iPod speaker docks are not exactly short on the ground, covering pretty much every possible requirement from tinny pocket sized rubbish to valve driven audiophile tamers.



Finding an angle to break into such a saturated market is not easy but TwinMOS, which usually produces Bluetooth, GPS and data storage kit, has adopted an as yet untapped approach: audio for the Star Wars fan.

Let me explain, the BooM1 comes in two distinct parts: the large white plastic banana dock and speakers section, and an Imperial Stormtrooper helmet. Actually, I am reliably informed, this second unit is a subwoofer that connects to the banana dock speakers to provide the kickin' bass and 'ting.

Which brings me nicely to a couple of problems I have with the BooM1. The first is that the connection between subwoofer and speaker bar is a hardwired cable one which restricts you to keeping the two no more than 166cm apart.

Now despite the fact that there is a certain Philippe Starck appeal to the shiny white stormtrooper-woofer, persuading your significant other that it should be on display in the lounge might prove problematical.

Which means you are then left with finding a suitable space to locate the speaker bar, which is close enough to the hidden helmet. A longer cable, or one that wasn't hardwired so the user could swap it for a longer one, would be nice.

A wireless connection nicer still. Indeed, at first I thought there was a wireless option as the supplied remote control has a Bluetooth button. But this turns out to be for an optional iPod transmitter which we didn't see, didn't test, so cannot really comment upon.

The second problem I have is to do with that kickin' bass, which in reality is more akin to a toddler stamping his feet than getting up close and personal with a hairy biker and his gladiator boots.

TwinMOS describe it as a "tender but powerful bass" which is probably about right, it does kick in nicely on dance tracks if you ramp the subwoofer volume up, but you won't need to worry about stuff falling off shelves as the furniture shakes.

Indeed, you won't have to worry about the neighbours complaining either as the maximum volume produced by the 25 watt subwoofer and 8 watt speakers is not actually that loud.

I thought the remote control was not reaching the unit, but it was. Ramping both speakers and subwoofer, which have separate volume controls on a single infra-red remote control but no other audio fine tuning, to the max and I was comfortably able to pass the Papa Roach test. This involves standing in a standard sized living room with the "Last Resort" track playing at full pelt.

I measure the volume output by how many seconds I can comfortably stay in the room before running away screaming with blood dripping from my ears. I heard the entire song in this instance. Given the sheer size of the BooM1, the speaker bar itself is 40cm long and then there is the helmet sized helmet-woofer, the power is somewhat disappointing. Especially when compared to something like a small, fully self-contained JBL On Stage doughnut speaker for example.

But volume isn't everything, and there is no denying that the audio stage is both rich and warm, handling pretty much everything I threw at it from vocal acoustics and rock, through to dance music and classical. I enjoyed listening to the BooM1, albeit relatively quietly. On side-effect being that even at full volume there was no hint of distortion from either unit.

Non-iPod users can join in thanks to a mini-jack connections, and it's even possible to hook the Boom1 up to your TV if you can find somewhere close enough to stash it with that little connection cable. Ultimately though, at this price point it is a hard sell and one that has not totally won me over. Extend the volume range a tad, extend the cable between units a lot, and I might think about buying one. But then I always was a sucker for Imperial Stormtroopers...

Verdict

If you want a rich and warm sound you'll love the BooM1, but for neighbour annoying volume you should look elsewhere.