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By Hanleigh Daniels 30 October 2012

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Ever wanted to provide some extra sound bang to the tunes of your smartphone or music player, without having to fork out bucks for an audio dock? Enter iFrogz’s Boost Near-field Audio speaker, a small portable unit which amps up the volume of most external speaker devices, including mobile phones without any wires.

iFrogz’s device does not make use of Bluetooth to stream the music to the Boost, but rather Near Field Audio (NearFA) technology. This new wireless audio technology enables mobile devices to transmit sound to an amplifying speaker within a short distance.

iFrogz asserts that although NearFA works in a similar way to other audio transmission technologies the likes of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, it is simpler to use. We found this to be the case  since there is no software to download, nor a setup process required or device settings to tamper with.

Users simply place their music playing device, with the external speakers playing, on top of the Boost to amplify the sound.  

Sound experience

NearFA technology allows the Boost speaker to sync with the audio signal inside your music player before delivering the amplified sound via its own 2 Watt speakers. You will notice that the sound plays a great deal louder through the boost speaker, a lot more so compared to other portable speakers such as Divoom's iTour-20. Sound quality, however, does not get a similar boost from the Boost and at the highest volumes, this device’s speakers tend to sound distorted, tinny and hollow.  

Besides eliminating the need for connectivity cables to provide a sound boost, NearFA is also not as taxing on your music player’s battery compared to streaming music over Bluetooth. Due to this, the Boost near-field audio speaker will deliver up to 15 hours of playtime when powered by three AA batteries, according to iFrogz.  

Alternatively, you can power this speaker by using a microUSB charging cable (not included in the retail box), but of course this limits its portability somewhat. The firm also asserts that whilst the device is on battery power, it can remain in standby mode for up to six months.

Although the Boost supports a variety of modern smartphones such as Samsung’s Android-operating Galaxy range and Apple’s iPhone range, it will not work with all devices. Case in point being our Nokia E7, as its music would not play through the Boost speaker.

If this happens, you can still call upon the amplifying prowess of the device by connecting via the Boost’s auxiliary line-in jack. You will need your own 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm audio cable though, since one is not included in the retail package.

To the point

The iFrogz Boost near-field audio speaker is easy to use and does deliver a noticeable sound boost to your music player whilst you are on the go. If you are looking to amplify your audio almost anywhere you go and aren’t too hung up on crystal-clear sound at all volume levels, than the recommended retail price of R500 of this device will be well worth it. It's just a shame about the sound quality when the volume gets turned up. Phone Gammatek for more info on 011-201-0800.

Pros:

Boost your volume; battery-powered device is portable; effortless setup and use process.  

Cons:

Sound quality is not augmented; distortion and hollow sound at highest volumes; doesn’t work with all music playing devices.

PROS
Boost your volume battery-powered device is portable effortless setup and use process.
CONS
Sound quality is not augmented; distortion and hollow sound at highest volumes; doesn't work with all music playing devices.
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