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Divoom Voombox Travel (black) review: A rugged portable wireless speaker for those on a budget

This durable wireless speaker is one of the better budget Bluetooth micro speakers.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.

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3 min read

Divoom's Voombox Travel is a mini ruggedized wireless Bluetooth speaker that, as its name implies, is designed to be easily transportable. Along with being shock resistant it's also splash-proof and relatively inexpensive at $49.99.

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7.8

Divoom Voombox Travel (black)

The Good

The Divoom Voombox Travel is a pocket-size wireless Bluetooth speaker with sturdy build quality that plays loud for its size and is water-resistant. It also features speakerphone capabilities.

The Bad

Distorts at higher volumes; vibrates on smooth surfaces and will move around a bit.

The Bottom Line

Despite some small flaws, the sturdily built Divoom Voombox Travel is a good budget choice for a wireless travel speaker.

The first thing you'll notice about Voombox Travel is that it's heavier than it looks and feels quite solid (it weighs 9.6 ounces). The speaker is available in a few different trim colors and it comes with a carabiner attached to a pin at the top, which gives it a bit of a grenade-like appearance.

Its rechargeable battery is rated to deliver 6 hours of music listening at moderate volume levels, which is fairly typical for these types of speakers. Beyond the water-resistant design, the other extras include built-in speakerphone capabilities along with Bluetooth 4.0, which makes it easy to pair with any Bluetooth-enabled device, including smartphone, tablets and laptops (the wireless range is the standard 33 feet).

An included Micro-USB charging cable doubles as an audio input cable for non Bluetooth devices, plugging into the USB port that's hidden behind a removable rubber gasket. No AC adapter is included, but you can charge via your PC or any smartphone or tablet USB power adapter.

DiVoom Voombox Travel product photos

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Performance

The speaker has two drivers facing opposite directions, which makes the speaker's placement a key component of sound quality. Really, the bottom driver needs to be facing some sort of surface at pretty close range or else you lose a lot of bass.

I put the speaker on a variety of flat surfaces and it sounds pretty good in that position and plays loud for its size. The only problem is that when you crank up the volume -- there are volume controls on the speaker, though no transport controls or pause/play button -- the speaker vibrates and can end up moving around a bit. It also distorts. Badly at times.

For instance, when I played the Black Keys "Fever" at higher volumes it got pretty crunchy. As did anything with a lot of bass. Prince's "FallInLove2Nite" sounded OK at lower volumes but then warbled when I took it up to 80 or 90 percent. The speaker just isn't equipped with the digital processing to keep the sound from rolling off. The larger Voombox Outdoor does a better job of handling bigger bass, but I can't say the bass on that speaker is all that tight.

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The Voombox Travel has a rubberized bottom, but the speaker vibrates at higher volumes and can end up moving around on smooth surfaces. Sarah Tew/CNET

On a more positive note, if you don't push the Voombox Travel too hard, it sounds decent, particularly in the mid-range (all these little speakers tend to be strongest with voices and acoustical material). I tried playing around with the placement of the speaker and came to the conclusion that it would probably sound best -- and stay in place most securely -- if you attached a thick rubber band to the carabiner and hung the thing from a nail in the wall.

I'm probably coming off sounding a little too critical about the Travel's sound (all these speaker are meant for casual listing), but the truth is you're not going to do too much better with a speaker this size, especially at this price point. More expensive water-resistant competitors like the Braven BRV-1 and UE Boom offer better sound, but the Voombox Travel is small enough to fit in a pocket. There's something to be said for that.

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You can clip the speaker onto a backpack or hang it from a nail, but it sounds best if the bottom driver has a surface to reflect against. Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion

When I first started using the Voombox Travel I liked it a lot, particularly its build quality, and was leaning toward rating it 4 stars (at excellent). I also thought it sounded decent for its size and price. My only reservation about the product is that it does vibrate at high volumes and can move around on smooth, flat surfaces (such as a table). It also distorts at high volumes.

In the end, I still think it's a very good budget choice for wireless travel speakers, but understand that its sound quality will fall off if you push it too hard.

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7.8

Divoom Voombox Travel (black)

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Sound 7Value 8
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