4 x Small USB-Powered Speakers Reviewed

Small USB-powered speakers are the ideal solution to boost sound output on computing devices such as smartphones, MP3 players, tablet PCs and laptops. We’d pulled four USB-powered speaker out of their boxes and tested them for this review.

First, the idea for using USB-powered speakers is convenience; no electric power cord to bother with, easy plug-and-play, small enough to fit into your laptop/tablet bag and even your pocket. And, of course, they’re affordable. 

1. Divoom ITOUR-ROCK

When you look at the packaging you’d wonder how they can pack PO-Bass technology in such a small speaker but the moment you plug it in, Divoom’s ITOUR-ROCK is a welcome surprise.

On closer inspection, you’ll notice that this speaker – like the impressive UPO-BUD – has its own amplifier processor to drive the sound. In other words, it has a built-in sound card. When you plug it into your computer (or laptop, tablet, smartphone or iPod) its sound card replaces your onboard sound card – all plug-and-play – to make use of the PO-Bass sound. Pretty nifty!

Divoom ITOUR-ROCK features:

  • Link-link design to enhance the sound by simple connection
  • PO-Bass technology produce deeper and more powerful bass
  • Digital amplifier processor to ensure a clear audio source
  • Led indicates power on/off and battery status
  • Built-in rechargeable li-on battery for 7 hour battery life
  • Price – R159

Divoom ITOUR-ROCK USB-powered speaker

Divooom ITOUR ROCK specifications:

Total RMS Power: 3.8 Watts
Driver unit: 40mm micro driver
Frequency response: 100Hz-20kHz
Signal-to-noiso ratio: >85dB
Battery capacity: 450Mah
Standard playback time: up to 7 hours
Battery charging voltage: USB or AC/DC adaptor 5V
Available colors: Golden, green, blue
Accessories: 1 pc of standard rechargeable USB cable
Speaker dimensions: 44D x 64H(mm)
Divoom link Divoom ITOUR-ROCK
Online shop link Divoom ITOUR-ROCK @ R159

2. XGR  XSP-200

The XGR XSP-200 is a 2-channel USB-powered speaker set with an input for a headset or headphones and output jack for CD, DVD or MP3 players. While it has two sound units, it is small enough to carry around for use on your mobile gadget.

The difference with the XSP-200 and the other speakers featured here is that this set does not have batteries whereas the others have batteries that are USB-rechargeable. This makes it less than ideal to use with, for instance, your smartphone or iPod.

The XSP-200 sound output can’t quite compare to the above reviewed ITOUR-ROCK. But, then again, it costs only R59 and at that price is a good consideration for use on your tablet PC or notebook.

XGR XSP-200 speakers

3. GO-ROCK R1 Pump Bass Speaker

The emphasis of the GO-ROCK R1 is also to pump up the bass above that of what you would normally get from the speaker/s on a tablet or smartphone. And it really does make a difference.

The output if lower than that of Divoom’s ITOUR-ROCK (2.2W vs 3.8W). It has, after all, a small speaker unit: 36mm vs 40mm. But it delivers surprisingly strong, clear sound thanks to the extendable resonance of the bass box.

GO-ROCK with iPod

GO-ROCK R1 features:

  • Maximum play time for about 6 hours
  • Li-Polymer battery input: DC5V
  • Power output: 2.2W
  • Dimension: 52mm x 49~64.5mm high
  • Speakers: D36mm
  • Easy charging via USB or AC
  • Patented design for signal-retractable cable build in
  • Extendable resonance of the bass box technology enables stronger effect
  • Patented retractable mechanism for easy cable retraction and storage
  • Standard 3.5mm audio plug, apply with all music player. iPOD and iPhone
  • Price – R249

GO-ROCK R1 speaker

4. RoyQueen X7

The RoyQueen X7 is a portable FM radio and speaker that runs on re-chargeable batteries also is a USB-powered speaker set. We say “set” because it actually has two speaker units.

Well, we mentioned that it is a radio – and that sets it apart from the other speakers reviewed here. It is, however, bigger than the other speakers but also is a USB-powered speaker set that, like the others, you can plug into your laptop or tablet PC.

As you would expect from modern radios, it has a timer, alarm clock and a screen that displays the lyrics of the song that is playing (providing the radio station and/or music track has the feature).

RoyQueen X7 speaker set

What sets the X7 further apart from the other featured speakers is that it also accepts a Micro-SD card or flash drive. Now, that’s handy if you quickly want to slip the memory card out of, for instance, your phone to pump up the volume to get the party going.

RoyQueen X7 ports

The RoyQueen X7 costs R269.

RoyQueen X7 features:

Function: FM Radio and Speaker Set
Battery Life: 10 – 20 hours
Size: 160.5mm x 36.5mm x 57.5mm
Weight: 170g (battery included)
Supported: TF Card | U-disk
Audio Input: Yes (from computer, cellphone, etc)
Audio Output: 3.5mm earphone
Audio Format: WMA | WMA | WAV

Our choice

Each of the speakers reviewed has its own strong points. The GO-ROCK performed better than we expected. We like the ports feature on the RoyQueen. The XGR is, frankly, more about looks than power.

That leaves us with the Divoom ITOUR-ROCK, our top choice in this comparison. It is brilliantly mobile and has good sound for a good price.

All of these products are from our online catalog.

Date: 16 Sep 2013