Yeah - you read it right. Turning your microwave into a boom box....
As WOWee likes to describe it:
The WOWee ONE is a revolutionary compact portable speaker unit that delivers outstanding sound quality from a unit no bigger than your hand. Using a unique gel technology the WOWee ONE speaker turns any surface it’s placed on into a sub-woofer. The speaker reaches
an amazing volume of 90 decibels, enough to fill a room. It is intended for use as both a fixed and portable solution for iPod, iPad, mp3, mp4, mobile phone, gaming and computer applications.
I have had a WOWee One (classic black) to test during the last couple of weeks, and I have to say it has been quite interesting. Let me tell you how I found the "speaker" - so to speak.
When you get it in your hand the first time it feels like you are getting a mobile phone that is 5 years old - if you look at size and weight. Its not big, thicker than your normal smart phone - and with its shape I would say much more hand than many of the "mobile device" speakers out there. So size is quite good. WOWee has now made a slim model that I could be tempted to try out, since the other is just a tad bulky.
Obviously you also notice the "sticky" gel on the backside of the speaker, which you want to ensure stays sticky, for optimal listening pleasure. This is the patented part and THIS is what gives you BASS!
It has a built in rechargeable battery, which you recharge via a USB to your computer, and it last for a long time (WOWee claims up to 20 hours playing time, but I did not test that). You get long playing time with one charge, especially if you remember to unplug the mini-jack when the speaker is not in use. The mini-jack is what "turns on" the speaker, indicated by a blue light, which is a nice feature.
So as WOWee described above, the technology behind the WOWee One Speaker is this gel that will "stick" to the surface you place it on, and utilize this surface as a subwoofer. It is pretty neat - and definately works.
I have used and tested this with a Samsung Galaxy SII, the iPad, iPhone 4 and my pc, and done it with MP4's, streaming radio, Youtube vid's and iTunes films.
My brief verdict: It works!
However I do think it needs further explanation. One of the first things you will find is that you start running around to try out different surfaces. Side of kitchen cabinets, kitchen table, dinning table, glass table... and then you get even more creative, and start thinking where you would use it IRL? I tried it out on a cooler box and that really worked well, I could not find a suited surface on my bike, and my bicycle helmet was not a good alternative as well - not even with my head inside. Interestingly on the hood of the car, I got good sound, but if you car is tricked out, open that hatch back and let them 15" speakers loose. I tried it out a couple of places on a boat, with good results, in the garage on my toolbox and also a good result on the top of a dryer (not in operation). At one point - I put it down in the kitchen, which happend to be on the top of my microwave, and that has become its fixed "resting place" in the kitchen giving great sound.
I do want to stress this has to be seen as a "extra" speaker, for use in areas where you do not have a set up already. But for that purpose it absolutely shines. I can see myself use it for picknicks, in the garage and on the boat.
The sound level can get quite high, though that drains the phone faster, if you are using that as a player.
In terms of the quality of the sound it is quite good - compared to other similar sized devices. I listen to all kinds of music, from lounge to trance, accustic to alternative rock. I would say that I find the sound spectre quite broad and adding the amount of bass to the music the WOWee One does, is pretty impressive. This is again all based on what you place the speaker on. I did not find it working well on the desks I tried, but something with empty space inside really made it work.
I did try it with my PC for gaming, but still prefer a headset for that. The sound was good, but since I tend to use my pc on a desk, you need a little longer cord than the one supplied to find a good hollow surface, to really let the bass loose.
For watching moves on the laptop or iPad, it really added a great sound to that.
You have to ensure you keep the sticky side, sticky. I wipe it down with a damp cloth from time to time to ensure it really "attaches" to the surface you place it on, because if it does not, you can hear the difference. I'm considering a transport box for it, to avoid the pocket lint it always picks up.
Video provided by WOWee:
A small handy speaker with big sound. I doubted it, but much to my surprise that was what I ended up with. The speaker has surprised me and I do use it a lot for places I do not have good sound, since now I do. It obviously do not beat a stereo with multiple speakers and real subwoofer, but if you need small compact sound for the times you are on the go and where you would traditionally bring a small radio or mobile speakers, this clearly beats it. The rechargeable built in battery works really well and for a long period of time.
I will also need to compare it to "value", and here I feel that the package is very complete. It is small, compact, has built in rechargeable battery and great sound (with the right surface!). Great value for your money.
I give the WOWee One my thumbs up, give it a 10 score in its category and a CB Certification.
And already now Im looking forward to the wireless version, the slim version and WOWee upcoming VUE "pocket projector".
Since I'm no professional reviewer of speakers, and since we feature the WOWee One in CB Market, here is a list of other sites that has reviewed the WOWee One as well: