CNET First Look
A Bluetooth speaker you'll feel lazy using indoorsDespite unavoidable sonic limitations imparted by Bluetooth compression, the Philips Shoqbox SB7200 is built to survive the great outdoors and manages to sound better than most competing Bluetooth speakers.
-It's getting harder and harder for Bluetooth speakers to distinguish themselves from the rest, but Philips has managed to break off with a new design in their ShoqBox SB7200. This speaker is wrapped in a hard mesh grill and durable rubber making it one of the toughest portable speakers on the market right now. And it's a good idea to bring it to a hike, the beach, or anywhere else you want to sound check. It's only 7 inches long and 3 inches wide making it really easy to put inside the suitcase or a backpack as well. There's also a small metal clip on the side that you could string a carabiner through for personal carry, but I doubt serious hikers are gonna wanna carry it on long trips. It does weigh a little less than a pound. The speaker comes in purple, white, black and all of color options. I personally chose the golden green for its military style that goes well with its toughness. You pair it and control the speaker using this single button on top along with the volume knob on one side with the series of ports on the other. It charges via USB and there's also a line out port for hard lining in non-Bluetooth audio source. Pairing the device is really easy. All you got to do is hold down the power button and you'll go into discovery mode then just go into the Bluetooth settings on your phone or you computer, click on the corresponding icon and the Shoqbox does the rest. The speaker also verbally confirms your button presses, acknowledges when you made a connection, which is cool, but it's also lacking in details. For example, you can press it once again for a battery check but it will give you the reading in vague terms like plenty of life instead of an exact percentage. -Halfway on battery. -Then there's the Smart sensor that's this thing right here. It's on the side and it lets you control playback using hand gestures to swipe down a pause and swipe left to right to advance a track, etc. And as you can probably tell, it doesn't always work as advertised. Actually, it's just a lot easier to control your music using the Music Stores alone assuming that's close by. So, how does its speaker sound? Well, even though it will only has 2, 4 watt speakers inside, this is actually one of the best speakers I've heard at this price and with these features. The rubber casing also grips whatever surface you put it on and that resonate the base a little more than your average Bluetooth speakers. But as always, keep in mind that you're gonna lose some sound quality over the wireless connection and while this isn't really gonna blow out your windows with sound, it does get pretty loud. You could check out all the details in my full review on CNET, but that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu, you just took a first look at the Philip Shoqbox SB7200 Bluetooth speaker. Thanks for watching.