Budget bluetooth speakers are a dozen these days and they come in all shapes and sizes. The manufacturer of audio accessories, Zebronics, has a large portfolio of portable Bluetooth speakers that cost less than US dollars. 5,000 and today we have the Zeb-Rocket Bluetooth speaker for review. With an MRP from Rs. At 2,399, the Zeb-Rocket is able to play audio from various sources and even has a built-in FM radio. It is time to check whether the Zeb-Rocket delivers good sound quality that is worth considering.
Zebronics Zeb-Rocket design and specifications
The Zeb rocket is made entirely of plastic, but the quality is good and the finish of the parts doesn't feel rough. The black-gray border gives it a subtle look and is only available in this one color. The Zebronics Zeb-Rocket has a cylindrical design with the two drivers placed at both ends. It also has a leather-like take-away rubber handle. The speaker can be placed horizontally or vertically. It's not very big and doesn't feel very heavy at 912 g.
The Zeb-Rocket has two drivers – a 3-inch and a 1.4-inch driver – on both ends. The controls and connections are at the end with the smaller driver. They have buttons for media playback, equalizer control and mode selection. The buttons for changing the titles also serve as volume controls when you long-press them. A rubber flap covers the on / off switch, the AUX input, the USB type A connection and the micro USB charging connection.
The two drivers can generate a maximum power of 10 W (RMS). The frequency range is barely limited at 100 to 16,000 Hz, and the signal-to-noise ratio is around 65 dB. The Zeb-Rocket uses the older Bluetooth 2.1 standard, but Zebronics still claims a range of 8-10 meters. It's a bit strange to see that such an old standard is still in use, but luckily it doesn't use more power than the current versions, it doesn't affect the sound quality.
The USB port can accept USB sticks up to 32 GB. Only MP3 audio files are supported. There is no IPXX water resistance and no built-in microphone, so you cannot answer calls over the speaker. After all, the Zeb-Rocket only supports the SBC Bluetooth audio codec.
Zebronics Zeb-Rocket performance and battery life
Set up the speaker as easily as flipping the power switch and find it in your phone's Bluetooth pairing list. The speaker can only be connected to one device at a time. We tested it with an iPhone XR (Review), iPad mini and MacBook Air. Despite using the older version of Bluetooth, we had no issues with range or audio dropouts.
The first thing we noticed was that the Zeb rocket is getting very loud. With the maximum volume of the speaker, we found a volume of 30 percent on our device to be comfortable enough to listen to music indoors. Even though we turned the volume all the way up, we didn't hear any distortion. The 3-inch driver is louder than the other, but that's only noticeable if you have your ear really close to the speaker.
The sound quality is unfortunately not very impressive. Despite the high volume, the Zeb-Rocket sounds a bit hollow because the bass is very weak. No pounding of the low frequencies can be heard even at full volume.
Sub-bass is practically non-existent in tracks like Lock Doh by Giggs because the loudspeaker does not support this frequency range. The mids sound mushy, making it difficult to tell different instruments apart. Tracks like Brain Damage by Pink Floyd ignore many details and the vocals are not sharp either. The highs sound fine and don't hiss.
The Zeb rocket sounds best when placed horizontally. If you place it vertically on a tiled floor, the sound will be slightly dampened. Our experience was a little bit better when we played songs directly via a cable connection or a USB stick, but not much. We would have preferred a microSD card slot instead of or in addition to the USB port, since you cannot close the flap when using a USB stick. MP3s are played automatically in random order.
We also saw videos on our devices with audio streaming to the Zeb-Rocket and had no problems syncing dialogs. However, we had to increase the volume when watching TV programs because the vocals sound soft and lack sharpness.
FM radio works well. The speaker automatically searches for available stations and you can scroll through them with the volume keys up and down. With the & # 39; Mode & # 39; you can switch between different sources. The EQ or equalizer button is a little pointless because you can't tell which preset has been applied, and the audio quality doesn't get any better.
The Zeb-Rocket has a lifespan of only 2 hours per charge, but this number is for the maximum volume. The level we normally use was no more than 40 percent, so we managed to achieve a continuous playback time of around 6 hours and 55 minutes before the battery was completely discharged. Our use included a mix of Bluetooth streaming and playback via the USB port. Charging the speaker takes approximately three hours. When the battery is low, the status LED changes between blue, red and purple. A beep can also be heard, but it is easy to miss when playing music.
The Zebronics Zeb-Rocket has a very attractive price, and although you have many playback functions, the audio quality is simply not up to date. The shape of the speaker suggests that it can deliver good bass, but that's not the case at all Case. Even the mid-range is missing in the details, and overall the tone sounds hollow. FM radio and USB playback are nice additions, but not enough to make up for the poor sound quality.
At about the same price, you can find the F & D W19, which offers twice the RMS performance of the Zeb-Rocket. If you're looking for something more robust and weatherproof, the Boat Stone 700A is a great option to make a little more money.