be the most fun

I’ve been able to maintain a strong and steady signal up to about 25 feet. Half that if it has to pass through a wall. Bodies walking in between the speaker and connected device rarely bother or interrupt the signal.

The Swimmer has lasted me around 10 hours of music streaming before calling it quits, which is also impressive. It’s supposed to top out at about 8 hours at max volume, so moderate to lower listening volumes can likely. go longer than 10 hours.

Verdict

The Boom Swimmer speaker is great for casual or take-everywhere type of listening. It’s meant to blast out your tunes so everyone can enjoy. This isn’t something ideal for those who like to sit and listen in audiophile bubbles.

Boom Swimmer Speaker hanging

The tail is what lets you put it almost anywhere

The overall sound quality is pretty darn good, especially considering the size. Add in the power of volume, the versatility of a flexible tail, and waterproofing, and you have a serious top contender in its bracket.

You can hang it off your backpack, bike handles, shower head, or even Xmas tree if so desired.

When it comes to the Swimmer’s high-volume output, it ends up being both a strength and a weakness. While it puts many other similar-sized speakers in the corner of decibel-shame, it can be too easy to push the volume past quality listening levels. Doing so quickly adds distortion, crackle, and other noise that get in the way of the music.

Considering the small size, the Boom Swimmer Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless speaker leaves a big impression all around. It pushes the limits of volume, wireless range, and portability. While I don’t anticipate ever completely submerging the Swimmer for extended periods of time (less than 30 minutes), there’s a piece of mind knowing it can handle that as well as anything leading up to it. The Swimmer is absolutely for anyone who loves music coming from a fun and unique speaker.

 

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