BoomCloud 360’s BoomStick review
The BoomStick is an in-line wired headphone amp and signal processor that makes everything sound better. It’s a lofty claim, but I can’t find anything that it doesn’t improve to my admittedly non-trained ears.
Bear in mind on audio I am not an expert. Same could be said of most things, however the case is I do know what my music should sound like, and what the BoomStick does to it and some wired headphones makes it sound better than it should.
I really hate doing reviews when I can’t get a piece of information, but here I am doing just that with the BoomStick by BoomCloud 360. I picked one of these up at CES and have written to the PR contact that I had with questions but as of yet have no answers.
Their motto is to make everything you have sound extraordinary, and I can’t fault that claim, although I will take when you have HTC’s Boomsound, a BoomStick, and a bass-heavy song it starts sounding like a rusted out bass car rolling down the road.
The device itself is simple. You’ve got a power switch, and a button that switches between no enhancements, enhancements, or a level that I can only imagine is probably called “da club”.
My neighbor (sound engineer,) mentioned it seemed like a DSP with a hefty amp built in to drive sound. What I notice is it seems like you can hear more individual detail and the space that it’s playing in is greater (an effect I remember from the Sound Blaster days).
Whatever it does, it does make everything sound a little better… however, it annoys me that their website has next to no information on how it’s doing this. More annoying is that you can swap out earbuds and have profoundly different results, but all sounding better than they normally would.
So we’ll consider that it makes things sound better… the question becomes how much better. I’ll put it like this – I have some $5, $30, and $199 wired headphones. I think the $5 one is appropriately priced, the $30 a tad on the high side, and the $199 are probably $80 headphones. If that makes sense.
Listening to music on the $5 headphones makes them sound close to on par with my enjoyment of the $199 headphones. Listening on the $30 pair oddly sounded less dramatically improved even though they’re better all around. The top end sounded like a new experience. They also nearly blew my ears out.
So, they do sound good. But I don’t know why, and that irks me to no end. I can’t tell what data in the sound is being modified. I can tell the bass is being shaped nicely. But otherwise I can just say “nice sound bro.”
With the initial MSRP of $199 on the BoomStick I would have suggested getting some higher end headphones rather than investing in a piece of hardware that has to be charged, however they dropped the price post-release to $99, and hopefully will drop it some more as the product doesn’t feel like $100 worth of tech in my pocket.
As a note, yet another thing I couldn’t verify is it seems like it has a slight delay. This is a big seems. My guess is since it’s coming off of an analog line it’s doing analog back to digital then buffering some amount and processing and shipping it off to the other side. That’s a guess though.
They claim to have a complete money-back guarantee, which I hope they do because I know that one size does not fit all in the music world, even if it seems to fit everything I listen to.
On a side note, their stock art for what it improves includes a slide called Immersive Gaming in which nobody is actually using the product.
So anyway, after several weeks listening to this, and waiting on the pr contact to get back to me with what the thing is actually doing, I’m left at saying I like it, it’s good, $99 is too rich for my blood but it might not be for you.
If this were $40 in Amazon I’d get it for a gift for any music lover who’s not going to spend as much time obsessing with what the product is actually doing and just listen to the result.
The BoomStick is currently available for $99 on the manufacturer’s website