Soundfreaq Bluetooth Speaker Packs ‘Kick’ at an Affordable Price
Soundfreaq's Sound Kick portable Bluetooth speaker delivers quality audio and packs a surprising number of unique capabilities despite its relatively-low $100 price tag.
By Paul Mah, CIO
Soundfreaq’s Sound Kick (SFQ-04) wireless Bluetooth speaker has a built-in rechargeable battery, and it is the manufacturer’s most portable speaker of its kind. In a market that is already saturated with such devices, Soundfreaq has tried to differentiate itself and its Sound Kick speaker by incorporating a surprising number of valuable audio features. And the gadget comes with a modest $99.99 price tag.
Though it’s not exactly visually stunning, the Sound Kick build quality is excellent, and it helped make the speaker look more expensive than it is. The speaker grill is made of an intricate metal weave, and a row of touch-sensitive buttons sits atop the device. The speaker is powered by an internal rechargeable battery, which is charged using the supplied AC adapter, and Soundfreaq says the battery should provide seven hours or more of music playback.
The Sound Kick has a USB port on its rear side that can be used to charge a smartphone. However, charging a handheld via Sound Kick will take a toll on its battery and drastically reduce audio-playback time. And the Sound Kick only plays back music at a low volume when a smartphone is charging.
The speaker’s chamber folds into its back when not in use, and it’s only 1.6 inches thick when packed up. But you need to extend the chamber if you want to use it. The Sound Kick will not power on if the sound chamber is not fully extended.
In general, Sound Kick audio quality is very good for a portable speaker. Bass comes out loud and clear even at low volumes. And mid-range and high notes are clear, thanks in part to the additional volume levels that are a result of the collapsible speaker chamber. The Sound Kick provides volume levels that are just as loud as the Logitech Mini Boombox I reviewed in March, and the Sound Kick’s bulk means that it won’t threaten to jump off a table when in use. The Sound Kick also incorporates Soundfreaq’s UQ3 sound-enhancement technology, which provided rich audio tones, though vocals sound more muted when UQ3 is enabled.
Additional unique Sound Kick features include an LED next to the AC-power port that glows red when the speaker is charging and green when it’s fully charged. Unfortunately, the control buttons along the top panel are not backlit, probably to reduce manufacturing costs and conserve battery life. However, Soundfreaq did cleverly incorporate a white light on the front panel that flashes when buttons are activated.
One negative: The Soundfreaq Remote Control App. I downloaded the iPhone app, but it doesn’t allow me to do anything that I couldn’t already do with the default iOS music app. And I was disappointed that the Sound Kick didn’t come with some kind of case to protect it from damage. Ultimately, I was impressed with the fidelity of the Sound Kick and the design considerations put into this portable wireless speaker.
The Soundfreaq Sound Kick can be found at Target.
Side profile of the Soundfreaq Sound Kick with the sound chamber deployed.
The speaker grills of the Sound Kick look good.
Back view of the Sound Kick when the sound chamber is recessed. Notice the USB port and AC adapter port on the left and Auxiliary port on the right.