Portable Bluetooth speakers are a dime-a-dozen these days, which makes differentiating them even more difficult. At a reader's behest, I recently checked out Soundfreaq's offerings; their Pocket Kick is an impressive speaker that's truly small enough to fit in your pocket.
The Pocket Kick measures a bit less than 6 inches wide, 2.5 inches tall and 1.2 inches deep. Inside the case are two 2.5 watt (5 watts total) drivers mated to a rear-facing passive radiator, which provide a surprising amount of midrange oomph for such a tiny speaker.
Typically, small speakers like this have anemic mids, but the Pocket Kick sounded great. It did take a while for me to find the right combination of speaker volume and Bluetooth volume, however, and I had to reconfigure that volume level every time I connected the speaker to my iPhone 6 — but once I did, the Pocket Kick sounded great.
It also handled almost everything musical I threw at it — a combination of jazz, electronica, pop, and rock. That passive radiator on the back definitely fills out the sound: You can feel it in your hand when you're holding it, and you can hear rich mids and even some bass (though the bass reflex falls short of bigger, beefier speakers, because physics).
Soundfreaq says the rechargeable battery should last for about ten hours per charge, though my experience is more like 8.5 to 9 hours. That's still a full day of continuous use, though, and in fairness, I spent a lot of time blasting the speaker to see how loud it could get.
The Pocket Kick's power switch on the side has a Bluetooth pairing indicator light built-in: When the speaker is synced to a Bluetooth source, it turns bright white; the light flashes if the Pocket Kick is unpaired or can't find a source. Below it is the pairing button itself. The battery recharges using a Micro USB cable (included). If you'd like to listen to music from a source that doesn't have Bluetooth, you'll find a 3.5 mm input jack.
A built-in mic on the top of the Pocket Kick enables it to double as a speakerphone, so you don't have to go scrambling for your iPhone when you get a call.
On the opposite side of the power switch are volume up and down buttons, along with a play/pause button. The play/pause button doubles as a call button — when you get an incoming call, that's how you activate the Pocket Kick as a speakerphone. Unless your fingertips are a lot more sensitive than mine, you'll need to memorize button placement, however because you can't feel which button controls volume up, down, and play/pause very easily. They're marked — just not indented enough or uniquely shaped to differentiate easily by touch (unlike, say, the buttons on Jawbone's Mini Jambox).
Soundfreaq designed the Pocket Kick with gently beveled edges, so it doesn't feel hard in your pocket, purse or backpack. It's also surrounded by a rubber gasket that looks good and helps keep it in place on flat surfaces. Soundfreaq also includes a wrist loop, in case you'd like to hold the Pocket Kick in your hand while blasting your tunes.
The Pocket Kick comes in colors that complement the iPhone. I prefer the black one — it's a nice complement to my Space Gray iPhone 6. You can also order it in platinum (a fairly good match for silver) or gold.
The bottom line
The Pocket Kick is small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and will disappear in a backpack or handbag, but it provides some of the best mid-range sound I've ever heard in a speaker this size. If you're looking for a little Bluetooth speaker to take with you to the beach or other outings this summer, you'll be quite happy with the Pocket Kick.
For this and other portable Bluetooth speakers, check out our Best portable Bluetooth speakers for your iPhone, iPad and Mac roundup.
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