From larger displays on our smartphones to the rise of true wireless Bluetooth Ear buds, there are some gadget trends that are more evident. And then there are other definitive trends that may not occupy as much share of voice on Instagram or Twitter, the rise of Bluetooth Soundbars is a case in point. Over the last couple of years soundbars are gradually threatening to make home theatre systems redundant especially in the budget and mid-market segments. A compact form factor and the lack of multiple wires have helped as well as the ability to talk to multiple devices.
Zoook, a stylised version of Zouk (the Caribbean dance music genre that took off in the 1980s) is a French consumer electronics brand that has launched an aggressively priced soundbar. It’s not just the price tag that has our attention.
Clean lines mark the design language of the Zoook Studio Solo. It’s very light and portable – just 1.1 kg and is about 60 cm long. It won’t occupy too much space in your living room and looks refined enough to rub shoulders with your large, flat screen TV. There’s an LED light strip that will make sure this device doesn’t completely fade into the background. It’s a nice touch but you can’t program it with the remote that’s bundled in the box. This remote offers quite a few controls but once I’d set up the soundbar I didn’t find myself reaching out for it. You can pair the Solo via Bluetooth or rely on the 3.5mm jack to use a wired connection. I paired it with an iPhone and a Samsung device on Bluetooth mode and also used a cable to connect with my TV. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any companion App either or Android or iOS that allows you to play around with the equaliser settings.
Zoook’s spec sheet suggests that the Solo peaks at 50W. The device features built-in subwoofers. Sound quality is good, not outstanding. That’s not surprising given the price tag. I found the quality of TV audio at mid-range volume better than listening to my Apple Music playlist via my phone. I could hear dialogues quite clearly too. The sound got slightly tinny when I pushed the volume up.
The Solo soundbar offers a battery back-up of about three hours, in case you’d like to move the device around. However, it takes about four hours to power it up. There’s also a USB port in case you’d like to plug in a pen drive with music. The Zoook Studio Solo Soundbar is a good option if you’re looking for a Bluetooth Soundbar that is light on your pocket. It’s compact and delivers a decent audio experience for its price tag.
The Zoook Studio Solo Soundbar costs Rs 3,499