Those looking for some portable audio goodness should take a look at the Roadie portable speaker. It’s a 3 section modular system that takes your music from multiple sources – SD card, 3.5mm jack, or mini USB and projects it throughout the room.
While not the loudest speaker you’ve ever heard, it is louder than most laptops or mobile phones and it achieves this in an interesting way. The Roadie portable speaker effectively uses the same principle as a subwoofer, shooting the deep bass downwards and using the environment (or surface) to project the sound.
In testing I tried multiple different surfaces to find the best result. Turns out the harder surfaces like the computer desk or kitchen bench top worked the best, conducting the sound through a contact base at the bottom of the speaker.
Portability is really the strength to this device, after charging it, the internal battery meant I could take it wire-free into the bathroom, lounge, kitchen or even outdoors. I would love to see a bigger version that could pull off a louder volume for using while on the treadmill (that thing is loud!).
I never really understood why the Roadie split into 3 sections, I can’t really imagine scenario where you’d use it without one section. That said the 3 segments are magnetically locked together which snap together with a solid feel. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about the buttons on the front, their build quality left a bit to be desired. That said I’d expect most users would simply plug in a SD card and let the music play randomly, so the buttons wouldn’t get much use.
Style wise the speaker looks great, nice chrome finish with an array of coloured lights for night time mood lighting.
Overall a decent offering that could be improved with louder volume and would definitely benefit from a standard USB connector for thumb drives and a iPod connector.
More info @ Franklin electronics