Review: Zoook Rocker Armor XL is rare rugged speaker, which is affordable too
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Carrying a portable speaker for an outing with friends or family members is quite common these days. But you can just take any speaker for these outings. A rugged speaker which can withstand water splashes and a few drops are more appropriate for these occasions. The interesting bit is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for them. French audio company Zoook has a wide repertoire of rugged speakers, including the Rocker Armor XL which costs Rs3,748. It is designed for rough use, and can withstand getting drenched in case of unpredictable weather. At this price, it is a rather rare offering.
Design: Rugged but heavy
The Rocker Armor XL has a very straightforward box-shaped design with a layer of hard rubber around the side panel to protect it against accidental drops. Though it looks compact, it is a bit heavy and weighs 650g. There is an integrated string that lets you hang it on a tree or wall, for example. The speaker enjoys IPX5 certification and can withstand water splashes. This means you can wash it under a tap if it gets soiled during one of your outings. It is also RoHS certified, which means it’s free of hazardous substances such as lead. The speaker grille is made of metal and placed on the front and side panel. The control panel includes a set of circular buttons carved within the rubber finish at the top of the speaker. These buttons are not highlighted properly and until you take closer look are not even visible. They are soft and responsive, though. From the control panel, one can switch on/off the speaker, increase/decrease volume, change track and receive phone calls. There is a hidden slot on the back panel covered by a rubber flap. It includes a micro USB slot to charge the device and a 3.5mm jack for wired music playback.
Features and performance
Powered by three 10 watts speakers, it can play music wirelessly from any Android smartphone or Apple iPhone running Bluetooth 4.0 or higher. It has a Bluetooth range of 33 feet which means it can be used without interruption in a large room. The options to play music are limited. It misses out on some popular features such as the microSD slot which would have allowed direct music playback without involving the smartphone.
We played Papercut by Linkin Park, Something like This by Coldplay and Trombone by Flippers at the highest bit rate through streaming services such as Saavn and Apple Music. While it is powerful enough to fill small rooms with its booming sound, it lacks the clarity of high-end speakers. At max volume, music at high frequency sounds appears a bit cranky and fuzzy. Even vocals sound unclear. It is good with bass-heavy music played at mid-volume levels. We didn’t notice any lag while changing tracks over Bluetooth. The speaker is powered by 4,400mAh rechargeable battery which can deliver about 7 to 8 hours of playback on one charge, which is quite impressive for a portable speaker.
What makes the Zoook Rocker Armor XL a notable addition to the portable category of speakers is its rugged design and long-lasting battery. It is suitable for casual music fans looking for something loud and easy to use for the next outing or for watching movies with friends. The affordable price tag also means you don’t have to spend a lot on it.