BOSEbuild Bluetooth Speaker Review – A Build-It-Yourself Bluetooth Speaker that engages kids in the science and mechanics behind sound with fun app-driven experiments, then walks them through building and customizing their own Bluetooth Speaker with BOSE quality sound.
The BOSEbuild Bluetooth Speaker Cube is Bose first step into the world of educational products for kids – a customizable Bluetooth speaker designed to introduce kids 8 and up to the science behind sound while allowing them to build and customize their own Bluetooth speaker which promises Bose quality sound. I was really excited to review one of these with my nine year old. Of course, I am not reviewing this kit as an expert on audio or sound – just a mom to a boy who spent his entire summer turning a traffic cone into a bedroom nightlight with his grandpa.
I love this idea. At 8 my son was just discovering his own taste in music. Armed with an iPad and my Slacker Radio login, it is not unusual to hear him singing along to his favorite songs after finishing his homework. We’ve already talked about getting him a good bluetooth speaker for his room, so I think BOSEbuild has hit the nail on the head with a product that is perfect for the pre-teen age range, because the end result is something that both boys and girls in this age range are really going to have a use for.
My son’s first impression of the kid was very positive: opening the box reveals neatly laid out components, a refreshing change from other DIY kits that can seem to contain an overwhelming amount of pieces and steps. Something else that sets BOSEbuild apart from many other DIY sets available right now is the lack of paper instructions. All of the step by step build instructions are found in the BOSEbuild Sound iOS app. To start this project you will sync your iOS device to the speakers control panel, and follow the instructions in the app to assemble the speaker. We were able to connect to the control panel instantly and began following the instructions in the app.
BOSEbuild aims to teach children the science behind magnets and sound. As you begin to build you will quickly find that the app contains more than just instructions to make a bluetooth speaker. The app walks you through a number of experiments that explain how magnets react to one another in order to produce movement and sound. The experiments include things like launching the copper coil off of the magnetic base, allowing children to choose the amount of power before launching, so that they can experiment with different power levels and reactions. The experiments progress and soon kids are making chimes and sounds by controlling the vibration of the copper coil against the magnet. After each experiment the app explains the science behind how it works.
My sons favorite experiment was making a paper speaker with the included template. This experiment shows kids how sound changes when enclosed in the paper speaker, then challenges them to make an enclosure out of different materials to see how it affects sound. Once the experiments are done and kids have a good, basic understanding of how speaker coils and magnets work to create sound the app then begins to walk them through the actual speaker build.
Building the speaker itself is very straightforward as the speaker is made up of plastic panels and clips. They go together without any tools. As your build the app encourages you to go back and remove certain panels, to hear the difference in the sound. Once your speaker is built you can walk through a tuning experiment where kids can use a slider to boost different parts of the music being played. Then there is a BOSE tuning area, where the app listens to your speaker and then tunes it according to BOSE specifications for the best quality sound. KIds have the option to turn the BOSE tuning on and off to hear the difference.
Once the speaker is built and tunes the app then walks you through color customization. Playing around with the sliders allows you to achieve the perfect color for your speaker. The next screen allows you to further customize the colors by selecting different options for different sounds. After that the app walks you through inserting the included silhouette covers for the perfect pattern and color combination! The silhouette covers slide easily into the clips that hold the speaker together, making it easy to change them often. Of course, once finished you have unlocked all the apps features and can go back in and customize the color scheme or play with the tuning over and over again.
From start to finish the entire build takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on how long you spend on each experiment (my son went back and did them more than once!). Because the entire process is so hands on and presented in a way that’s engaging and fun for kids, it never becomes overwhelming or boring and can easily be completed in one sitting.
The end result is well built and easily customized speakers with great sound quality that syncs seamlessly with my son’s iPad and laptop and can also work with any android or bluetooth device. It also has a standard 3.5mm cable to be connected to the headphone jack of any device that doesn’t have bluetooth. My son loves the speaker, he goes back to customize the colors and silhouette templates often and uses it every day to listen to music. Again, I’m not an audiophile by any means, but the sound quality on the speaker is excellent and definitely comparable to other BOSE bluetooth speakers.