It takes a lot for a Bluetooth speaker to get our attention these days, but Soundfreaq’s Pocket Kick did the trick. The speaker is light, tactile, extremely compact, and decidedly ice cream sandwich-y. In fact, during our meeting with down-to-earth Soundfreaq co-founder Matthew Paprocki while on the CES showroom floor, he admitted the popular treat was an inspiration for the Pocket Kick’s design, and even had his team make-up a model with a corresponding color scheme.
The speaker rests in your hands nicely thanks to thick corrugated screens at the front and back, and while it’s more bulky than a smartphone, it easily fits inside a jacket pocket. Pushing into a growing segment occupied by the likes of Carbon Audio’s Pocket Speaker, Soundfreaq designed its portable sound sandwich to be something people would want to take with them virtually everywhere, essentially changing their lives by bringing even more music into it. As for the Pocket Kick’s sound: it’s clear, punchy, and has more bass than we expected. When you hold the speaker in your hand, you can feel a lot of vibration coming from the back thanks to the device’s large passive radiator. And the company isn’t done refining the sound yet. There are still tweaks to be made to the speaker’s DSP chip before it debuts later this year.
We’re glad Soundfreaq upgraded to the Bluetooth 4.0 protocol for its latest lineup of speakers, which offers cleaner Bluetooth streaming, and also more efficient battery life. Paprocki said the speaker is rated at 10 hours of runtime at medium volume, and even pushed to 11 hours in testing at 70 percent velocity. It also offers a speakerphone, and one of our favorite inclusions, a battery monitor icon that shows up on your phone.
The Pocket Kick will cost $100 when it is released in a few months. We should be getting our hands and ears on a Pocket Kick soon, so stay tuned for our formal review.