Yesterday I reviewed the iMainGo X, an iPhone case that doubles as a portable speaker. But if you are looking for the ultimate in portability and aren't looking for premium quality sound, the new $25 BoomCAM from Scosche is just what you need. Let's start with the most obvious feature. This thing is small. Seriously small. It is about 2.25" high and about 1.75" wide. The press release calls this item "slightly larger than a film canister," for those of you who can remember the days when one had to wait to have pictures processed at a lab before viewing them. (I know, crazy, right?) It only weighs 2.25 ounces, less than half the weight of the iPhone 4. You can easily toss the BoomCAM into a purse, a briefcase, or even a pocket. It is the most portable iPhone or iPad speaker that I've ever seen. The BoomCAM comes with a cord that has a mini-USB plug at one end that connects to the BoomCAM. Two cords are attached to that plug. One has a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack on the end that you can plug into an iPhone or iPad (or virtually any other audio device). The other cord has a USB plug that you use to charge the BoomCAM. The BoomCAM contains a rechargeable 300 mAh lithium-ion battery that is advertised to last for 4 to 7 hours. (I never had a need to use it for more than a few hours so I never tested the battery life.) A light on the BoomCAM is red while charging and changes to blue when the charge is complete. (When you are not charging the BoomCAM, the light turns blue when it is on.) You can use the USB cord to charge the BoomCAM at the same time that you are using it. A switch on the bottom of the BoomCAM has three settings: off, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Volume 2 is louder than Volume 1, but Volume 1 is still much louder than the iPhone or iPad's internal speakers. The bottom of the BoomCAM also has a rubber ring that does a great job of keeping the BoomCam in place: The BoomCAM has a 3.5 mm audio out port on the side, so you could daisy-chain multiple BoomCAMs together for more volume (but not stereo). You can get a BoomCAM in black, blue, red or silver. The trade-off for the small size is less audio quality compared to other external speakers. The sound is nowhere close to a high-quality external speaker like my Bose SoundDock Portable, but of course that speaker is a foot by six inches and weighs five pounds, not to mention the cost of several hundred dollars. As much as I love my Bose when I'm listening to music at home, I'll never be able to toss the Bose inside of my pocket. The sound quality and maximum volume is also somewhat lower than the portable iMainGo X that I reviewed yesterday. Keep in mind, for example, that the BoomCAM only has one speaker on the top, so you are not getting stereo. On the other hand, compare the BoomCAM to the speaker inside of the iPhone itself. I often listen to music or a podcast on my iPhone 4 by just tapping play and not using headphones. Similarly, I've watched videos on my iPad 2 just using the internal speaker. I'm sure that you have done this too, and as you know the mono internal speakers on the iPhone and iPad are reasonable enough to get the job done, although not very loud. The BoomCAM sounds a little better than the internal speaker on the iPad, and is many times louder, more than enough to fill a room. So if you are in a room listening to something on your iPhone or iPad's normal speakers and you find yourself wishing that the sound was louder, the BoomCAM is a major improvement. I really like the BoomCAM. The small size and weight is great for travel, but also has an added benefit. The compact size makes it easy to keep it nearby all the time by storing it in your briefcase, purse, iPad bag, etc. That way, whenever you want to show off something with sound on your iPhone or iPad to someone else, you can quickly attach the BoomCAM and have a lot more volume. You can buy the BoomCAM directly from Scosche for only $25, which is a good value for a useful product like this, but if you click the below link you can get it for even less at Amazon, a great value. This is an inexpensive, useful and fun accessory for your iPhone or iPad. Click here to get Sosche BoomCAM from Amazon ($20.70).
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