Photos: Carbon Audio

There are an endless number of good wireless Bluetooth speaker options out there to choose from these days, and most are meant to sit on your desk behind your laptop or ride a shelf. And that’s fine, unless you want your laptop or tablet to do what it was designed to do, and go portable. Then you’re stuck juggling your device and a speaker (or two).

That’s why I like the new Zooka wireless speaker from Carbon Audio. A sound emitting tube made from medical grade silicone with 30mm drivers positioned on each end, the Zooka was conceived to also be a grip—a way to hold your music player while you listen.

Watch how the Zooka was created

The slit down the middle (or top or bottom, depending on what you’re attaching it to), lets the Zooka clamp onto your iPad or ride atop your laptop. A strategically placed notch keeps it from blocking your computer’s built-in video camera. Used with your iPad, it becomes a handle when taking your tablet with you, or use the pull-out “kickstand” hidden in the end to prop your screen up to the optimal viewing angle for watching movies and videos.

The placement of the speakers at the ends means you get a wide, room-filling sound field, and you won’t muffle the music with your mitts when using it as a portable grip. Which is good, since Zooka claims to play your music at 5 times the sound level your player is capable of. I tested one on my laptop, and the sound was deeper, richer and most definitely “louderer” (that’s how Zooka describes its sound), than the anemic stock speakers.

I did learn pretty quickly, that screen angle is essential to keeping the Zooka from tipping my laptop backwards. I’m tall and keep my screen angled back when I’m working. Not ideal for topping it with a speaker, even one weighing less than a dozen or so ounces. But standing the screen at a more upright angle isn’t a big deal when I’m getting this kind of sound. And sliding my iPad into it and watching movies is a whole different experience. I love that it can go anywhere, and not take up any more space than the iPad itself. And you style mavens will dig the choice of six colors.

Looks like the Zooka has a grip on what we’re looking for in a wireless speaker.


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