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Review

Zoook ZB-Jazz MusicBot Bluetooth Speaker Review: Too much boom, not enough jazz

Zoook’s range of Bluetooth speakers are a success in India, particularly online through e-commerce portals. But is the new ZB-Jazz MusicBot up to those standards? We review to find out

zoook zb jazz musicbot main

Zoook ZB-Jazz MusicBot 2.5 5
BGR Rating :
2.5/5

Highlights

  • The Zoook ZB-Jazz MusicBot is priced at Rs 1,999.

  • The speaker features two drivers with a total output of 14W.

  • Apart from Bluetooth, you can also connect to a source using a 3.5mm stereo cable.

Bluetooth speakers are a big deal in India, because of the sheer convenience on offer. Back when smartphones and wireless technology didn’t exist, you had no choice but to buy a large, clunky music system to listen to music in your home. Today, affordable Bluetooth speakers let you listen to music out loud wherever you are, and this ability to share your music with your friends and family is what makes the product category so appealing.

While the usual names in the industry are definitely around, there are a lot of small brands trying to get in on the action. One such brand is Zoook, a French brand that gets its manufacturing work done economically in China. Because of this, it’s been able to compete strongly on value, with products that are priced competitively. Today, we’re reviewing the Zoook ZB-Jazz MusicBot Bluetooth Speaker. Priced at Rs 1,999 on Amazon India and Flipkart, the MusicBot promises a lot for a low price. Find out in our review if it’s all it claims to be.

Zoook ZB-Jazz MusicBot Design and Specifications

Affordable Bluetooth speakers tend to all look the same, usually because brands are using the same OEMs and designs to manufacture their products. Here is where Zoook is different from the rest, and is perhaps the biggest reason for its relative success. The products are designed and developed by the company in France, and they look visibly different from everything else in the market at a similar price. With the MusicBot, Zoook has gone for a distinct look around the speaker grille, and also get the sharp lines to look tasteful.

For your Rs 1,999, you’re getting a speaker that’s capable of 14W of output through two 40mm drivers. This gives the sound true stereo output, and considerably high power and volume for a speaker that is priced at under Rs 2,000. Frequency response ranges from 100-20,000Hz, and the device is powered by a 2,000mAh battery that is rated for up to 8 hours of continuous playback time per charge. Realistically, I was able to get 4-5 hours of use per charge, which is a bit disappointing considering the battery size.

For connectivity, the ZB-Jazz MusicBot uses Bluetooth 4.2, with A2DP for better latency. Charging is through a micro-USB port, and you also have the option to connect to a source device with a 3.5mm stereo cable. Additionally, the device has a microphone as well, letting you use it as a hands-free device for calls. It isn’t too large, and would be easy to stow away in a backpack if you want to take it on your travels.

Zoook ZB-Jazz MusicBot Performance

With a decent design, good specifications and a strong price tag, you would think that the Zoook ZB-Jazz MusicBot has it all going for it. However, when it comes to performance, I have a few complaints. Although it’s loud, the sound is also perhaps too warm and lacking in proper definition. At the loudest volumes, you’re also likely to hear a bit of distortion. The solution to this is simply to avoid the loudest volumes, but there’s still a definite lack of clarity in the sound.

I listened to a handful of tracks from different smartphones as sources using both Bluetooth and a stereo cable for transmission. While the LG V30+ connected using a stereo cable did make a small difference to sound quality, typical Bluetooth transmission using an Apple iPhone 8 was my usual source, and what I’ve rated the performance on for this review.

Starting with Oliver Heldens and Throttle’s Waiting, the sound feels a bit too booming, as though it was being played through a pipe to amplify it. Indeed, that is the key issue is here – the low-end of the frequency range is amplified far more than what is reasonable. The mid-range and high-end feel weak in comparison, and the bass-heavy sound tends to get fatiguing over time. With Feed Me’s Crazy Maybe, the bass is plainly overpowering to the point where it sounds absolutely ridiculous.

Less aggressive tracks don’t sound as bad, and the key with getting the MusicBot to sound alright is to avoid low-end favoring tracks altogether. While the warmth in the sound and low clarity persist, the mids and highs aren’t masked as much depending on the genre you’re listening to.

Additionally, a particularly annoying feature of the speaker is the low-battery warning prompt. If the battery is low, a repeated voice prompt telling you to charge the speaker will play – even if you have music playing – thereby interrupting your ability to use the speaker. This happens even if you’ve plugged in the speaker to charge while you keep using it, effectively making it impossible to use the speaker while it’s charging. On the whole, it’s safe to say that performance is not the ZB-Jazz MusicBot’s strong suit.

Verdict

Despite the Rs 1,999 price tag and strong specifications, the Zoook ZB-Jazz MusicBot may not be a worthwhile purchase. While it is loud, the quality of the sound is lacking. It’s far too bass-heavy, and this is what holds it back as far as the sound goes. While other similarly priced options may not have the ability to boast of two drivers or 14W of output, you’re perhaps better off with a smaller but better-sounding speaker for the price, such as the JBL Go or Logitech X100.

  • Published Date: December 20, 2017 11:01 AM IST