Today’s portable, wireless speakers are so many, yet retain similar shapes. More or less. So when one strays from the pack, it’s hard not to notice. Take the FAVI Boomerang, for instance. A boomerang speaker? Crazy! Crazy? Like a fox, maybe.
It essentially turns a tablet into a mini home theater. You’ve got these speakers, which in turn angle the screen the way you want it. Of course, it also comes down to the sound quality. FAVI was good enough to send me a loaner to see how the Boomerang stacks up.
Design & Connectivity
The FAVI Boomerang wireless tablet speaker isn’t so different from a pair of headphones. It’s got that kind of shape and tension to the headband, and it even folds down compact like many headphones do. A major difference is that the Boomerang is far less comfortable on the head (I tried). However, it wears around the neck reasonably well! The weight is proper and it frees up a hand if you’re carrying things around, so why not?
The FAVI Boomerang incorporates metal with an overall plastic construction. The metal is there where it counts – the band and hinges. This is not a flimsy little speaker, so you can expect to get a lot of good use out of it. The arms extend out, which is meant for holding tablets in landscape mode. Portrait orientation needs the arms in for sufficient tension to prop the tablet up.
That’s the feature of the Boomerang that makes it very different from any other Bluetooth speaker out there. It doubles as a stand for your device, ideal for watching movies, browsing, or video chatting. Adjusting the speakers vertically lets you find that sweet spot viewing angle. Most tablet stands available can offer only a few angles to choose from. One drawback with the Boomerang is that it needs a bit of room on the desk or table.
The grooves located inside of the speaker front are meant to have tablet edges slip right in and stay put. The downside to the design is that it favors naked tablets. Those with cases may end up too thick to be held in place so well. But if you’re careful and have a gentle touch, the band is strong enough to grip tablets in between. There is a rubber ‘foot’ that the back end of the FAVI Boomerang rests on, which prevents the speaker and tablet from slipping across surfaces.
There are no onboard controls. Everything related to track and volume are done through the connected device only. The Boomerang features Bluetooth as well as NFC pairing. There is also an auxiliary port to connect to older, non-wireless devices. Both the audio and Micro USB cables are included.
The FAVI Boomerang can bring the noise! It gets loud, arguably more than necessary for one using a connected tablet. As with many speakers out there, too much volume causes the highs to bleach and the music to pierce ears.
I’ve found that a volume level around the 75 percent mark is best, give or take. Moderate listening levels on the FAVI Boomerang helps to keep distortion down too, depending on recording quality and music genre.
The soundstage can get a little crowded, especially when there are multiple elements going on at the same time. Instruments and vocals overlap each other some, which is not uncommon for speakers so small.
I find the highs to be pretty good. It’s really easy for speakers under $100 dollars to suffer from weak, tinny highs; some are to the point of standing out and distracting from the rest of the music. Although the FAVI Boomerang exhibits tinny sounds(as expected), I don’t hate it. It delivers the typical, tizzy “sssss” sound to cymbals, but the mids and lows help to blend and cover.
I’m actually quite surprised as to how well some parts of the highs sound. Stringed instruments are articulated well. Better than expected, actually, and the tone is quite good too. With folk or orchestrated music, there is a subtle separation between the upper layers, adding a touch of depth to the music. Even with the imaging overlap, the edges of instruments stay fairly clean.
Vocals in the high end tend to be pretty clear and focused. There’s little need to lean in with the FAVI Boomerang, as the vocals move forward to greet you. However, these good qualities can quickly turn negative with excessive volume. Vocals that are meant to be breathy yet powerful transform into shrill pressure. It’s not fun to hear at all, so just keep the volume in check.
I find the mids to be the FAVI Boomerang’s weak point. It distorts faster than the highs or lows, even at moderate listening levels. Not just that, but the mids exhibit some coloration, eroding definition. The music in the mids collect some grainy textures and have edges that lean more toward coarse. This aspect is easier to notice as more instruments pack in this tight space. It gets worse as volume increases past ideal levels.
Guitar progressions that are meant to be intense or complex come out a bit sloppy. It’s too easy for complex midrange elements to become a cacophony instead of harmony. I’ve also noticed how the FAVI Boomerang exacerbates some noises that are part of a track’s recording. An example would be how some background hissing is more noticeable than with other speakers I’ve listened to. Overall, the mids perform less than average.
But don’t let that totally disappoint you, because the lows help to make up for the mids. I really like the low end sound that comes out of the FAVI Boomerang. It doesn’t sound boxy, which happens often with speakers this small. Versus the highs (which are good) and the mids, the lows are the cleanest and best-represented. The attack may not be the quickest, but it beats out many other speakers in the same size class.
The bass is punchy and pretty deep, considering the Boomerang’s size. While the speaker can’t deliver big booms, the hits are more than just the top of end of the lows. Bass guitars are rather catchy. After listening to some Prodigy and Outkast, I’ve come to the conclusion that the FAVI Boomerang’s shining star is the lows. The songs “Orestes” and “The Outsider” by A Perfect Circle demonstrate great lows that assist the muddled mids and slightly tinny highs.
Although the Boomerang’s lows are good, they’re not immune to volume-related issues. They do, however, suffer less than the highs and mids. Too much volume, especially when a song is very musically busy, results in a deterioration of quality. Example? Some drum hits can sound more like a towel snapping at your ear canal. But overall, the lows totally handle their own.
Bluetooth & Voice
The FAVI Boomerang has got some good wireless range with the Bluetooth. You can carry it about 25 feet away from a connected device before it starts to cut out. When it does, it’s immediate.
One moment you have a solid connection, then flinch an inch and away it goes. While the Bluetooth wireless doesn’t seem to mind walls or floors, it does NOT like human bodies. Unless the FAVI Boomerang is within 12 feet of the connected device, a body passing through the signal makes the speaker cut out.
But, considering that the Boomerang is meant to be a speaker and tablet stand, typical usage likely won’t encounter such wireless issues.
Hands-free calls can be taken with this speaker; what better interruption for when you’re watching a movie, right? The FAVI Boomerang picks up my voice well enough. I haven’t heard any complaints yet. Voice reproduction from the person on the other line has some to be desired. It sounds as if it’s coming through two toilet paper tubes end-to-end.
All in all, the FAVI Boomerang performs and delivers. It absolutely beats out stock speakers in any mobile device. The major selling point is the way it handles and tilts tablet screens for optimal viewing.
Of course, one may argue that a separate speaker and tablet stand can serve the same purpose. But why have two devices when the Boomerang wraps it all in one? It’s convenient, and you can wear it around your neck. What? It’s fun.
Even if an encased tablet is too thick for the grooves, the FAVI Boomerang has muscle enough to hold it up anyway. The design works, and the speaker folds down for easy packing.
Volume is the FAVI Boomerang’s greatest enemy. So long as the volume remains at modest levels, the minor issues with distortion and grain are kept to a bare minimum. This can pose a bit of a challenge if you’re trying to find a listening volume for something further than sitting within seven feet of the speaker. Although the mids are weak, the decent highs and excellent lows make up for it.
As for price versus quality, I think that the FAVI Boomerang wireless tablet speaker has it right. You can pick it up for $79.99 right now on Amazon. If you wanted better speaker quality, you can find it for $20 more, but then you’d have to give up the Boomerang’s unique design feature. But if you’re a casual listener, especially if a tablet is your primary device, this speaker will be a favorite.