Sounfreaq’s original Sound Kick portable Bluetooth speaker blew my mind. Back when I thought my options were an expensive Bose speaker or a small (but still expensive) Jambox that sounded pretty bad, taking a chance on a company I hadn’t heard of wasn’t easy. But that thing impressed me in every way, and I fell in love with the company.
So when I heard that Soundfreaq was working on a smaller, more portable version of the original Sound Kick, I was excited. My expectations were ridiculously high, to the point where I was afraid I’d be disappointed just from overhyping the device. So how does the new Pocket Kick hold up to my expectations?
Battery: 10 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm aux
Extras: Speakerphone capability with mic
Dimensions: 5.9″ x 2.5″ x 1.2″
What’s in the box: Speaker, 3.5mm aux cable, micro USB charging cable, lanyard
At first glance, the Pocket Kick looks quite a bit like the original Sound Kick. The black metal grill and logo in the center is exactly like the first speaker. However, it’s absolutely tiny in comparison. And of course, quite a few things were changed to prepare it for a life in your pocket.
On the top is the hole for the microphone, as this speaker has speakerphone capabilities.
On the left are the on/off switch with integrated status LED, the Bluetooth pair button, the micro USB charging port, and the 3.5mm aux jack.
On the right are the three main buttons. There is a volume control and a play/pause/answer/end button. Below that is the loop for the lanyard.
Most of Soundfreaq’s products haven’t been exclusively for travel. Thus, they were made out of plastic. It was durable plastic that felt quite good, but the company decided to take build quality even further so the Pocket Kick doesn’t get damaged on your adventures.
Both sides of the speaker have metal grills that wrap around the edges, making most of the surface area metal. The rest is covered by a rubber band encircling the edges of the speaker, with feel at the bottom for grip. The corners were also rounded for easier pocketability.
Considering its size and light weight, the build quality is superb. I’ve long been waiting for a speaker to match the build quality of the Jambox (one of its few good qualities), and this speaker finally did it. It feels fantastic in the hand and remains very light. It also seems like it would stand up to wear very well. There is a slight creak on one side of the grill on my speaker, but I suspect most wouldn’t have it and even then it’s a tiny issue that doesn’t detract from the quality.
Of course, no speaker would be good without excellent sound quality. Jawbone proved that with the Jambox, which had great execution and some pretty poor audio quality. Paired with a high price, I couldn’t enjoy it and ended up returning it with glee.
Considering that the original Sound Kick was far larger, and the Pocket Kick basically had to live up to its bigger bother simply by sharing its name, I had high expectations. And the fact that Soundfreaq stuffed some amazing hardware into the fairly small Sound Spot didn’t help. So when I pulled it out of the box, the first thing I did was fire up some EDM to test volume, bass, and highs all at once.
I was pretty amazed! This thing is tiny yet puts out some serious sound. It’s not incredibly loud, but it’s super clear at all volumes and produces a small amount of bass (something sorely lacking in small speakers). You won’t be feeling the bass in your chest, but the lows are definitely audible. You’ll hear some distortion at full volume if you listen to complicated music like orchestral heavy metal, but turn it down two clicks and it’s crystal clear again.
The volume is extremely impressive for its size, though it won’t be filling large rooms with booming sound. I used it successfully in the garage, at a loud picnic, and any situation I threw at it and it was plenty loud. However, don’t expect boombox volume levels.
Overall, the sound quality is extremely impressive considering the size and price. For $100, you won’t find many speakers even twice the size that can stand up to it.
Most speakers advertise a battery life of around 6 hours. This is a pretty good number, but the current trend is to up the battery life in the smaller speakers. Soundfreaq did just that with a 10 hour battery built into the Pocket Kick. And best of all, it charges over micro USB. No proprietary charging cables here!
Since first charging the speaker, I haven’t had to charge it again despite plenty of use. I’ve used it every time I have worked on the car and it hasn’t even warned me of a low battery life yet. I have no doubts about the 10 hour battery life.
Despite my internal hyping of the device, it met and exceeded my expectations. I love this little speaker and it has become my go-to speaker for travel. Not only is it small and packs a 10 hour battery life, but it sounds simply incredible for its size. And at only $100, it undercuts many other speakers that sound far worse.
I love this speaker. There’s no other way to say it, I just love it. If you need a speaker to travel with you, survive some abuse, and let you enjoy your music properly, this is the speaker for you. You can’t find this kind of sound quality at this size and price anywhere else.