This Teeny Tiny Bluetooth Speaker Is My Secret to Faking a Built-In Sound System for Way Less Money

updated Apr 20, 2021
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How many bluetooth speakers does it take before you have too many speakers? Is there a limit? I have one in all but two rooms of my apartment, in large part because I haven’t taken the time to find the right speakers to go in those spaces. I tend to lean toward the quirkier speakers, like the one I have that’s modeled after a retro radio, so it takes me a little longer than it should to browse and pick one out. 

But what if, instead of a notable piece of decor, you’re looking for a bluetooth speaker that is all but invisible? That’s the premise behind a recent find: A bluetooth speaker small enough to fit into my palm. I wondered if it was too good to be true – surely something that small would have sacrificed sound clarity for convenience in size. I had to check it out for myself, so I got my hands on a Boompods Zero Bluetooth Speaker and put it to the test.

In theory, this is the kind of speaker you can not only take anywhere, and fit in nearly any bag, but can cleverly hide in your decor to mimic built-in sound systems. (At $39.99, it is significantly cheaper than the pricier custom systems.) The first feature I had to hear with my own ears was its volume. Did this tiny bluetooth pod really pack the punch it promised? 

I decided to test the speaker from three different distances. First, I connected it to my phone, selected a Spotify playlist, and turned it all the way up. Sitting next to it at max volume, the sound is well above what you would need to hear it clearly, so there would be no problem listening to it outside within arm’s reach. I moved it 25 feet away to an adjacent room and turned up my television to a reasonable volume for a sound to compete with, and could still hear the mini speaker above it. My last distance test was to put it in the back of my apartment, roughly 40 feet away, with no other sounds playing. The music wasn’t as clear, but it was still noticeable. 

Of course, compared to a full-size bluetooth speaker, a mini version obviously can’t reach the same volume levels. Half the max volume of my DOSS speaker eclipsed the Boompod Zero. Even so, I wouldn’t rule out the Zero as an option for in-home music. The sound quality of the Boompod is closest to that of a laptop speaker, but with the added convenience of disguising it as a hidden speaker while entertaining, especially if it doesn’t fit in with the rest of your decor. For example, I put my Boompod speaker in a mini canvas on a shelf in my dining area. The canvas is three inches deep, and the speaker fits perfectly inside of it. When I play music, the sound is slightly amplified due to the box — and if you’re looking to boost the sound even more, Zero minis are dual-pairing capable, so having two of these powerful little speakers would provide even bigger sound.

One of the coolest features of the speaker has nothing to do with music at all. It’s that the Zero can be used as a wireless remote for your phone’s camera. (The specs call it “selfie control,” but the camera doesn’t have to be set to front-facing mode for it to take pictures.) Music can be playing at the same time (for photos, not video), and it also works with the timer.

Indoors or outdoors, the Boompod Zero is an affordable option for a bluetooth speaker that can also be used as a mobile camera remote. I was surprised to find that it not only lived up to its volume promise, but it didn’t lose sound quality in the process. I would toss it into my bag for a day in the park with friends, or just to have music on hand when I want it. Best of all, the Zero can last up to five hours when fully charged, which is more than enough time to enjoy some tunes while working or playing with friends.