Do you long for the 80s and 90s where you could walk down the street with a boombox over your shoulder listing to your favorite beats? If you are too young to know about the boombox era, Google it. We have more important things to talk about, like the Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers. Considered by many to be the modern-day boombox.
The Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers combine the portability of a headphone with the functionality of a Bluetooth speaker. Let’s take a closer look at these unique wearable speakers and find out whether it’s genius or ludicrous.
Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers Design
At first glance, you might mistake the Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers for a pair of earbuds. Each speaker is slightly smaller than palm-sized and connected via a cord. Exactly like a pair of earbuds.
The cord hangs around your neck, allowing the two speakers to rest over your chest. Zulu Audio provides you with two magnets to place at the back of the speaker under your shirt to keep them in place.
A rubber clip is also provided to help keep the speakers in position. You can attach the clip behind or in front of your neck to give you more or less slack on the cord. The rubber clip will position the speakers higher or lower on your shirt, depending on your preference.
The total weight of the device is 3 oz, which is significantly lighter than the average 10-ounce over-ear headphone.
The magnets are sufficiently strong enough to hold the speakers even during the most rigorous activity like running, cycling, skateboarding, or even shooting hoops.
While these magnets are strong, they are small enough that they may easily get lost. Like most small bits of any equipment, you might have. Luckily, you can purchase replacement magnets via the Zulu Audio website. A single replacement magnet costs $2.99. A possible future cost to consider.
The Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers come with an IPX4 waterproof rating, which means the product is splashproof. Perfect for use when it’s raining or if you are a heavy sweater.
Battery and Connections
The Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers feature a lithium-ion battery giving you up to 4 hours of playing time (at 75% volume). In standby mode, the battery will last around seven days. From flat, the speakers will fully recharge in under 2.5 hours.
You have just the option of Bluetooth when it comes to audio connections. The speakers feature Bluetooth 4.1, which is more than sufficient for this sort of device.
You only get a 17-foot Bluetooth range, which is significantly less than the 66-foot average of other Bluetooth 4.1 speakers. But then the Zulu Audio Wearable is more like a set of headphones where you’ll typically have your mobile in your pocket or bag. So, I don’t see the range being an issue.
The Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers have a built-in microphone so you can make and receive calls as well as voice assistants like Siri or Google.
On the primary speaker, you’ll find plus (+) and minus (-) buttons. Both act as multi-function buttons for volume control, play/pause, and managing incoming calls.
What Do Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers Sound Like?
When I first looked at the Zulu Audio Wearables, I thought, “these are going to sound rubbish.” But the speakers perform surprisingly well. On par with most compact Bluetooth speakers. Which isn’t saying a lot, I will admit, but the quality is ok.
If you’re into your bass, then the Zulu Audio Wearables might not be for you. Low-end is where the speakers are severely lacking. These are small speakers, smaller than your average Bluetooth speaker, so, understandably, there will be a lack of bass.
Mid-Range and Treble Response
The mid-range and treble response is on par with a budget Bluetooth speaker. It’s not high-quality, but you can hear everything clearly.
One thing to note is the Zulu Audio Wearables are somewhat directional, meaning people around you won’t hear the same quality and volume. You have to have the speakers around your neck to get the full effect.
Lastly, call quality is, again, surprisingly good on the Zulu Audio Wearables. The caller does sound a little distant, but no more so than when you’re using the speakerphone on a Bluetooth speaker. Your voice will be heard by the caller clearly, which is where a lot of Bluetooth speakerphones don’t work. I would think this is because you are in such close proximity to the microphone.
So, who are Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers really for?
If you’re a runner, cyclist, or skater maneuvering through busy suburban areas, the Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers will be better than regular headphones or a Bluetooth speaker. You might ask why?
With headphones, you’re very isolated and don’t have any spatial awareness. On busy roads, this can be dangerous. With the wearables out of your ears, you can still hear traffic and other noise, so you’re able to navigate safely while still listening to audio.
The biggest problem with speakers like these is that people tend to wear them while playing music on public transport or other public areas. This can be extremely annoying! So, buying these speakers might get you into trouble if you don’t use them responsibly and respect those around you.
If you are worried about your ears and don’t like headphones, the Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers might be a good alternative. You won’t get the same bass and immersive experience you do with headphones, but at least you won’t damage your ears.
At $50, the Zulu Audio Wearable Bluetooth Speakers are about $20 more than I would want to pay for a product like this. Still, it’s an affordable price point, and they’re a lot of fun.