Published on May 5th, 2013 | by Kira0
Philips Shoqbox SB7200: Sound Gone Rugged
I am the kind of girl who takes my music everywhere. Waiting for the train, at home, in the shower, at the studio, while traveling, and even in the wilderness. My birthday is soon to be upon me and I am hoping to take some friends of mine camping for the weekend. While I am a huge fan of the peace of the great outdoors, I’m a bit more flexible on the quiet part, and music always helps a soiree.
Lucky for me, I’ve been testing the new Philips Shoqbox SB7200, which is the perfect outdoors Bluetooth speaker unit. Fairly portable at around seven inches by three and weighing around a pound, you won’t mind taking it with you on quick hikes. It has a great battery life of eight hours, which should keep you happy for a day or two depending on how much you need your tunes, but with the weight and the battery life, I would not expect this to go with you on long backpacking trips.
This speaker really is made for the wild though, with a tough splash- and drop-proof rubber exterior. You won’t be able to go swimming with the Shoqbox, but it will handle some rain and being banged around. For someone like me, who is a little on the clumsy side, I like having the security that this speaker can handle some wear and tear. That being said, this is made to look rugged, not fashionable. So, show it off to your outdoor friends, not your fashionistas.
The Shoqbox comes with a neat party trick: It has a motion sensor that will pause, play, or skip tracks just by how you wave your hand over the device. I thought it was pretty useful when I was in the shower, but for the most part it was easiest to control all that through your MP3 player. The motion sensor can even be a little bit of a hassle, skipping tracks when you do not want it to, if you are running around with it. You can easily turn off the feature with a double click of the power button. Speaking of cool party tricks, you can also pair up two of the Shoqbox SB7200 to get surround sound, which is pretty cool, but does require you to purchase a second speaker.
Everything else works seamlessly. The wireless connection is great and easy to sync. It has about a distance of 30 feet, normal for units like this, and connects easily with any device that has Bluetooth. Charging it is as easy as charging a phone. The volume control on the side is a bit ambiguous, because it has no markings for you to follow how loud it is, but you can also control your volume with your MP3 player.
All of these are great features, but what of the sound? Sadly, I think Philips got a bit distracted by all the other great parts of the Shoqbox SB7200 that they made some compromises on sound quality. It’s certainly not bad for a Bluetooth speaker of this size and price. We missed some bass though- I would have liked a louder, fuller range on the ends of the spectrum, but the Shoqbox can really handle the elements. If you need a rugged speaker for camping, this is the one to go with, and $150 is a fair price, plus you can get it in black, white, purple or green.