We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Speakers Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Soundfreaq Sound Kick review

£80.89

Manufacturer: Soundfreaq

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

Sound Kick Bluetooth speaker offers affordable, acceptable sound but in the end its found wanting in the oomph department.

Soundfreaq’s SFQ-04 Sound Kick is a decent portable Bluetooth speaker. Its sound, looks, and features all strike me as acceptable, if unremarkable. See also: Group test: what's the best speaker set?

The Sound Kick weighs just 725g, and it measures 267mm wide, 107mm tall, and 41mm deep when collapsed. Collapsed? One of the defining features of the unit is that, for portability purposes, it can fold in on itself to that 41mm depth. When you want to listen, you exert some force on the rear of the unit to pull out the back. Once you do that, the Sound Kick sits about 65mm deep. Soundfreaq refers to this extendable section as the XKICK Speaker Chamber. Visit: Google Nexus Q review: first look

This extension also acts as a stand for tilting the Sound Kick back for a better listening angle, although the position is a bit precarious—bump the Sound Kick, and it usually returns to the upright position.

The Sound Kick’s body is made of black plastic with a metal grill. On the top sit eight identically-shaped, round, touch-sensitive buttons: previous, play/pause, next, Pair, UG3, volume down, volume up, and power. The Pair button, unsurprisingly enough, puts the Sound Kick in Bluetooth-pairing mode; pairing the system was effortless when I tested it with my iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

The UG3 button triggers a proprietary audio mode of the same name. Soundfreaq says it’s meant to “enhance audio separation.” The effect, though artificial, does indeed widen the stereo image noticeably. However, it can also lead to some distortion, especially at louder volumes.

On the rear of the Sound Kick, ports sit at the left and right ends. On the right sits a 3.5mm auxiliary-audio input. On the left, there’s the power-adapter connection, a USB port, and a light that reflects the status of the internal rechargeable battery. This indicator isn’t as useful as it ought to be: It glows green when fully charged, red while charging, and blinks when you’re nearly out of juice. A line of lights indicating the amount of remaining charge would be more helpful. Soundfreaq says to expect about seven hours of battery power at moderate volume; I got six with the Sound Kick dialed up fairly loud.

The USB port isn’t for playback. Rather, it’s there to let you charge other devices via USB, even when the Sound Kick is running off its own battery. Of course, charging another device reduces the Sound Kick’s playback time, but it also limits the system’s maximum volume.

A thin status light glows from behind the speaker grill when the Sound Kick is powered on or is in pairing mode. Annoyingly, you also need to rely on that light to determine the status of UG3 mode, since the UG3 button itself doesn’t offer an indication of the current setting—the light flashes once when you turn on UG3 and twice when you turn it off. (It’s possible I got that backwards, which is exactly why it’s a poor indicator.)

Soundfreaq Sound Kick Expert Verdict »

Stream Bluetooth wireless with any A2DP compatible device (iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc.)
UQ3 spatial sound enhancement for balanced audio
Enjoy up to 7 hours of AC-free listening with a built-in rechargeable battery
Universal charging of mobile devices with a USB power port
Standard 3.5mm line-in jack accepts input from any device with a standard headphone jack
Soundfreaq Remote Control app for iOS and Android devices
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

The Sound Kick’s audio quality isn’t bad, but that’s the highest praise I can offer it. Although the system’s dual 2.3-inch drivers offer decent performance and can get plenty loud, bass presence is negligible. I found that music too often tended to sound a bit thin, lacking the oomph and clarity you’d hear from other good portable speakers.


IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison: Lollipop phablet takes on KitKat flagship smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Free rocket & space sounds: NASA launches archive of interstellar audio on SoundCloud

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests, beautiful...