Ameya DalviFeb 22, 2021 11:11:48 IST
We received a couple of extremely affordable products from lesser-known brands for review, and to our surprise, both performed way better than what their respective price tags would suggest. Let us learn a bit more about the Zoook Rocker Twins TWS buds and the Mivi Roam 2 wireless speaker.
Zoook Rocker Twins TWS Review
I have reviewed a Zoook product in the past, and while it was flamboyant, the performance was average at best. The Rocker Twins from the same company are pretty much the antithesis of that. They look largely generic but sound surprisingly good for their selling price. More on that in a bit. These true wireless (TWS) earbuds are IPX4-rated splash- and sweat-resistant, and it’s safe to take them along to the gym or on a jog. The buds fit well in the ear and cause no discomfort. They offer decent passive noise isolation with the right-sized silicone tips from the three bundled pairs.
The build quality is passable for the budget, but the multifunction button seems a tad delicate when pressed hard. Speaking of which, the button is placed right at the back of each bud, which isn’t the ideal location for a physical button. Thankfully, pressing the button doesn’t require much force, but it is advisable to hold it with two fingers before pressing. The multi-function button lets you play/pause the audio or answer/end calls (single press), jump to the next or previous track (double press) and increase or decrease the volume (triple press), thus eliminating the need to go to the source device to perform these tasks.
The Zoook Rocker Twins are Bluetooth 5.0-compliant and pairing them with the phone was hassle-free. The wireless range is over 8 metres with a clear line of sight, which is fine, but it drops drastically with a concrete wall in between. At times, the signal would get choppy at even 2 metres with the presence of a wall in between the buds and the phone. That is less than half of what most TWS earphones manage in a similar situation.
The codec support on these buds is limited to SBC, but the sound quality is surprisingly good. First things first, the buds are adequately loud even at 50 percent volume level. The bass produced by the 8 mm drivers is abundant and punchy. Vocals are fairly sharp, despite the overall sound signature favouring the lows (bass). The instrument separation and detail aren’t the greatest, but we are talking about a sub-Rs 2,000 pair here. The highs aren’t sibilant, which is good, but could have done with a bit more edge. The soundstage is decently broad for the segment. You won’t have audiophiles lurking around in this price segment, and the sound output is quite enjoyable across different genres of music, except instrument-heavy tracks, for an average person looking for budget TWS earbuds.
The call quality isn’t as impressive, though. You can hear the person on the line clearly, but you aren’t heard with as much clarity by the other person even when you are indoors. Also, a noticeable amount of ambient noise seeps through when outdoors. Battery life is quite good. I got close to 6 hours from the buds on a full charge before one of them ran out of juice. The charging case is expected to charge the buds thrice more at least, thus giving you upwards of 24 hours of audio playback.
The case has a USB type-C connector for charging, which adds an extra feather in its cap. The battery level for the buds that you see on the phone isn’t reliable once it drops below 50 percent. It runs out quickly from that point on. There is no way of knowing the amount of remaining charge on the case as there are no indicators for the same.
All said and done, the Zoook Rocker Twins may not have the most appealing exterior but sounds quite good for the price you pay for it. The buds sell for Rs 1,699 with a one-year warranty and offer good value for money. In addition to good sound, you also get robust battery backup, and playback and volume controls on the buds itself, making it a well-rounded product, barring a few minor shortcomings. Other TWS options worth considering in this price bracket include Redmi Buds S that sound better but have fewer features, and Oppo Enco W11, which offer touch controls and support for AAC codecs for just Rs 300 more.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Good sound quality for the price
- Playback and volume controls on the buds
- IPX4 sweat-resistant
- Good battery backup
- USB Type-C charging port
- Below-par call quality
- Average wireless range
- No charge level indicator on the case
- Battery drops from 50 percent to zero rather quickly
- Multifunction button placement isn’t ideal
Price: Rs 1,699
Mivi Roam 2 Wireless Speaker Review
Mivi Roam 2 is a compact and portable wireless Bluetooth 5.0 speaker that’s ‘made in India’. The company claims it is drop-proof, dust-proof and waterproof, but there is no IP rating to substantiate the claim. The speaker does look good and feels sturdy thanks to its aluminium body and rubberised periphery. You get a micro-USB charging port and a 3.5 mm Aux input on the side, placed under a rubber flap. A lanyard cable is attached on the other side. Despite the solid construction, the speaker only weighs a shade over 200 grams. It is available in multiple colours; we got the grey and black variant, which has a touch of class.
The top of the speaker has a power button, play/pause button and volume controls that also let you jump to the previous or next track with a long press. The volume control syncs with that of the source device, and thus you can control the audio playback without having to reach out for the source device, which is good. The speaker output is rated at 5 Watts RMS. Interestingly, it lets you pair another speaker of its kind wirelessly for stereo output, but we couldn’t get our hands on a second unit in time to test this feature. We’ll update this space if and when we do.
Pairing it with the phone was a straightforward process. A voice alert informs you whenever the speakers are paired, disconnected or about to switch off automatically from standby mode. The wireless range is quite good, too, and meets the advertised 10 metres figure with ease with a clear line of sight. Even with a concrete wall in between, it worked well at a six-metre distance. The speaker has a built-in microphone that is more than handy for calls. The person on the line could hear me clearly. This little guy is full of surprises, and the sound output was another big one.
The Mivi Roam 2 sounds excellent for a wireless speaker priced close to a thousand bucks. Of course, don’t expect it to sound like a JBL or Bose priced several times higher, but I cannot think of any speaker in this price range that sounds as crisp. Going a little deeper in the sound analysis (without over-dissecting it), the midrange is reproduced quite well with clean vocals and there is ample sharpness in the highs, too. There is more than decent warmth in the lows, but don’t expect thumping bass in a speaker this size. There is a surprisingly good amount of detail in the audio output for a speaker in this price bracket.
All in all, the sound is quite enjoyable when played indoors in a small to mid-sized room. The output is loud enough around 70-75 percent volume level, and perfectly audible around the 50 percent mark for nighttime listening. When outdoors, you will have to push it all the way up, but despite that, you lose a considerable amount of detail that is audible in the quiet confines of your room. But again, a 5-Watt speaker is never meant for outdoor usage. I am curious to know how two units of Roam 2 would sound in stereo mode. I will let you know when I do.
The company claims a battery life of 24 hours on a full charge when listening at ‘mid volume’, courtesy of its 2,000 mAh battery. Frankly, I thought that was a frivolous claim. But when listening at 70 percent volume, I got upwards of 15 hours out of it with still a bit of fuel left in the tank. So, I won’t be surprised if it lasts for 18 to 20 hours if you keep the volume between 50 to 60 percent. These are truly impressive figures. The speaker takes about 3 to 4 hours to charge fully using a standard micro-USB charger.
The Mivi Roam 2 sells for Rs 1,199 with a one-year warranty on Amazon, Flipkart and Mivi.in, and occasionally drops to Rs 999 during sales and limited-time deals. Even without the additional discount, this is a great price for what the speaker offers in terms of sound quality and battery backup. If I had to compare the sound quality, I would say it’s similar to a JBL Go that sells for about Rs 500 more, but the Roam 2 is a little louder, has a bit more warmth and four times the battery backup. The Mivi Roam 2 is a cracker of a deal if you are looking for a budget wireless speaker.
- Well-built, stylish and portable
- Excellent sound quality for the price
- Playback and volume controls on the speaker
- Dust, water and shock resistant*
- Solid battery life
- Built-in microphone is more than handy for calls
- Great price
- *No IP rating for dust and water resistance
- Sound clarity takes a hit outdoors
Price: Rs 1,199