You carry your phone with you wherever you go, but there’s one truth that you have to face sooner or later: the speaker on your phone sucks. It’s terrible. Phone calls are distorted and listening to music on it makes Nirvana sound like Rebecca Black. It’s bad. Thankfully the Boom Urchin is remedying the problem by delivering a quality, mobile, water resistant Bluetooth speaker designed to take the audio from your phone and blast it through their device. Your phone does so many things, calls, texts, pictures, web-surfing, games, and hundreds of other options, so when you’re in the mood to listen to your favorite artist, you should be using something that’s dedicated to delivering sound, not worrying about push notifications and Twitter updates. That’s where the Boom Urchin comes in.
Available in blue, black, or red, the Urchin is encased in a (removeable) rubber shell, used to prevent dirt, dust, and even water from getting inside and damaging the equipment. Because of the versatility of the speaker, there are also a range of options for placement. First, a carabineer clip is included to hang it from a backpack, belt loop, or anything else as you remain mobile. For those looking to turn their shower into a rock stage, the suction cup attachment allows you to easily place the speaker in listening distance, and finally the adhesive pad can be attached to nearly any surface that you would want to place the speaker on. The face buttons, also rubber, feature your basic power, Bluetooth sync, and volume buttons, but also include a handy “next” button that allows you to skip songs and works with apps like Pandora and Slacker Radio.
Speaking on the things that matter most, battery life and the sound quality itself, the Urchin is a surprising piece of hardware. The battery, charged via micro-USB is advertised to run for about eight-to-ten hours, though in testing during normal situations, six to seven hours was ideal before degradation in sound due to distance from the source was noticed. The audio itself remains clear throughout use and, when turned to max volume, pumps out an amazing 110db, which is akin to a power saw at 3’ away from your ear (don’t test that, just trust me). As mentioned, at maximum volume you’ll notice the battery losing power faster, but with the volume at a reasonable level the Urchin should provide you with enough battery to maintain your sound favorably.
With additional benefits like shock resistance, for those unexpected drops, and the ability to act as a speakerphone, there are little drawbacks to owning the Urchin. It retails at $149.99, which can be a little pricey, but for those who are looking for benefit of taking music on the go (or in the shower) without having to suffer with small, distorted speakers, the Urchin may be for you. Coming in multiple colors, the only drawback is that the speaker’s shape makes it difficult to pack into a bag, backpack, or purse comfortably, as it takes up more space than is ideal. Overall though, the speaker is worth the investment, particularly if you’re into hiking and camping.