The WOWee One certainly has bass. Sporting a gel coating on its bottom, the speaker - which is roughly the size and weight of an ancient mobile phone (circa 1999) - can render a surface into a large bass transmitter. It essentially vibrates whatever it is on, using that material as an amplifier. Bass speakers are notoriously analog beasts - they want physical space, which is something no digital tomfoolery can replace. Hence this workaround - and it works pretty well.
Stick the WOWee One on a table or against a window pane for maximum effect. The manufacturer does not recommend the latter, as the gel base is technically not adhesive. But glass does work well, so if you have a glass table at hand it’s even better. A shoebox proved just as potent.
The mid and high-range notes are not that impressive, at times giving a tinny performance. It still sounds better than your laptop speaker and could probably hold ground against other portable speakers. But the bass is quite strong and at times betrays the shortcomings of the other tones. Let me put it this way: the WOWee One gives reasonable bass and somewhat lesser everything else. But that bass counts for a lot - you won’t get as much out of anything this size.
Powered by an internal battery that charges through USB, the box claims 20 hours uptime. I’d put it closer to ten, maybe fifteen. The full twenty is apparent if you don’t actually use the speaker, so take that as the total charge capacity. Fifteen hours is still a lot, but the USB charging makes it tricky if you got this for an iPad or smart phone.
Power is controlled by plugging a 3.5 mm jack into the audio port. It’s a nice touch, but also makes storing the audio cable a problem - you cannot leave it dangling in the audio jack, as it will drain the battery. Had a pouch or something similar been included, it would have added to the appeal. But as long as you have a bag of some sort, the unit and its cable will fit comfortable in anything bigger than a pocket. A mini-USB port handles the charging and it is a standard fit, so your other cables will work as well.
There are no other plugs or buttons - volume control and such is left completely to the device you will play sound from. So, the golden question: should you get this? The WOWee certainly works well with a cooler box, so it’s a nice fit for a picnic or any other outdoors excursion. It certainly also adds the oomph needed when watching movies on a laptop and the higher-range sounds are easier to hear, so it makes for a nice travel companion. But don’t bother if you want something small for your office. Small speakers that require their own power source still outperform this. But the WOWee ticks most of the boxes for a mobile speaker solution.
Sadly its asking price, which local retailers list at around £79.99, is a lot and at nearly twice what you’d pay for other battery portables, a bit too much.
A good choice if you need a speaker that can travel with you and provide some added bass. But it’s not perfect and won’t match cheap desktop speakers. Also, a pity
• Great bass
• Very portable
• Sturdy design
• Iffy high range
• No cable storage
• 16.1 megapixel
• 10x optical zoom
• Face detection
• Smile detection
• 80 – 3200 ASA
• Panoramic shooting