Polk Boom Swimmer Duo and Swimmer Jr Bluetooth speakers review

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Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-1

Portable Bluetooth speakers are everywhere nowadays. They are small, large, rugged looking or fashion forward. Polk knows the market is loaded with competition at many price points so they designed the Swimmer a few years ago, a portable waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Fast forward a few years and now Polk has moved the Swimmer design forward with the new Polk Boom Swimmer Duo and the Polk Boom Swimmer Jr both of which I will be reviewing here.

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-2

Although the article will encompass the Polk Boom Swimmer Duo and the Polk Boom Swimmer Jr, both of which have common similarities, mainly the ruggedized, waterproof, shock-resistant build, I will be reviewing them separately with the Swimmer Duo up first.

Polk Boom Swimmer Duo

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-3

There are many portable Bluetooth enabled speakers on the market today, with portable being a relative term. While most have a lot of similarities the Polk Boom Swimmer Duo have a rare feature not common in many portable Bluetooth speakers, the ability to be paired with one another to form a true stereo sound.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-4

Each Polk Boom Swimmer Duo (henceforth referred to as the Swimmer Duo) comes with the following:

  • Speaker
  • Micro USB to USB cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Removable suction cup attachment
  • Removable flex tail attachment

Each Swimmer Duo has the following specs as listed on the Polk website:

  • Height, 9.71 inches
  • Product Weight (each), .4 lbs
  • Width, 2.62 inches
  • Midrange Diameter, 1 inch
  • Midrange Quantity, 1
  • Battery Life, up to 8 hours
  • Battery Type, Lithium
  • Inputs, one 3.5mm analog input, one micro USB input for charging
  • Total Frequency Response, 240Hz-16kHz
  • Wired Connectivity, 3.5mm AUX-in
  • Wireless Connectivity, Bluetooth
  • Included Accessories, flexible tail attachment, suction cup attachment, micro USB cable
  • Labor Warranty, 1 year
  • Parts Warranty, 1 year

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-5

The top of the Swimmer Duo has a speaker grill with the Polk named on it.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-6

The sides of the speaker are tapered from top to bottom and contain the power button, plus and minus multi-function buttons, the pairing button, an LED indicator light, built-in mic, and the Boom logo.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-7

The bottom of the Swimmer Duo has the mounting point for the suction cup and flexible tail, the info label, the covered Micro-USB port, and the stereo out jack.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-8

The removable suction cup attachment and the flexible tail allow the user a whole host of carrying and mounting options.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-9

I would like to say charging the Swimmer Duo is as easy as plugging in the Micro USB end of the cable into the Swimmer Duo, but there is some work involved here. If you have one of the removable attachments on the Swimmer Duo you must remove it first. That is not that big of an issue, but I did have some trouble trying to lift the rubber charging port cover as it was tight. I am not complaining, I understand that that is the price you pay for having a water resistant product. The LED on the side of the speaker will be red while the speaker is charging and will turn off when the charging is done.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-10

Basic operation of the Swimmer Duo is simple and straight forward with a simple power button and the volume up and volume down buttons. For advanced operations (next track, previous track, fast forward, rewind and phone operations) the + and – buttons will be used. While it can be hard to remember what does what, the design is not bad and very useable.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-11

One of the main selling points of these speakers is the fact that you can pair them to create a stereo pair of mobile speakers. Here is where the speakers can shine, but your patients may be tested. First, let me mention one of my well-known pet peeves, comprehensive instruction not being shipped with products. Micro-rant over, after going to the Polk website I located the owners manual for the Swimmer Duo (it also covers the Swimmer Jr.) and read up on how to pair the Swimmer Duos with my iPhone and each other. Pairing the Swimmer Duo with my iPhone was not an issue, but it took me a few tries to get the Swimmer Duos to connect to each other and play in stereo. Although, I will be the first to say “I” could have been the biggest problem in getting the speakers to pair, I will hold that it can still be a little confusing.

Now to the meat of it, the sound. To be honest, I was not expecting a lot for the size and the price, but Polk has delivered a nice sounding speaker at a reasonable price. Now, you won’t be hosting a dance party with these speakers, but if you are looking for a speaker that is good in a small setting, the Swimmer Duo fits the bill. I was actually surprised with the amount of bass put out by these small speakers, the mids and highs sounded good as well. I will admit that at extreme volume levels the Swimmer Duo can become murky sounding, but that is to be expected with a speaker of this size.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-12

The Swimmer Duo has two main attachments the flex tail and the suction cup. Both are designed to be attached or removed from the bottom of the speaker via the screws. The suction cup lets you stick the speaker to any smooth non-porous surfaces. While you could use the suction cup to mount the speaker on a window or the side of a car, I don’t know if I would trust that it would stay attached. The flex tail is made to wrap around objects to hold the speaker in place. The flex tail is a rubber covered flexible device that allows you to manipulate it for the best hold. The flex tail has an open slot at the base to allow you to pass the tip through it locking the tip in place. I tested this out, but attaching it my bag and to a pole on my patio cover, both times the tail stayed in place.

