Product: Rocki Play
Rating: Strong Recommend*
Solution based technology is my jam. Sure, I love fancy gadgets and tablets and expensive televisions, but the products that always make me the most excited and elicit genuine enthusiasm tend to be affordable little problem solves. Rocki is one of those products.
The basic idea behind the Rocki is that you can connect any speaker or any sound system with your mobile phone by simply plugging in your Rocki into the speaker. The number of potential applications is astounding when you start to break it down. Whether it's a thousand dollar sound system or just your car radio, suddenly your entire music library is accessible through your smartphone. And while newer cars and newer speakers can often perform this task, not many of us are in a position to buy a new car or a new surround sound system every time a new technology pops up.
Rocki uses 3.5mm Stereo and RCA inputs to connect to speaker systems. In my Rocki tests, I found it worked best when paired with elaborate sound systems that would otherwise be difficult to connect to your smart devices. It was also pretty effective in the car.
My only problem with the Rocki is that the app is somewhat unreliable. It crashes far more often than I'd hope, and at the time of publishing, the app is only available on Android devices. I'm told an ios app should be available soon, but you can set it up manually using the instructions found here. It's not excessively difficult, but it is far more tedious than the app based setup and requires some knowledge of how Wi-Fi enabled devices work. It's also a much longer process. In a time test, it took about 8 minutes from plugging in to playing when pairing with the app, and it took about 15 minutes to do the same with the manual process required for pairing with ios devices.
Once it's paired, though, the possibilities are pretty endless. You can use as many Rockis as you like within one home, and because they're WiFi based, you don't have to worry about range limits like with Bluetooth pairings. Even when I was outside the house, changing songs on the player in the basement was quick and easy.
Pros: The design of the product and the app is top notch. The ability to play music from across the house is useful, especially in hosting or party situations. Also, a very, very affordable solution for existing sound systems.
Cons: The lack of an ios device is limiting. The Android app has the tendency to crash, which is frustrating. Hopefully future updates will resolve both.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.
(Image credits: Elizabeth Giorgi; Rocki)