Feature | Tech Up! – Zooka Wireless Speaker

By Adam Riley 13.04.2013 2

Kickstarter has funded so many projects now that the crowdfunding website has become somewhat of a household name, especially in relation to videogame projects. Carbon Audio, though, used the programme to entice people to support a Bluetooth audio venture and succeeded in not only hitting its original US$25,000 target, but exceeded it considerably to hit $70,540 in total thanks to the money of 678 backers early in 2012. Now the Zooka Wireless Speaker is widely available, should it be considered for everyone's wireless audio needs?

Image for Feature | Tech Up! – Zooka Wireless SpeakerFor gamers, especially those with a Wii U, the simple answer is no, since the Zooka Wireless Speaker is Bluetooth wireless device and does not compete with TV sound. However, anyone with a Nintendo 3DS may want to consider it thanks to the 3.5mm input jack option available for attaching non-Bluetooth devices. This is mainly aimed at Bluetooth products, but at least takes others into consideration.

The smart selling point of this speaker is that it can house an iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android phones, and so on, or be slotted on top of most laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks…to improve the sound output options of most technology. Okay, now the Zooka is not going to blast anyone's eardrums off with spectacular bass, but this slim silicone contraption does provide a strong, clear audio experience that definitely trumps the quality of speakers found on most phones or laptops…or in the case of Cubed3 readers, the Nintendo DS and 3DS systems.

The HD Audio Sound with A2DP Streaming Zooka Wireless Speaker may not automatically detect Bluetooth presence when switched on like competing products (Technika's, for instance), but holding down the appropriate on-board 'pair' button kicks it into gear and works up to 30 feet away from the connected device. Sadly, those in older houses with lead pipes in their walls will come across the same issue people have with the Wii U GamePad cutting out when just in the next room.

Image for Feature | Tech Up! – Zooka Wireless Speaker


It also has a built-in microphone for hands-free conversations, it can be propped up using a small metal leg for convenience, and there are even eight different colours to choose from: light purple, navy blue, dark grey, red, neon green, pink, orange, and traditional black. Carbon Audio has tried to make this a well-rounded product for all consumer groups, and chances are many will find the convenience of being able to slot it onto, or slot things into, it to be quite enticing, despite the somewhat expensive recommended retail price.

Tech Up! Final Thoughts

With a minimum of eight hours life when fully charged (micro USB charging port / cable included in the package), the Zooka Wireless Speaker will certainly prove useful for long journeys. However, the price of £79.99 may hold some shoppers back, especially when there are great non-Bluetooth alternatives for a far lower cost with just as much - if not more - audio quality during playback. With this being a solid option for those able to afford it, though, it would also be wise to keep an eye out for Carbon Audio's next batch of releases over the next year to see how developments further.

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Comments

Nice idea especially for tablets, but the price is a little high though!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Yeah, totally agree. It's quite handy for my laptop since the speakers for it are rubbish. However, I also have no problems hooking it up to my stereo system downstairs, so I'd be unlikely to fork out £80 for this...

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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