- Output: 2w RMS
- Connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth 3.0+EDR
- Range: 10M
- Battery: 3.7v, FA SOOmAh internal
- Power station battery: 3.7v, 1020 mAh
- Battery life: Up to 8 hrs
- Has all the wireless features you could want
- Oodles and oodles of volume
- Cute form
- Weak battery life
- Companion app not for everyone
- Decent but unspectacular sound quality
- It won’t win any awards for sound quality, but it’ll blow away a lot of the competition.
Speakers are an important part of the audiophile’s arsenal. The increasingly mobile world of music has made earphones an okay option, but anything more than two people needs speakers. Without them, we’d be stuck taking turns singing tracks and passing around earphones, which is a pretty gross thought given a large-enough listening party. If you’re going to be staying at home, a docking station will usually suffice, but when your party hits the road, audio wires and power cables tend to get in the way, aiding gravity in its singular desire to destroy your player.
The Doss Asimom 3 NFC Bluetooth speaker answers both the need to boost your smartphone’s volume, and the desire to keep messy, dangerous cables at bay. It’s a tiny little thing, about half the size of a soda can and 3/4 the diameter. Inside the retail package is the speaker, microUSB cable, an OTG cable, a 3.5mm audio cable and a charging base, plus the manuals. The speaker itself is fairly simple. The top has soft buttons for play/pause functions, forward and back, and call functions. There’s a tiny mic on the top, the speaker grilles on the sides, and a power button at the bottom.
A quick press of the power button brought the device to life, upon which it uttered a voice prompt saying it was ready for pairing. Putting the device’s whole feature set to good use, I grabbed my Nexus and tapped the device. A quick screen prompt from the phone and a voice cue from the speaker let me know that everything was running properly, and I was streaming music in about three minutes flat from the time I opened the package.
All the wireless bells and whistles are nice, but the point of having a speaker is sound quality. As with any other device, it has to first do the thing for which it was originally intended. The Doss Asimom speaker has volume in spades. With both the player and speaker volume maxed out,”Biurred Lines” was uncomfortably loud, despite the large space we were using for the test. If you intend to have an impromptu party, and this is all you have, there shouldn’t be any problem. The speakers effectively spread the sound around from the sides of the device, not out the top, so it effectively gets thrown around the room.
As to sound quality, the jury is still out. There is plenty of bass, and enough of the highs come through so as not to be completely drowned out, but the mids are a little on the weak side, and just a bit dirty. There’s a little hiss, and just a bit of pointiness to the sound that wasn’t there on headphones. The sound leans heavily towards the lower frequencies, and is slightly on the hollow sound. Bear in mind, though, that this is not a wood cabinet, HD speaker that costs tens of thousands of Pesos. This is a wireless speaker that fits in a bag. For what it is and what it is supposed to do, it gets the job done, and very well.
The controls on the top of the speaker are capacitive, and are responsive enough, as long as you have enough of your finger on the button. It does a decent job of ignoring false taps, but you are going to have to use the flat of your finger instead of just your fingertip if you want it to register. At the top and center of the device is a logo that glows once the device is paired and running. Around the logo is a blue ring which also serves as the capacitive volume dial. Run your finger along it clockwise to turn the volume up, and counter-clockwise to drop it. Just like the other capacitive buttons, it helps to use the meaty part of your finger to get it to respond. It is not a big matter, and it’s far more convenient to max out the volume on the speaker and control your listening volume from the music player anyway.
Apart from NFC and Bluetooth, which both allow you to wirelessly use the device, the Asimom 3 comes with an induction charger, allowing you to charge wirelessly as well. The charging base plugs into a USB port, and the speaker sits on top. It’s handy, and if you leave the device on the pad when it’s not in use, it should be ready when you need it. No fuss, no wires to plug, no anything. This is a good thing. The speaker has a rather small internal battery that gives it just enough juice for three hours of playback. Our tests revealed that real-world use made it fall slightly below the mark, though acceptably so, given the increased volume.
Those who intend to use it for longer than the three hours for which it is rated can opt to take the charging base with them, as it has an internal battery of its own, capable of keeping the speaker running for another six hours even when it is not plugged into a USB port. This also allows it to be used as a separate power bank for other USB devices, as long as you have the included OTG cable with you.
The speakers also come with a companion app that allows you to stream internet radio, manage playlists and other such functions, but it was in what I assume is a form of Chinese, and therefore outside of my skill set to figure out and use.
I like the Doss Asimom 3 speakers. It might not have the most mind-blowing sound quality, but it has lots of power. Wireless features make it a great tag-along device, if you have the bag space,
and convenient controls, though a little wonky until you get used to it, make it great to use whether for a small party or a big group. If you can get past the odd voice prompts (it’s not in the best English) and slightly low battery life, it could be a pretty good addition to your gadget bag.
First published in Gadgets Magazine, October 2013
Words by Ren Alcantara