Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Bluetooth speakersReviewsTravel techWaterproof

REVIEWED: Fresh ’n Rebel Rockbox Bold X Bluetooth speaker

A waterproof wireless speaker for using around a swimming pool

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Do you travel with a Bluetooth speaker? TravGear doesn’t see the point, but for kids who are after some tunes around the pool, a waterproof product does seem like a good idea. That’s exactly what the Rockbox Bold X offers, but is it any good?

Fresh ’n Rebel Rockbox Bold X: design

While most Bluetooth speakers are square and don’t like water, the Rockbox Bold X is like a pebble and completely waterproof. IPX7 rated, you can use it around a swimming pool. It’s rounded and covered by a mesh that houses volume and play buttons, while a silicone rim hosts the on/off switch and a Bluetooth pairing mode button, as well as its micro-USB charging slot (under a waterproof cover). Why no USB-C? There’s also a nice tab for hanging it up somewhere – such as in a shower or bathroom, which is where TravGear suspects a lot of these will spend their non-traveling time.

Like all other gadgets from Dutch brand Fresh ‘n Rebel, the Rockbox Bold X is available only in grey, mint, turquoise, red, black and ‘dusty pink’ (it means dusky pink, surely?!).

Fresh ’n Rebel Rockbox Bold X: performance

Judged purely on sound quality, the Rockbox Bold X isn’t a class-leader. In fact, its lack of bass will make it less attractive to the millennial crowd it’s so obviously targeting with those colors. Elsewhere it’s an excellent product, with no distortion at some decently loud volumes and a useful faux-360º mode that means you can hear the music whichever way the Rockbox Bold X is facing. It pairs easily with phones, lasts for eight hours on a single charge, and can be daisy-chained to another Rockbox Bold X for stereo separation (the so-called ‘double fun’ mode).

Fresh ’n Rebel Rockbox Bold X: conclusion

The Rockbox Bold X is something of a mixed bag. It’s thoroughly portable and hard-wearing, and it performs reasonably well. However, if you’re going to target the youth market, you need an unusual or unique style to pander to that market’s faux-rebellious self-perception. The Rockbox Bold X has that, but its lack of bass and a USB-C slot – both of which are surely must-haves for kids – leaves it looking slightly short of true excellence. However, if you’re after something to slinging into your suitcase, a beach bag, or a backpack, there are fewer more portable, protected and dependable choices than the Rockbox Bold X.

Price as reviewed: £79.99