Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

July 17, 2010 • Reviews

Wowee One Portable Speaker Review

There is a constant issue I am on a quest to resolve.  With all of these wonderful mobile devices and streaming music etc, I have spent a lot of time listening to my media on what are, at best, sub-par speakers.  My iPhone, iPad and even MacBook Pro are all amazing devices, but none provide audio of acceptable quality.  I do have several speaker devices around the house that sound great but none of them are particularly mobile.  Recently the folks at Wowee One allowed me to review their new Gel Audio mobile speaker unit.  The company promises full range frequency response in a super portable unit.  Let’s take a look.

Features

The WOWee ONE is a compact portable speaker unit which provides a full range frequency response.

The unit is intended for use as both a fixed and portable solution for all iPod, iPad, mp3, mp4, mobile phone and computer applications.

The WOWee ONE uses a hybrid technology of a standard speaker that delivers the mid to high frequencies, and a Gel Audio™ driver that delivers low end Bass frequencies.

The extended low frequency response of the Gel Audio™ speaker out-performs any similar size device by producing bass frequencies around 3 octaves below the low end cut-off of a traditional unit.

The unit is powered by an internal rechargeable battery and can deliver up to 20 hours of playtime per charge.

The unit can be recharged via computer USB or a 5V USB power adapter using a plug.

Blue LED display indicates the power being ON/OFF and an Orange LED display indicates the charging status of the unit

A built-in audio limiter allows the WOWee ONE to handle a wide dynamic range of signal inputs.
Features

The WOWee ONE is a compact portable speaker unit which provides a full range frequency response.

The unit is intended for use as both a fixed and portable solution for all iPod, iPad, mp3, mp4, mobile phone and computer applications.

The WOWee ONE uses a hybrid technology of a standard speaker that delivers the mid to high frequencies, and a Gel Audio™ driver that delivers low end Bass frequencies.

The extended low frequency response of the Gel Audio™ speaker out-performs any similar size device by producing bass frequencies around 3 octaves below the low end cut-off of a traditional unit.

The unit is powered by an internal rechargeable battery and can deliver up to 20 hours of playtime per charge.

The unit can be recharged via computer USB or a 5V USB power adapter using a plug.

Blue LED display indicates the power being ON/OFF and an Orange LED display indicates the charging status of the unit

A built-in audio limiter allows the WOWee ONE to handle a wide dynamic range of signal inputs.

I knew it looked small in the photos but really had no idea exactly how compact the unit is until I actually saw it first hand.  When the speaker was shipped, I got an email in which I was told it was being shipped in a USPS Priority envelope. The note ended with… “When was the last time you had a sub woofer mailed in an envelope?”  I never thought of it that way until this email, but that is simply amazing.  Basically the speaker uses whatever item it rests on to create a natural sub woofer.  It not only uses what it touches to create full range sound, but it also includes nice crisp highs. And… it… is… small.

The Wowee comes in a small package and includes a double male audio cable which allows a connection to any device using a 3.5mm audio jack.  As a result, any device that can be used with headphones is instantly compatible with the Wowee One speaker.  A mini USB cord is included so charging on the go is easy..  So far, I have seen long battery life. That is an excellent feature on its own.

The Wowee One measures  4 3/4″ x 2 3/8″ x 1″ about the size of an extra thick iPhone 3GS.  The top has some slots to allow for the high and mid range sounds and the bottom contains a soft gel-like padding which helps allow this small box to create low end frequencies.  Despite its size, the speaker has enough weight to give it a solid, strong feel.  The design and build quality is top notch and tough.

Upon opening the package and examining the speaker, I did not have huge expectations for the sound.  Even with the build quality, the mere size of the unit made me think there was no way full range audio could come out of this small box.  Well, believe it or not, the audio kicks out of the speaker with some power.  I immediately plugged the device into my iPhone playing Pandora Radio.  Prior to putting it down on a surface, the sound was powerful but not impressive. I placed the speaker down and the sound instantly transformed.  It was truly amazing.  The Wowee obviously uses the low frequencies along with vibration to transform the surface into a sub woofer.  The soft gel bottom seems to aid in this transformation.

I have tried the Wowee on a variety of surfaces and items with mixed results.  It seems that large hollow items transfer the deepest bass.  I also discovered that hard sealed surfaces such as a counter top are difficult to use.  If the gel on the bottom does not stick in place the speaker can move around causing a vibrating noise.  When using my counter I placed a tea towel under the speaker and the vibration noise problem was solved.  I also found that pushing the speaker down on a slick surface helps make it stay in place and increases the audio.  The wall, kitchen cabinets and box that holds our TV created deep resounding bass.  Surprisingly, my couch works perfect with the Wowee!  The center cushion does not bring huge amounts of bass, but does make the speaker put out solid balanced audio.  As I type this I have the speaker sitting next to me on the couch and love the quality of audio I am hearing.  This is exactly what I was looking for while using devices in my den.

The Wowee One Gel Audio speaker will not replace a stereo system or high quality speakers, but is perfect to slip in a gear bag or in my case use on the couch when larger options are not practical.  The small unit is ultra portable and holds a charge for up to twenty hours so and brings us all freedom from the awful speakers that are included with mobile devices and laptops.  I definitely have a spot for the speaker in my gear bag from here on out.  The Wowee is also designed to be flexible.  Any device with a 3.5mm audio jack can transform audio using the speaker.  I have used my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro and my son’s DSi along with a variety of surfaces to have great audio.  When the unit arrives, be patient and try every possible surface where it is used and find the perfect spot to spice up your audio.  Check out more information and ordering links here at the Wowee site.

Where to buy: Links to retailers located here.

MSRP: $79.99

What I like: Small and solid build;  This thing actually works when the right surface is discovered.

What could be improved: I wish the unit worked better on slick, sealed surfaces so we could just set it on the counter in the kitchen while we cook.

5 Responses to " Wowee One Portable Speaker Review "

  1. RT @geardiary: Wowee One Portable Speaker Review #Audio Visual Gear #Reviews #Speaker Systems http://bit.ly/afuiBZ

  2. […] With all the MP3 Players and other music playing devices out there it can be difficult to figure out exactly the right way to hear your music. Many speakers sound great but aren’t very portable while many portable speakers just don’t sound that great. The Wowee One Portable Speaker is here to help though. The speaker is about the size of an iPhone and rests on any hard flat surface, which it uses to bounce sound off of and create a natural sub woofer. [GearDiary] […]

  3. The Wowee One Portable Speaker Proves Good Things Can Come in Small Packages | Tech News says:

    […] With all the MP3 Players and other music playing devices out there it can be difficult to figure out exactly the right way to hear your music. Many speakers sound great but aren’t very portable while many portable speakers just don’t sound that great. The Wowee One Portable Speaker is here to help though. The speaker is about the size of an iPhone and rests on any hard flat surface, which it uses to bounce sound off of and create a natural sub woofer. [GearDiary] […]

  4. Gareth O' Neill says:

    I bought one from http://www.gonshopping.com/products/Wowee-One-Portable-speaker.html to plug into my iPhone for playing music and was really impressed with the sound of the base. I thought I would use it just for music and then someone phoned me. When I answered the Wowee turned from a music speaker to a phone loud speaker!! You can basically use this for anything 🙂 It is great for travelling with.

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