Scosche BoomBottle MM Review & RatingJune 26, 2018 0 By admin
While the Scosche BoomBottle MM ($129.99) may at first appear to be similar to other Bluetooth speakers in the company’s BoomBottle line, there are some key differences that make it quite unique. For starters, pay attention to the name: MM stands for “magic mount,” and the BoomBottle MM will not only magnetically snap on to a variety of surfaces, you can also use an included magnet accessory to create a magnetic mount for your phone on top of the speaker itself. And, in what seems to now be a trend (see the EcoXGear EcoBoulder+), the BoomBottle MM has a built-in bottle opener. In other words, this is the BoomBottle, summer edition—fully waterproof and ready for the beach. If audio is your top priority, however, there are more compelling options in this price range.
Designed to fit inside a standard cup holder, the cylindrical BoomBottle MM measures 7.2 by 2.9 inches (HW) and weighs 1.3 pounds, with an angled top panel—this is where the magnets are located. The speaker, available in black, ships with a thin “magic plate” that can be affixed to the back of a phone using a sticky film from 3M (also included). This lets your phone mount onto the sloped top panel.
Of course, the BoomBottle MM can also mount on other surfaces. There’s a larger, more powerful circular magnetic plate that you might choose to affix, say, to the top of a cooler. This makes perfect sense, as the BoomBottle MM also has a built-in bottle opener, located under a carabiner loop on the high end of the sloped panel. Yes, a carabiner is also included—and you can also utilize the threaded standard screw mount on the bottom panel for a total of three ways to affix the speaker to something.
Beyond the gimmicks, there are some truly compelling reasons to take the BoomBottle to the beach with you—it has an IP67 rating, for instance. The 6 in the rating means that the speaker is dustproof, and the 7 means it can withstand immersion in water up to one meter. In other words, it can probably handle the routine environmental challenges of a day at the beach, camping, or out by the pool.
Much of the BoomBottle MM’s surface area is devoted to speaker grille. Though the BoomBottle MM and the BoomBottle+ are priced the same, they utilize different drivers—internally, the MM’s 45mm drivers are slightly smaller than the 50mm drivers inside the BoomBottle+. Both deliver a total of 12 watts of power. Marketing compels Scosche to call the two passive radiators inside the BoomBottle MM subwoofers. With a frequency range of 80Hz to 18kHz, however, it’s safe to say there’s no sub-bass being reproduced here, especially by passive radiators—but their inclusion does add some body and fullness to the overall sonic experience.
A longer-than-usual USB-C charging cable is included—the USB-C port is located behind a protective snap-shut, rubber covering on the speaker’s rear panel. Interestingly, this panel also houses the volume plus/minus buttons and a central multifunction button. When the snap-shut cover is closed, you can still operate the buttons by pressing firmly on the marked areas of the cover, which will activate the button beneath it. This panel also houses a 3.5mm aux input, but there is no included 3.5mm audio cable.
The speakerphone mic offers average intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we could understand every word we recorded, but the clarity was muffled, and sometimes slightly garbled. This is typical for speakerphone mics on portable Bluetooth speakers.
The BoomBottle MM can be linked with a second speaker to act as a stereo pair. There is mention of the speaker being able to switch between indoor and outdoor EQ modes on its product page, but there’s no mention of this in the manual, nor is there a dedicated EQ button.
At an estimated 12 hours, the BoomBottle MM offers a slightly lower battery life than the BoomBottle+, which gets closer to 15 hours. Your results, of course, will vary with your volume levels and your mix of wired and wireless playback. The speaker will automatically power down after an inactive period of 10 minutes.
For its size, the BoomBottle MM can get quite loud. Does this spell trouble on tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout”? Well, yes. This speaker is simply not built to handle powerfully deep bass, and at top volumes, things can get pretty distorted. At more modest volume levels, the drivers settle down a bit and the distortion fades away, but the sense of deep bass is not terribly strong—those looking for powerful low frequency response will want to spend a little more money on a slightly larger speaker. Even on tracks with only moderate deep bass, the speaker’s DSP (digital signal processing) can be heard limiting the dynamics in order to prevent distortion when the volume levels are high—it works, but the dip in volume that results is bound to irk those seeking a somewhat accurate mix.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a sense of the BoomBottle MM’s sound signature. The drums on this track can sound thunderous on some bass-forward speakers, but here they sound modest—they’re not thin, but they lack the fullness and roundness that some real bass depth can provide. Callahan’s baritone vocals receive a solid amount of rich low-mid presence—this is where the real bass emphasis of the BoomBottle MM lies—but the sound signature is defined by a crisp, sculpted high-mid and high frequency presence. The vocals have a strong treble edge as a result, and the acoustic strumming and percussion is bright and defined.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives plenty of high-mid presence, allowing its punchy attack to remain one of the strongest forces in the mix—it also receives some added thump in the lows and low-mids. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with a decent sense of depth, but again, this is a bass-heavy speaker. The vocals on the track are delivered with solid clarity, though there is a bit of added sibilance at times.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, have a slightly boosted presence in the low-mids, which pushes some of the lower register instrumentation forward. The higher register brass, strings, and vocals are delivered with an extra-crisp treble presence. The lows and low-mids round things out a bit here, though, and this is arguably the most naturally balanced the BoomBottle MM sounded during testing.
The Schosch BoomBottle MM is an outdoor-friendly speaker first, and an audio-focused speaker second. It typically delivers a crisp response with some solid low-mid richness, except when there is some rare distortion on deep bass tracks at top volumes. But the main strength here is its rugged, weatherproof design and, of course, its magnetic functionality. If your main priority is audio performance, however, consider the not-rugged Ikea Eneby (12-Inch) or the Sony SRS-XB3. For less money, check out the EcoXGear EcoDrift. For the price, there’s plenty to like about the BoomBottle MM, and if its rugged features match your needs, its audio performance is solid enough to earn our recommendation.