TOY BOX: Soundbug users will like what they hear

The Soundbug, by Etrema, lets you listen to music without speakers or headphones. It plugs into the 3.5mm jack on portable electronic devices, and attaches to almost any hard and smooth surface. Setup is also very simple.

The Soundbug, by Etrema, lets you listen to music without speakers or headphones. It plugs into the 3.5mm jack on portable electronic devices, and attaches to almost any hard and smooth surface. Setup is also very simple.

I tried it on metal, wood, plastic, and glass surfaces. It stayed firmly adhered to all. It sounded clearest on glass, but unless you really listen for the distinction, it's difficult to determine. I tested it on all surfaces with two portable devices - an Apple iPod and a Sony Discman - and technically, it worked flawlessly with both. The sound quality, however, differed greatly. While the Soundbug didn't sound great with either device, I was able to play music at a significantly louder volume when using the Discman. This is obviously a distinction between the two players, and not the Soundbug, but it's important to note that capabilities differ depending on what's being used to power the bug. The verdict: Sound quality is sub-par at high volumes, but for listening in quiet areas, this is a worthwhile gadget. Any questions? Write us at toybox@prweek.com.
  • Sara Calabro writes Toy Box. She is a New York-based staff reporter for PRWeek. ----- Price $39.95 list, but I found it as low as $24.65 on officedepot.com Available at soundbug.biz, amazon.com, officedepot.com, and thinkgeek.com Specs Runs on three AAA batteries, which are included. It's 95mm x 50mm x 35mm and weighs 6 ounces. It generates sound of up to 75 decibels.

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