Going Boom With A Keychain Speaker

Bruce Von Stiers

chicBuds is a company becoming pretty well known for its audio products catering to women and girls. They have products such as DJ Sport Headphones and the chicBuds earbud headphones.

Now chicBuds and a quirky, yet fun and exciting new product. It is called chicBoom. The product is a pocket sized external speaker for portable audio devices. They come in two distinct physical types; a square cube keychain model and a ball shaped keychain model.

I found the product intriguing so I thought I’d check one out. I got the speaker ball model and took a look at it.

The speaker ball has a circumference of 4 ½ inches. It comes in three different colors; hot pink, navy blue and a pastel pink with a rainbow, flowers and clouds designs on it.

It has an internal 2 watt single amplified speaker. Also built into the unit is a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. It has a keychain ring that is attached to the unit by way of a vinyl/cloth line.

The unit has a power button and two ports. One port is for attaching a patch cord between the speaker unit and an audio source. The other is a mini-USB to attach the unit to a source to charge up the internal battery.

The unit also ships with two specific patch cords. The first has a 3mm pin on each end to connect it to the audio source. The second has a mini-USB jack on one side and a regular USB jack on the other.

The speaker ball will work up to 4 hours without recharging the battery. After that, simply attach it to a power source such as a USB port on a PC to charge up the battery.

To test out how well it worked, I connected the speaker ball to my Sansa Clip MP3 player. I listened to several songs from my playlist to test the quality, distortion etc.

The first song was a song from Melissa Ivey. This song sounded a bit tinny through the speaker. I decided it might be well worth checking out the bass quality of the internal speaker. I then listened to Bring Me To Life from Evanescence. The sound wasn’t too bad. Because this is a low wattage speaker, the nuances of the instruments can’t really be heard. Overall it wasn’t too bad. Then it was on to The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I know, a very weird playlist. Anyway, the sound was back to being a bit tinny.

For the last song I played This Night’s For You from Theory of Flight. Although the music in the background was okay, the vocals didn’t fare as well at first. I lowered the volume on the Sansa Clip and the tinny sound went away. I then went back and checked the other songs that had sounded tinny. At a lower volume the tinny sound went away. So I concluded that if the source volume isn’t maxed out, the quality is good and the distortion is kept at a minimum.

The speaker ball is really too large to fit into a pocket. So if you’re a woman, add it to the set of keys in your purse. Or attach it to a purse strap. A backpack zipper or strap might also be a good place to attach the speaker ball to. That applies to either men or women.

Most external speakers for portable audio devices are big and bulky. The chicBuds speaker ball is compact and is pretty cool looking. The sound could be a bit better, but what can you expect from a lowly 2 watt internal speaker.

The chicBuds Speaker Ball can be purchased at Walmart, Toys R Us and other traditional and online retailers. It can also be ordered directly through the chicBuds web site. The average retail price is $ 24.99.

Visit the chicBuds web site to learn more about chicBoom Speaker Ball and other products they offer. The site can be found at www.chicbuds.com.


© 2010 Bruce E. Von Stiers