Of all the iPhone features Apple has upgraded over the years — from the camera to the screen to the software — the built-in speaker remains disappointing at best. A good pair of headphones solves that problem, but so does Scosche’s new BoomCanMS Portable Speaker, a tiny Bluetooth boombox that secures itself to modern iPhones through the MagSafe connection on the back.
It’s not that Apple doesn’t care about how good the iPhone’s built-in speakers sound. The speaker on the iPhone 13 sounds much better than it did on the original model released back in 2007. It’s just that how a speaker sounds is completely dependent on how much air it can move, and the tiny speaker on a smartphone will never be able to compete with the speakers you’ll find on even hockey puck-sized smart speakers, let alone the speakers that come with a home theatre surround sound kit.
Basic physics are working against how good the iPhone on its own can sound, but for $US45 ($62), the Scosche BoomCanMS is a simple way to upgrade the iPhone’s acoustic capabilities if you adamantly refuse to wear headphones. With Bluetooth 5.0, it doesn’t connect to an iPhone quite as effortlessly as AirPods do, but you can pair it in iOS Settings. Scosche promises five hours of listening time on a charge, and the BoomCanMS can also be used as an upgraded speaker phone if you’ve got a room full of people trying to listen in on a call. A pair of BoomCanMS speakers can also be wirelessly connected for true stereo sound, but only one can magnetically piggyback on an iPhone at a time.
The BoomCanMS is also rated IPX7, which means it can easily survive a dunk in water up to a metre deep for half an hour, but don’t expect it to pump out your tunes if you decide to take it snorkelling. If you happen to drop it and your phone into a toilet, however, you don’t have to stress about the speaker dying afterwards.
The MagSafe speaker comes in black or white and will be available to buy sometime this spring.