ZOMM Wireless Leash review: ZOMM Wireless Leash

ZOMM Wireless Leash
The ZOMM Wireless Leash's speaker. Josh Miller/CNET

On the front of the device is a central control "Z-button" that you press to turn on the device, pick up and end calls, and turn off the alarm. Around the ZOMM are three perimeter alert lights. Along with the Z-button, these light up when a call is coming in, when you walk too far away from your phone, or when you turn on the alarm. In addition, a Micro-USB port, covered with a plastic door, is located on the edge of the device. Lastly, the back of the device hosts a speaker that you can hear your alarm and calls through.

Setup and performance
To set up the ZOMM Wireless Leash, users need to create an account at My.ZOMM.com. There you can name your device, set a distance range for when you want the alarm to go off ("short" is around 30 feet and "long" is 120 feet), customize the tones and volume, and enter in an emergency number (the default is 911).

After, you need to pair the leash with your iPhone, iPod, or iPad through Bluetooth, and download the free app, MyZOMM. This is the main control hub. If you're using the device as a locator, you can sound the alarm through your app. You can aso geotag certain places or things (like your car) so you remember where they were, and you can activate emergency call settings.

Though pairing the device was easy enough, everything that came after wasn't as clear. For example, if you want to sound off an emergency alarm with your ZOMM, the instructions say, "Press and hold the Z-button for 6 seconds and release when the panic alarm is heard." But, if you choose to pair your ZOMM again with another handset, the instructions read, "On your Wireless Leash, press and hold the Z-button until the second beep (6 seconds)." Both are essentially the same command, and it's unclear what it takes for the ZOMM to register whether you want to sound the alarm or simply pair another device again.

The ZOMM Wireless Leash on a keychain. Josh Miller/CNET

Furthermore, both the app and the online dashboard have a minimal interface with few instructions, making it difficult to determine what exactly you're customizing or changing. During my experience using these tools, most of my time was spent guessing and checking what each module or pull-down menu controlled. To its credit, the easiest function to figure out on the ZOMM is the locator alarm. Simply go into the app and click "find," and a constant, sonarlike beeping will sound off from the leash. You can customize how loud you want it, but it can get incredibly loud -- making it that much easier to locate your missing items.

As a leash, it worked well. When I stepped farther than its designated distance, the device started vibrating. If I didn't turn it off the first few seconds, an alarm would sound off, and the volume would increase until I clicked the Z-button. However, as a Bluetooth headset, it was less than stellar. Though I was told I could be heard perfectly fine, I had trouble hearing my friends through the ZOMM. Audio sounded harsh and tinny, and it clipped in and out at times. I did, however, like the emergency dial feature. If your phone is nearby and you press on the ZOMM's center button for 9 seconds, your phone will begin calling the emergency number you set (even if it's locked). On a full battery charge, the device has a reported talk time of 4 hours.

Conclusion
Even though it's called the ZOMM Wireless Leash, this device is essentially a Bluetooth speaker (and a mediocre one at that), with a few goodies thrown in. While I can see older customers using the emergency calling feature and forgetful customers loving the locator, its unintuitive setup is incredibly frustrating. I understand that having one main control button looks nice, but it also means you have to cram multiple actions into one key. These can get difficult to remember, and for such a high price, I'd rather just tie a string around my finger.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • CE Product Type Bluetooth hands-free speakerphone