Leave it to Philips to take portable Bluetooth speakers to the next level. Their latest invention, the Shoqbox SB7260, is a shock-proof and splash-proof portable speaker with a snazzy design. It’s the ideal take-anywhere device and features two speaker drivers, an 8-hour rechargeable battery, a built-in mic, and even motion sensing.
What’s in the Box:
-USB Wall Charger
-Micro-USB dual-USB cable
The Shoqbox is cylindrical, or barrel-shaped, and not much bigger than a bottle of soda. It’s portable enough that it comes with a carabiner to attach the Shoqbox to your backpack or clothing. As with any good speaker, it also had some heft to it (about 1lb). Lucky for us, it’s shock proof and very rugged, so dropping this dense cylinder isn’t the end of the world. The design is really neat, it has a wraparound speaker grill wrapped in a web of rubber.
The Shoqbox is relatively minimalistic when it comes to design, there’s just one button, two inputs, and a discreet volume knob. There’s a micro-USB port tucked away for charging. Then there’s a 3.5mm audio input port, also sealed with a rubber cap. You’ll need a skinny aux cable though. The one real button has a status LED built in, and handles everything from turning on the device, pairing, and vocalizing battery power. The volume knob is on one end of the cylinder; the volume is independent from the music playing device’s.
The built-in microphone is unusual and very convenient, though it’s not the Shoqbox’s most unique feature; the Motion Sensing is. The sensor is a little black square, which can be confused as just a logo. The sensor can control music and phone calls with a swipe of the hand. It’s a neat concept, but ultimately too sensitive. It can be shut off with a double tap of the button.
Since there’s a microphone, you can use the Shoqbox to make phone calls. While callers weren’t thrilled with the microphone clarity, they come in loud and clear over the speaker. I imagine it would have been better if I knew exactly where the microphone is located.
Shoqbox supports all the common Bluetooth profiles and should pair with just about any Bluetooth device. It has a range of 10 meters.
Yet another neat feature of the Shoqbox is the ability to pair it with a second Shoqbox for a full-on stereo speaker experience. We only have one, so can’t attest to the ease or quality of this setup.
Pairing with Shoqbox is as easy as pairing with any device. There are voice prompts that instruct you of pairing status. There’s no Bluetooth pass code required, so just look for the Shoqbox Bluetooth device in bluetooth settings and that’s it. Shoqbox remembers this pairing for future use. The only issue I had was when I tried to overwrite my iPhone pairing with my iPad. It took a few minutes of fumbling around.
For a speaker this size, the Philips Shoqbox is impressive, to say the least. The audio is full and clear. It’s more bright than it is warm, and that’s fine. You can get better bass depending on the surface you’re using. Audio quality can also differ whether you stand it up or lay it down. If you crank up the volume to the max, audio starts to get a little distorted. Shoqbox gets loud, but could get louder. It should supply ample tunes for a handful of people, though you can also hold the speaker in your hand at max volume and it won’t hurt your ears. It’s hard to have high expectations of such a small and tough speaker, but we’re audio snobs so we can’t help it.
While the Shoqbox doesn’t provide bookshelf speaker audio quality, it’s amazing to bring such immense sound anywhere you go, and so easily. The beauty is that your music player doesn’t have to be physically tethered so you can put Shoqbox in the very face of danger: the beach, the rain, the slopes, a construction site, it’s your call. The rechargeable battery lasts for hours and can charge on any USB port. Philips includes a wall charger and a double USB charger for getting the most of USB power.
If you want an on-the-go speaker that can survive some abuse, there’s no better product than Philips Shoqbox Portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s easy-to-use, pretty powerful, and has a solid 8-hour battery. Even though we’re picky about audio quality, we have yet to review anything of equal size that sounds better than Shoqbox. We love the purple Shoqbox (SB7260), it’s a very fun color, but it’s also available in white(SB7210) and black (SB7200). The purple model is currently available from the Apple Store for $179.95, while the other colors are available from Amazon for the same price.
The Good: Portable, Durable, Simple, Built-in Mic for Phone Calls, Clear Audio, 8-Hour Rechargeable Battery,
The Bad: Could Be Louder, Distortion at High Volumes, Motion Sensing is Too Sensitive