In addition, it is interesting to see all the solutions for “technical challenges”, and the product introduced this time aims to solve the problem of missing bass in small portable speakers by connecting it to a plastic bottle.
The project has been closed at the end of August 2018 on Kickstarter when the project was successfully funded.
the product arrived in March 2019, and we wanted to review it!
Reinvent the bass? Review of Portable Wireless Speaker Sodapop
The speaker arrives in a package of cushioning material and cardboard, and it is tightly wrapped around the product. It is the orange version of Sodapop that appears from the inside.
There may be difficult at first sight to know this is a speaker with this bottle shaped appearance:
Of all six colors, I chose this because it looked the most beautiful.
The speaker unit is visible inside the pet material. It is a pleasurable design to look at. The transparency of the plastic bottle is utilized. (The product itself is not PET resin but transparent plastic.):
Sodapop packaging has a simple setup manual on the outside. I will explain it later, but there is nothing particularly difficult:
This is the size compared to iPhone XS Max. The size is like a cup of coffee.
Looking at the bottom of Sodapop, there is a slit in the circumference. This mystery will be revealed later.
Let’s actually assemble it and check how the Sodapop sounds.
Opening and assembly
Strip off the shrink-wrap on the outside and finally meet Sodapop. If you take off the shrink-wrap, it looks like a glass case.
As it is designed to be locked, turn it to open it. It feels tight.
This is what happens when you break the Sodapop into parts.
Let’s look at each one.
The upper part of the bottle has a trumpet shaped plastic part, but apart from that, it looks like a standard plastic bottle opening.
The letters “DESIGNED IN NORWAY” are printed on the bottom part:
If you look at Norwegian design, you may think of “nordic design”, but if you look at the Sodapop Web site, it says “Scandinavian design”.
Scandinavian refers to three countries, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and Finland seems to be included by definition. Seeing it from Japan, it feels Scandinavian.
Now, when the lower part was removed, the USB cable (picture left) and the audio cable (picture right) were stored along the circumference inside. Both cables and connectors are wonderful, assuring thorough uniformity:
The QR code seen in the center is a folded paper description. A black part appears when this was removed. When you press it with your finger, it is flexible. This is the woofer part:
If you look over the bottom of the lower part, there is a slit, this back side is just woofer parts.
In addition, the lid of the bottle was supposed to fit on this central projection.
This is a nice detail. (but the lid is not related to the sound quality)
Well, the main part of Sodapop is the wireless speaker unit. It has a nice shape.
It looks sleek.
At the top of the back, there is a power & pairing button, and a volume button on the left and right. Also, there is an LED between the +button and power button, but it not easy to see in a photo.
This speaker unit itself is an independent Bluetooth wireless speaker, so when you press and hold the power button, it will be in pairing mode and you can pair it with an iPhone or other device.
At the bottom of the back there is a MicroUSB port for charging and a port for analog input.
There is a speaker unit on both sides:
And at the bottom of this speaker unit is the gimmick unique to this Sodapop:
If you open this lid, a hole and a filter will appear. In addition, this hole has a groove corresponding to the mouth of the plastic bottle.
Screw the bottle and reassemble again to complete the Sodapop.
When you listen to music from the paired iPhone, the sound spreads into space like a 360 degree speaker. The bass seems to be coming out quite well. What kind of gimmick is this bottle?
What is Sodapop’s gimmick?
The sound of Sodapop is supported by the woofer parts at the bottom of the bottle.
It becomes like this when the flow of the sound from a speaker unit is made into an arrow. The air coming out of the bottom of the speaker shakes the woofer parts mounted on the bottom of the bottle and plays a role in amplifying the bass.
It seems to be a very good speaker. Even though it is such a simple gimmick, it plays very good and there is a big difference with or without the bottle.
What is the sound quality of Sodapop’s wired connection?
We try the input from the back by wire. Even so, it is beautiful when the color of the main unit and the cable is uniform.
Connected is ONKYO DP-CMX1 GRANBEAT, which boasts the strongest sound quality of smartphones.
When I played high-volume music with the GRANBEAT, I heard a powerful music that I couldn’t imagine from such a toy-like appearance. It’s pretty aggressive. (I stopped because I was overwhelmed)
It is also good to take it out and use it outdoors.
Use of common plastic bottle
The speaker connection of Sodapop is similar to the one used in most plastic bottles in Japan, so I could attach a common 500 ml plastic bottle.
Since there is no bottom woofer part, the sound does not spread to there (though it is much better than using the speaker as it is). But it is best with the original bottle.
However, being able to use a general-purpose plastic bottle is a considerable advantage depending on how you think. For example, if you set up Sodapop in an empty 2-liter plastic bottle for outdoor barbecue etc., it will be a simple stand and you can make sounds at high positions. There is no need to use a bulky tripod or table.
It is a wireless speaker like a science experiment, but its ability is real. Crowdfunding is fun because you can find such a hit.
Sodapop is a super interesting gadget that reinvents the bass.
Because it can be used like a 360 degree speaker and is about BOSE’s SoundLink Revolve + in size, I will be using this speaker in the future.
How much is Sodapop?
The price at the time of investment was 440 NOK (Norwegian Krone) on Kickstarter. (It was 59 dollars in US dollars)
If you are interested please visit the Sodapop official site.