So, what’s my bottom line on the Polk Boom Swimmer Duo? I am impressed, with the sound, the design, and the durability. Although I had some issues pairing the speakers with each other, once paired they worked fine. The rubberized outer covering helps protect these speakers from dust and water. The sound quality was better than expected and for the price, I don’t know if you will find a better speaker. The included attachments are thoughtful, work well and are easy to use. The only real negative I have (and this is a personal thing), is the lack of an included owners manual. At $59.99 each from Polk’s website you can try one out before you invest into a pair, but you won’t be sorry if you buy two.

Polk Boom Swimmer Jr

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-13

Although the Polk Boom Swimmer Jr (henceforth referred to in this article as Swimmer Jr) is the smaller sibling to the Duo there are several notable differences. First, the Swimmer Jr is slightly smaller in width (2.4 inches compared to 2.62 inches). The Jr is not as tall and it does not have the same removable attachments as the Duo. That does not mean that the Polk Boom Swimmer Jr is a lightweight.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-14

The Boom Polk Swimmer Jr comes with the following

  • Speaker
  • Micro USB to USB cable
  • Quick start guide

And have the following specs as listed on the Polk website:

  • Height, 8.89 inches
  • Product Weight (each), .35 lbs
  • Width, 2.46 inches
  • Midrange Diameter, 1 inch
  • Midrange Quantity, 1
  • Battery Life, up to 8 hours
  • Battery Type, Lithium
  • Inputs, one micro USB input for charging
  • Total Frequency Response, 240Hz-16kHz
  • Wireless Connectivity, Bluetooth
  • Included Accessories, non-removable flex tail and micro USB cable
  • Labor Warranty, 1 year
  • Parts Warranty, 1 year

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-15

The bottom of the Swimmer Jr has a flex tail built into it for attaching the Swimmer Jr in an array of ways.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-16

The side of the Swimmer Jr has the covered charging port, the power button, an LED light, a microphone, the Boom logo and the – and + buttons on either side of the Boom logo.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-17

The top of the Polk Boom Swimmer Jr has the speaker grill the Polk name on it.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-18

The basic function of the Swimmer Jr is the same as the Swimmer Duo. The + button turns up the volume, switches tracks forward and answers the phone, The – button is volume down, rewinds tracks, plays the previous track and hangs up the phone. The + and – buttons together pause the track. The main difference in the Swimmer Jr is that it charges from a Micro USB port on the side. The Micro USB port is covered to keep out dust and water.

Pokl Boom Swimmer Duo & Jr-20

No matter how cool a speaker is or how well it is built, it all comes down to how it sounds. The Swimmer Jr sounds good. As with the Swimmer Duo, the sound is surprisingly good for a speaker of this size. No one sound range drowns out another, so bass, mids and highs all sound balanced. Like its big sibling, the Swimmer Jr will start to get murky sounding at higher volumes, but for average usage, you should be ok. The Swimmer Jr has a listed 8 hour play time on a battery charge, so you should be able to rock into the night.

So, what’s my bottom line on the Polk Boom Swimmer Jr? I like it. Sometimes simpler is better for me, and the fact that the Swimmer Jr is a simple package makes me happy. It is easy to use, easy to carry and all I would need for my simple outings and travels. I will say having the flex tail permanently attached may turn some folks off, it is easy to work around. I will reiterate Polk’s lack of a user manual is disappointing, the Swimmer Jr’s simplicity of use makes a user manual less of an issue. The Polk Boom Swimmer Jr will run you $39.99 on the Polk’s website, so if you are looking for a portable travel speaker you should check this one out.

Source: The samples for this review was provided byPolk. Visit their site for more info and Amazon to order.

 

Product Information

Price:$59.99 Swimmer Duo, $39.99 Swimmer Jr
Manufacturer:Polk
Retailer:Amazon
Requirements:
  • None
Pros:
  • Swimmer Duo:
  • Stereo capability
  • 8 hours of play time
  • Good sound
  • Swimmer Jr:
  • Good sound
  • Portability
  • 8 hour play time
Cons:
  • Swimmer Duo:
  • You Have to remove the flex tail or suction cup to recharge
  • Swimmer Jr:
  • None
Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Bluetooth Gear, Reviews
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • sigh January 7, 2016, 3:41 am

    Nice review. Is the Duo a pair of speakers or do I have to buy 2 of it? Also, is the counting compatible with camera tripod mount?

  • Larry Geisz January 8, 2016, 1:38 pm

    @sigh Thanks, the Duo are sold singularly so you will need to buy two of them to create a stereo pair.

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