The Zamkol Bluetooth speaker we tested today is the ZK606, a water-resistant, rugged speaker with good Bluetooth range that is clearly meant to be taken outside on adventures. Out of the box, you get the Zamkol Wireless Speaker, a USB charging cable, a 3.5mm audio cable, lanyard and Carabiner, and the user guide. Let’s see how this relatively inexpensive speaker withstood our tests.
The Zamkol speaker (the ZK606) has a sleek, cylindrical design which aids the 360 stereo sound technology that this speaker is advertised with. A pleasant matte-ish black, the speaker looks good, whether it’s lying in the grass or sitting on a shelf or desk. You can set it upright or use the foot-pads on the unit to lay it on its side, depending on the amount of space that you have for the speaker.
The speaker feels durable and despite being lightweight, it feels like a quality speaker in the hand. The flap on the bottom is a rugged rubber tab that securely locks into the bottom, which is important to keep the speaker water resistant in addition to hiding the auxiliary port and micro-usb port for the included charging cable.
How It Works
The buttons and functions are very straightforward, and you hardly need to read the manual to make it work; if you’ve used other Bluetooth speakers, you will probably know how to use this one. Long-pressing the power button will turn the device off and on, while a short press will switch between aux and Bluetooth mode. A long press on the minus button will switch to the previous song, and a short click will turn the volume down (ditto for the plus/volume up) button. The triangle button is multifunction, and allows you to answer and hang up calls with a short press, while a long press will allow you to redial the last number called, which is a nice feature to have. The triangle also will pause/play with a short click. Disconnect from Bluetooth by long pressing 2&4 together.
Connection was fast and easy, as the speaker supports Bluetooth 4.2, so any device with that capability or less should hook up quickly and easily. We tried an android and an iphone and both linked to the speaker quickly, with no problems. The Bluetooth range was great as well, only stuttering after walking down the hall of our office and going around corners or through doorways. When we had a straight look between the phone and the speaker, the range was truly impressive.
The battery is pretty good as well. The box boasts that the speaker’s rechargeable lithium ion battery provides 8 hours at 1/5 volume, 6 hours playtime at 2/3 volume. Our tests hit pretty close to that, although it seemed to depend quite a bit at higher volumes, depending on what type of music we were listening to. Unsurprisingly, mellow tunes gave us more battery life, whereas rock and especially rap ate up the battery quicker. Still, the battery life was more than adequate, especially from such a small speaker that goes up so loud.
The Zamkol ZK606 features “two full-range neodymium drivers and DSP audio technology, which gives it some solid bass and nice treble as well. Overall, the sound is very balanced, whether we were listening to Black Sabbath’s 13 or Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty. Also, this thing can get loud. We were really surprised at the amount of sound coming out of a speaker this small, “360 stereo technology” or not. Even at 90% of the volume, sound was still clear and crisp with no distortion. You can also pair two of these together for “true stereo sound”, although we did not have a second speaker to try this with.
On The Go
ZK606 has a waterproof rating of IPX6, so it can roll with spilling some beer on it (or whatever you’re drinking) some splashing from the pool, and rain, but according to the website, it shouldn’t be completely submerged, which sounds obvious. The speaker weighs 1.06 pounds and comes with a built in area to hook the included carabiner, so Zamkol is obviously going for a lightweight, rugged, splash-proof speaker to take to the beach, pool or on a hike.