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Divoom Voombox Ongo: Rugged and bike-friendly Bluetooth speaker

Divoom Voombox Ongo Bluetooth Speaker

Divoom is getting a name for itself for making inexpensive Bluetooth speakers. While the company is probably best known for the little Bluetune Bean and Solo speakers, they've just come out with a new speaker that adds weather resistance, long playback time, Bluetooth 4.0 and a bike mount to the mix. The Voombox Ongo (US$69.99) appears to have much better construction than the less expensive models, so check it out with this review and then have a chance to win one for that late summer bike riding.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.36 x 2.87 inches (140 x 60 x 73mm)
  • Weight: 14.34 ounces (406.5 gm)
  • Drivers: Two 1.5" full-range, 3.5 W output each
  • Bluetooth: 4.0, A2DP Stereo profile support

Design Highlights

The Voombox Ongo is a boxy little critter, with black speaker grilles and a silicone body band that comes in black, blue, green, red or orange. There's a standard 1/4" threaded mount on the bottom should you have the urge to pop this onto a tripod, and that also works with the included bike mount.

Divoom Voombox Ongo Bluetooth Speaker

On top of the Ongo are four soft buttons, one each for power on/off, volume down, play/pause, and volume up. There's a single blue LED behind the front speaker grille to let you know when the device is on and paired with your iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Divoom Voombox Ongo Bluetooth Speaker

The speaker also comes with a cable for connecting to older non-Bluetooth sources, as well as a USB to micro-USB cable for charging. The device is fully charged in about two hours and capable of 8 hours of playback.

The bike mount connects with one bolt to just about any handlebar, and has a 1/4" threaded rod that connects it tightly to the speaker.

Functionality Highlights

Pairing is fast and simple. You just power up the unit, and if it doesn't discover a device shortly it goes into discovery mode with a fast flashing blue LED. It appeared almost immediately on my iPhone as Voombox-ongo, and paired with a tap.

Then came the fun part, testing the sound quality. Fans of the now-defunct TUAW TV Live will be happy to know that the testing was done using the iTunes Radio Supertramp station. For a small speaker that only puts out about 3.5W per channel, the Voombox Ongo is surprisingly loud. The sound quality was very good as well, with no discernible distortion and solid sound in both the low and high ranges.

There are no written specifications on exactly how "weatherproof" the Voombox Ongo is, so you'll probably need to make sure it doesn't get dunked into water or exposed to a lot of rain.

I'm not sure exactly how well received music blasting from your bike handlebars is going to be -- I'm frankly a fan of hearing what's going on around me when I'm riding. But if you want to have a place to put your speaker when you're riding, then take it off when you get to your destination, then the bike mount makes sense.

Conclusion

Divoom has made a nice little rugged speaker with the Voombox Ongo, with good sound quality, fun design, and that nifty little bike handlebar mount. It looks like it will take some rough handling, although how the speaker will react to water splashes is unknown.

Rating: 3 star rating out of 4 stars possible

Three star rating out of four stars possible

Giveaway

With plenty of time for late summer and autumn bike riding, one of our TUAW readers is going to enjoy listening to music with the Divoom Voombox Ongo. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before August 25, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Divoom Voombox Ongo Bluetooth Speaker valued at $69.99
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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