Veho 360 Portable Popup Speaker (VSS-001-360) Review

Veho 360 Portable Speaker

 We all carry portable music players these days – even if it’s one built into our phones. But there’s nothing worse than the sound of tinny music blasting out from a phone speaker (especially when it’s someone else’s music!).  Can a speaker about the size of a slightly squashed golf ball deliver any decent audio?

Packaging

The Veho 360 comes in fairly standard electronic-gadget packaging – plastic and cardboard that gets the usual Spyderco Bug treatment. It’s stylish enough, we supposed, as we threw it into the bin.

First Impressions

This thing is small – somewhere between the size of a golf  ball and a small orange – we measured a 5cm diameter. We were immediately sceptical that the sound was going to be much of an improvement over built in phone speakers. For our comparison, we used a Galaxy S2 smartphone – which has a reasonable (if  tinny) built-in speaker. Build quality looks good, with a slightly rubbery black plastic which looks like it will withstand a few knocks – essentially in any gear intended to be portable.

Performance & Features

The speaker is rechargeable over USB, with a claimed 8 hours of playback for a 2 hour USB charge. Charging is via a Micro USB port on the size of the device. The 3.5mm headphone jack is attached to a teeny tiny cable of less than 10cm long, so you’ll have to plug this in somewhere very close to your music player. The advantage of a headphone jack, of course, is that you can plug this into pretty much any music player going – even a PC if you have a handily-positioned headphone port.

The sound from the speaker is, initially, surprisingly good – it beats the Galaxy S2’s internal speaker hands down, with greater volume and clarity. Popping the speaker up doesn’t seem to make much noticeable difference to performance. Bass is somewhat lacking, particularly if your taste in music is of the junglistic variety, but it’s serviceable enough, and certainly impressive given the speaker’s size. It’s a little tinny, as you should probably expect, but there is a decent amount of tonal range going on.

Unfortunately, we hit a major problem after just over a month with the Veho 360 – having only used the unit for testing and put it in a drawer, we brought it out again to discover that it no longer works at all.The problem seems to be battery related, because we can get sound out of the device if we connect it to a power source with USB. Removing the USB cable results in a horrible buzzing and crackling noise, despite overnight charging. We tried a whole plethora of USB chargers to try to resurrect the unit, without any success. Perhaps the battery discharged while in storage and there is insufficient protection built into the 360 to prevent permanent damage. Who knows? What we do know is that if we can only use the Veho 360 when next to a USB power source, we may as well buy a better speaker.

For the curious, here’s a video of  the sound problems, using the unmistakable sound of the Original Nuttah (VIP):

With a quick Google search, you’ll find that we’re not alone in the unit providing only a crackling sound, intermittently failing, and dying after only a short period of use. We fully understand that with any manufacturing run of electronics, there will be some faulty units, but nonetheless, we consider the quick death of the Veho 360 to be unacceptable. It’s at a price point where the hassle of a return starts to outweigh the benefit of doing so. So, we’ll probably pull the unit apart to see what’s going on inside, and then consign it to the dustbin.

Gallery

Conclusion

If you happen to get a unit that doesn’t suffer from manufacturing problems, this is a reasonable enough piece of kit, priced very reasonably and a reasonable step up from a phone speaker (or no speaker at all!) if you’re on a camping trip or somewhere else where a full-blown system is out of the question. Unfortunately, our experience has been tainted by what seem to be manufacturing defects. We would suggest you look at competing products before handing over your cash.

Have a question?

If you have a specific question or request, just let us know if the comments section, and we’ll dust off the Veho 360 (or reassemble it if we’ve gone that far) and do our best to answer!

2 / 5 stars     

3 thoughts on “Veho 360 Portable Popup Speaker (VSS-001-360) Review

  1. VEHO 360 bluetooth speaker worked to start with for a month-now red light does not come on and does not charge with USB lead. This is poor. I will now give it 1 out of 5

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