The idea of a backpack is fairly straightforward; you put the things you need to carry with you in it, sling the straps over your shoulders, and take it along with you. An idea that’s existed for years now, the basic design of a backpack has remained largely the same throughout its existence. But that doesn’t mean it should be that way.
Meet the Doppler AudioPack ‘smart’ backpack, available to buy through e-retailer Flintstop. It is priced at Rs 5,799. With a built-in Bluetooth speaker and power bank, this backpack offers a bit more than your conventional bag. I’ve put the bag through the paces, and here’s my review.
While most backpacks are made of fabric and feel rather ordinary, the Doppler AudioPack stands out thanks to its hard casing. It doesn’t quite feel as large, and there’s very little scope for expansion if you fill it up too much, but this design does have its advantages. For one, it’s water resistant with an IPX4 rating, which means that water won’t seep through, and you don’t have to worry about the contents of the bag if you’re caught out in the rains.
The AudioPack’s shell-like design also means it looks contemporary, modern and different. The front of the pack has the speaker built into it, complete with LED lights for effect. It zips open all the way down, letting you open it up nearly 180-degrees, which can be a bit awkward if you have too many things inside. There are also plenty of pockets for your things, including a big pocket where you can slide in a 13-inch laptop.
Now, perhaps the most impressive thing about the Doppler AudioPack is its speaker, built into the bag itself. This means you don’t need to take a separate Bluetooth speaker along with you wherever you go, and the 6,000mAh battery powering the speaker can also be used as a powerbank to charge other gadgets. There’s also an LED light panel on the front that produces lighting effects, but these are perhaps a bit too attention-seeking and gimmicky to be used all the time.
Speaker and power bank built into the bag
The Bluetooth speaker at the front of the bag receives its power from the 6,000mAh battery pack, placed right behind it. On its own, the battery will keep the 10W speaker running for 10-12 hours, and can be charged with an ordinary micro-USB cable in about five hours. Of course, if you’re using the power bank to charge other devices, this will deplete the speaker’s run time as well. The sound is decent enough, with a neutral sonic signature that’s gentle on bass, easy on treble, and has a mid-range that’s tonally straightforward as well. Thanks to its two drivers, you do get a decent stereo effect, too. ALSO READ: Toreto BoomBox review: Bluetooth speakers gone Hipster
The power bank and control unit itself comes with its own assortment of connectivity options, including an auxiliary socket for both outward and inward connections, micro-USB for charging, 5V USB-A output for reverse charging, and a microSD card slot for audio content. The auxiliary out leads to a remote and microphone unit that can be kept outside the bag to control audio, or use for hands-free calls when needed. It’s a great set of features that you typically don’t see on a backpack, which is what makes the proposition so unique.
The Doppler AudioPack is unlike most other backpacks you’ve used, and that uniqueness comes in the form of its interesting hybridization. With a Bluetooth speaker and power bank built into the backpack, along with water resistance and a tough shell design, the AudioPack is exactly the kind of backpack any technology enthusiast needs.
Priced at Rs 5,799 on Flintstop, it does seem a bit expensive. But when you consider the combined cost of a bag, Bluetooth speaker and power bank, that price may not seem too high. It’s useful as an everyday bag, and also works out well for your weekend trips.