Up for review today I have a unique little Bluetooth speaker called the Gum Rock. What makes this speaker interesting is that it’s a suction cup and sticks to your device and acts as a stand so you can have your tablet or phone up at a regular viewing angle and have better sound via the speaker. The Gum Rock is one of those thing that in theory sounds good but in reality it isn’t. Read on to learn more..
Let’s start off with a video unboxing, but it’s more than that as it also demonstrates how this little speaker works. Watch this then continue on.
The packaging looks nice, it’s colorful and lots of pictures.
Inside of the box you’ll find the speaker, microUSB cable and a user guide.
Here’s the speaker itself, it’s green obviously and there are other colors to choose from. Most of the speaker is rubber but the top speaker grill is plastic. It’s hard to see but on the side is a small hold which is the microphone for phone calls.
On the side is a rubber door that keeps dust out of the USB port and inside is the microUSB port and the on/off switch.
There are three buttons on the side of the Gum Rock and they’re rather hard to see but they are labeled: + < – and they are for double functions actually. The + and – are for volume up and down but they are also for skipping forward and backward tracks. You tap them to skip and you hold them to change the volume. The < is for play and and pause and for answering and ending calls.
Here’s the suction cup part that sticks to things and there’s also an LED indicator in the bottom for status.
Specifications and Features
Features Bluetooth technology for wireless connection with your devices
The Gum Rock speaker features Bluetooth 3.0 technology with active-pairing so you can wirelessly pair your Bluetooth enabled device and play your music without getting tangled cables. The Bluetooth works with a 35 foot range so you’ve got the freedom to move around with your phone without having to carry the speaker with you.
A portable desk stand and speaker rolled into one
Don’t get stuck without your music, the Gum Rock Bluetooth Portable Suction Speaker is playful and an unusual looking product which can attach to your smartphone or tablet in order to become a handy desk stand. It works using a suction cup which attaches itself to the back of your device at a comfortable angle, in either portrait or landscape orientations.
Suction cup design – place your speaker anywhere you please
The Gum Rock speaker features a built-in suction pad which is ideal for use as a desk stand but it also means that you can place the speaker in places where conventional speakers can’t. You can attach the Gum Rock to mirrors, windows or other smooth surfaces in order to listen to music or calls the way that you want to, with complete freedom. The silicone coating of the Gum Rock also means that it can resist splashes and it can be easily cleaned so it is perfect for use in the kitchen or bathroom.
Premium tuned drivers provide superb sound reproduction
The Gum Rock features a 40mm speaker which makes it perfect for clear conference calling as well as listening to music, delivering superb bass and crisp mids for excellent music playback.
Easy to use button interface for greater control of your music
Designed to allow you to navigate and control your music how you want, the Gum Rock includes a simple, easy-to-use button interface on the front of the speaker which allows you to skip forward and back tracks as well as allowing you to control the volume of your music. This allows you to do it wirelessly, without having to be near your device which you are streaming the music from.
Integrated mic for handsfree calls
The Gum Rock comes with an integrated microphone which is perfect for making and receiving handsfree calls. So if you’re listening to music and you receive and incoming call, it allows you to answer the call and speak clearly through the speaker at the touch of a button. This means that you don’t have to unpair your device from the speaker in order to make or receive calls. This also makes the Gum Rock perfect for conference calling or for personal use with video chat programs such as iChat, Skype, Google Talk and more.
Built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to 6 hours wirelessly
The built-in rechargeable lithium battery is 450mAh. This gives you up to 8 hours of wireless music playback from a single charge. When the battery has run out, simply connect the included charging cable to recharge. This process usually takes around 2-3 hours, however, you can still play your music through the speakers whilst it’s recharging.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 3.0, CSR solution
Driver: 40mm 4 Ohms 3W
Battery: 4500mAh Li-ion
Voltage: 3.7 V
Output power: 3W
Price: £19.99 / $33.27
The Gum Rock was provided by Gear Zap for review where you can MacBook Accessories, Bluetooth headsets and cases for most every device out there.
Testing and Usage
The first thing I did was charge the Gum Rock with the USB cable and the LED lights up red to let you know it’s charging. The LED will turn blue to let you know it’s finished. The LE also flashes blue for pairing and for paired, quickly for pairing and slowly for paired. According to the user guide charging should take 1.5 to 2 hours and you should get 5 to 7 hours of play time with volume at about 70% of maximum, which isn’t bad for battery life, it should last most if not all day or longer depending on how you use it.
I tested it with my Android tablet and HTC One Android phone over Bluetooth.
Apparently I got lucky with pairing as the user guide doesn’t tell you how to put the speaker into pairing mode, the user guide also doesn’t mention anything about a pin code but you need one.
Once I got the Gum Rock paired it did work but it would not stick to the Otterbox case I have on my phone as it is slightly textured. I sort of figured this would happen though so it’s no surprise.
The controls worked fine as they should but there are more controls than the user tells you. The user guide says functions for calling and volume, but it can also do play/pause and skip tracks.
Here’s the Gum Rock stuck to the back of my tablet and it sticks here as the surface is smooth and it sticks very well. The Gum Rock works just fine as a stand and you just re-position it to get the angle you want for viewing. The Gum Rock does a good job as a stand, my tablet stayed up with no issues.
The sound from the Gum Rock is flat really, there’s not much bass at all and it seems there’s a bit too much treble. The good thing though is that there is very little distortion at high volume levels with any type of music.
Having the speaker in the back of your device sort of muffles the sound a little.
The overall build of the Gum Rock isn’t bad, it’s rubber coated so it should be durable. The problem is that the rubber attracts every speck of lint and dust and hair to it and it sticks to it and it’s hard to get off.
The suction cup works on smooth hard surfaces just fine but this might mean you’ll have to take your device out of its case.
The user guide that comes with the Gum Rock is rather useless for example:
It says to turn speaker to pairing mode but doesn’t tell you how to do this.
It doesn’t mention that you need a pin code to pair the speaker, luckily the code was just 0000.
It doesn’t mention anything about the controls except for volume and calling, I found out the play/pause and skip tracks functions by myself accidentally.
Price is questionable, actually I think it’s a bit expensive for what it is and what you get. I could see it priced at $10 to $20 but not over $30 as it is now.
The Gum Rock Bluetooth speaker is one of those things that if priced lower it might be worth it, but as it is priced it’s not worth it at all.
The sound is not that good, it’s clear yes, but it’s just flat. There’s only one speaker so it’s not stereo, but there’s very little distortion at high volume levels.
The rubber coating is nice for protection but it attracts lint and dust and it really sticks to it making it hard to clean.
The Gum Rock is unique as it is stand as well as a speaker, but the sound isn’t that good.
+Small and portable
+Acts as a stand
+Simple to use
-Everything sticks to the rubber
-User guide is lacking instructions
|Grades:||5 out of 10|
|Design / Aesthetic|
|Value / Price|
|Performance / Usage|
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