The standard sets of stock headphones being shipped by companies like Apple and Samsung are, by and large, garbage. For consumers looking to achieve more of a high-end audio experience, their best bet is traditionally in securing a new pair of cans. A new company, BoomCloud 360, is looking to help consumers boost audio quality more easily with their first portable product offering.
The BoomStick, launching for pre-order today, allows consumers a shot at improving the dynamic quality of all of their headphones with the addition of a single, portable device that plugs into a device’s headphone jack. It’s not your traditional portable headphone amplifier, it actually really changes how your headphones sound.
When plugging a standard pair of Apple EarPods into the BoomStick, I was left with a much more satisfying low-end responsiveness in addition to considerably more dynamic vocals and high-end quality. With all of that said, Apple’s EarPods definitely aren’t winning any sound quality awards anyway, yet the headphones sounded considerably more palatable with the addition of the BoomStick.
Users looking to get a taste of the improvements in sound reproduction offered by the BoomStick can check out the BoomCloud 360 website to hear their favorite tunes enhanced by the company’s technologies.
The design of the product itself is fairly unobtrusive. It has a single “boom” button on the top-side of the unit which allows you to really hear the difference in sound that the BoomStick is producing by toggling the tech on and off. The device sports a pretty hefty 14-hour battery which was generally satisfactory in handling my music-listening needs.
I chatted with BoomCloud 360 co-founder George Appling who told me that he believed the world was “desperately in need of a sound renaissance.”
“While TV has made huge strides in terms of quality, from black and white to 4K, audio has been going backwards. In fact, our research shows that only 4 percent of consumers believe they are achieving a great audio experience with their headphones,” Appling said in a statement. “Consumers shouldn’t have to settle for mediocre audio. With the BoomStick, you can make your free earphones outperform expensive headphones or you can take your expensive headphones to a whole new level of enveloping sound.”
Ultimately the most critical sell of this product is in convincing consumers that their $99 is better spent on the BoomStick instead of on a more capable pair of headphones. The BoomStick is certainly a high-quality upgrade to users sporting stock earbuds or other less pronounced headphones, but for audiophiles its algorithmic sound re-engineering can perhaps strip away the specific sound signatures of headphone brands that ultimately makes them so unique.
A bothersome design quirk of the product is the recessed headphone jack, which much like the 3.5mm port of the first iPhone prohibits the use of headphones with more girthy cables. This hindered me from enjoying its benefits with all of my headphones without adding a second adapter into the fray.
For casual listeners, these headphones offer bass and high-end upgrades that can present low and mid-end headphones with a major sound upgrade. Standard earbuds from Apple and Samsung can offer experiences more similar to those of Beats and Bose when using the BoomStick device according to the company.
This product is probably best for mobile audiophiles looking to get the most out of multiple sets of headphones.
The BoomStick will be available for $99 in spring 2016. It’s available in black and silver.