One of the cutest little gadgets I’ve gotten in my mailbox is the Speakal iBoo, a little speaker, shaped like a ghost and available in red, white or blue. The one they sent out was blue and has become device number two that my wife claimed as her own on sight.
What’s in the box?
It can be frustrating to find the right speaker system to match not only your needs, but also the connection requirements of the device providing the music. It’s worse when you upgrade from one iPod to the next just to find that the new one doesn’t fit in the speaker system you already own. A lot of systems that are geared towards iPods take this into consideration and so does the iBoo. It comes with a bunch of adapters to make any iPod fit. One difference here is that they provide a prying wedge to remove the attached iPod adapter and replace it with another one. It also comes with a kind of cap for when you don’t want any adapter.
Also in the box is an audio cable, the power adapter, user manual, and a small remote control. The remote is a nice addition. Although not necessary, the remote could be handy when you place the iBoo on a shelf or otherwise not easily within reach. The remote also has more functions on it than the iBoo, itself, so it’s good to have even when the iBoo is right next to you.
Appearances aren’t everything, but…
Honestly, of the three colors they offer, blue would be my preference, but I also think any decent sound system should come in sleek black, silver or titanium. That’s just my opinion, and apparently, blue isn’t all that bad, either. Michelle took her new iBoo in to the office to replace her existing stereo speakers and it was, as I’m told, the talk of the office, briefly. Everyone loved it. It is pretty cute, and the design is sleek enough, even in blue. The most thoughtful aspect of the design is that it doesn’t really have any protruding buttons or controls. The play/pause and volume controls are easy to find if you’re looking and not too easy to see if you’re not looking. They’re part of the iBoo’s surface, so you just have to touch the right area on iBoo to control the audio in various ways. It’s not like some small controls sticking out of iBoo would make much of a difference, but it’s the little details that count, sometimes.
How is it as a sound system?
Something that I always fear with devices that are made to fit a theme like this is that they focus too much on making it look cute and not enough on making it sound good. Luckily, that’s not so here. Speakal offers up a system that looks cute and sounds good too. I already mentioned that it takes all the iPods as input but I also mentioned an included audio cable. That cable is for the auxiliary input so you can hook up a game system, stereo, television, etc. Where it failed was with my iPhone. When I plugged the iPhone in, it displayed a message on the screen indicating that the device wasn’t made to work with an iPhone. It’s not the first device that has been rejected by my iPhone and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but it’s worth noting. Michelle pointed out that you can’t grab it by the top (because of the touch sensitive controls) to turn it off, although that seems like a minor inconvenience.
iBoo is supposed to be cute, but I want one in black or titanium and I want it to work with my iPhone, but did prove itself as device that can easily please an office crowd and it sounds good. For the money (about $80), it’s a great way to free your music from your standard ear buds or replace larger speakers for more desk space. They also have iPanda and iPig, but I’m holding out for iNinja.