Friday 28 April 2017

Adrian Weckler Tech Review: Polk Boom Swimmer Duo

Waterproof speaker that will get the party started

Polk Boom Swimmer Duo
Polk Boom Swimmer Duo
Sony Walkman A35
Canon EOS M6
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

One of the most novel, most fun little Bluetooth speakers I've come across in a while is Polk's Swimmer Duo. It's a low-­wattage waterproof wireless speaker that you can stick up against a hard surface or hang off a rail. This is done via alternate­attachments, a large sucker pad and a rubber hook. Both screw on to the base.

The idea here is that you can bring this speaker about with you and plonk it up against a window or hang it off something for portable sounds.

I tried it out on several surfaces and also on the shower. The best results are when you put it against a glass-fronted press or cupboard.

The glass surface becomes temporarily part of the speaker, while the space in behind the cupboard helps a little in providing some bass. This is just as well as the small speaker is a little shy of bass standing on its own. The same effect can be heard when the speaker is stuck against a microwave or built-in oven.

If you want to hang it, the hook on the speaker is bendable to suit different-shaped perches.

At around four inches by four inches (10cm x 10cm), this is small enough to fit in almost any bag and even into some coat pockets. As one might expect with the waterproof nature of the gadget, the external coating is rubber with the speaker at the bottom of the unit.

Like almost every Bluetooth speaker out there, this device also has a small microphone built in to help you make or take calls when paired with your phone.

Surprisingly, the speaker has a 3.5mm line-in port placed next to the Micro-USB recharging port. (A recharging cable comes in the box, though not a plug. However, given that it's the same format used for most Android phones and tablets, most people will have a plug knocking around.)

You're not going to hold a large room with this speaker, but it has enough oomph to get a small party started. Compare prices.

Polk Boom Swimmer Duo

Price: €75 from Amazon

Rating: 4 Stars

Two to Try

Canon Eos M6 (€979)

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Canon is playing catch-up on mirrorless cameras, but hopes that its new Eos M6 will provide stiffer competition for models from Fuji, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic. It has a 24.2 megapixel APS-C size sensor, articulating touchscreen, dual pixel autofocus and comes in either black or silver. There's no 4K video though, and you need to attach a separate electronic viewfinder unless you want to simply use the screen. Compare prices.

Sony Walkman A35 (€220)

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For some, the idea of a standalone 'Walkman' seems like a throwback. But Sony takes it quite seriously. Its new A35 model supports high-resolution audio quality and has up to 45 hours of playback on a single charge. It has 16GB of storage on board with a memory card slot for microSD cards.

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