Review: Boostaroo Revolution

Review: Boostaroo Revolution

Have you ever traveled with a companion and wanted to share your headphones while listening to a portable DVD player or MP3 player? When travelling can you simply not turn your device up loud enough to drown out the rest of the noise on the plane? Are you a motorcyclists bored of hearing the drone of the motorcycle motor and wish you could listen to music instead? Are you an audiophile that would like your digital music to sound full even while wearing headphones? UpBeat Audio‘s Boostaroo Revolution may be the solution for you. Read our entire review to see what the Geeks thought of the product.

The Revolution is described as “an audio amplifier that separates the signal into individual stereo channels to drive two separate headsets or speakers, and images surround sound into 3 channels. Depending on the ohm rating (electrical resistance) of your headphones, the Revolution will provide an 11.5 dB boost with no more than 1% harmonic distortion.” There is also no difference in output or frequency response when one headphone or two headphones are plugged in at the same time according to UpBeat Audio.

Boostaroo Revolution provides up to 4x’s the volume of a player while providing the power to drive some high end headphones rated up to 300 ohms without distortion or interference. One note, if you have headphones rated under 32 ohms, you might want to rethink this purchase as it looks like the headphones will output too much distortion. In fact, the Boostaroo Revolution is more for headphones rated above 60 ohms. The better the headphone, the better the Boostaroo Revolution will enrich your audio sound.

Audio players such as MP3, satellite radio and CD players, computers and laptops, and other portable players such as DVD portable players and game systems can have enhanced audio and shared audio using the Revolution.

To test products for reviews, I usually work alone but I needed to recruit some helpers to test the splitting function of the Boostaroo Revolution. Using an Apple iPod mini with the ear buds that come with the iPod mini and some Sony MDR-NC50 noise cancelling headphones, my recruit and I set out to test various music using the Boostaroo Revolution.

First of all, the iPod mini ear buds are rated to 32 ohm and the Sony noise cancelling headphones are rated up to 100 ohm so both headphones used are within the the specs recommended as mentioned above however it’s really designed for headphones rated 60 ohms or better to hear the rich, clear surround sound intended by the amplifier.

The first thing we noticed about the Revolution is it’s portability. Weighing in around 6 ounces and less than an inch wide and high and 4.3 inches long, the product is not cumbersome but can easily be stuck in the same pocket as a mini iPod for example. The Revolution we received for a review came in a high gloss white finish.

Also, the device feels quite solid and the eight inch jacks allow for a nice tight fit for headphones and either of the cables included (a 4″ and 7″ connector cables to go from the audio output to the Revolution). The battery cover requires fingernails to open and was slightly difficult to open. The battery compartment requires a really tight fit for the batteries as well. If you think about it, this is actually a good feature especially if you use this while travelling or on a motorcycle.

Once an audio input is plugged into the Boostaroo Revolution, a red light is lit on the unit letting you know it’s powered. You can then plug in one or two headphones on the side of the unit. VERY IMPORTANT: make sure you turn down the audio source or you might very well cause damage to your ear.

We switched back and forth between a non-amplified signal and inserting the Revolution in stream and found that the Revolution amplifies the sound volume by a factor of roughly three to four times of that of the non-amplified signals. Once the iPod mini’s volume reached about 90% of maximum we heard distortion on the iPod mini included ear buds as expected because the headphones are only rated up to 32 ohms. The $200 noise cancelling Sony’s had no issues with distortion however.

One thing that really surprised us, especially in Sony headphones, was the richness of the sound. The ear buds did sound better with the Boostaroo Revolution in stream but the Sony’s sounded phenomenal. For example, the bass really boomed with the amplifer hooked up and the entire sound was more rich. The “richness” of sound is due to UpBeat Audio’s patent-pending circuitry which actually separates and reprocesses compressed digital music files which opens up the field of sound. This feature of the Revolution will be of particular interest to audiophiles with headphone rated above 60 ohms.

Our new Gaming Guru Geek brought up the fact that he had used the original Boostaroo on his motorcycle to allow himself to listen to music while driving and from what we hear, UpBeat Audio has had quite a following from the motocyclers for the ability to amplify above the sound of the motor.

So, is the Boostaroo Revolution worth the $79.95 price tag? If you could relate to the questions at the top of the article, the answer is definitely yes. Also, if you are an audiophile and wish to listen to your music on the go in an uncompromising manner, the Boostaroo Revolution is for you.

You can purchase the Boostaroo Revolution from UpBeat Audio and get more information about the product here.

What’s Groovy and What’s Sucky

What’s Groovy:

The Boostaroo Revolution provides a groovy experience while listening to audio
by not only allowing someone else to listen without sharing either your right or left
headphone and amplifying the sound volume but by increasing the richness of your
portable audio.

What’s Sucky:

The closest thing to be sucky is the price. The majority of
people who purchase headphones tend to purchase less expensive headphones… unless
you’re a geek like us!

Features Performance Quality Value
5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars

The Boostaroo Revolution boasts up to 400% amplification of signal volume
as well as splitting the signal for two outputs (headphones or even mini-speakers)
with no loss of volume. The Revolution also images surround sound into three
channels which is represented by the “richness” of the sound thanks to UpBeat
Audio’s patent-pending circuitry.

Impressive would be the best word to describe the performance of the Boostaroo.
The signal volume definitely was increased several fold even with two headphones
plugged in. Also, both outputs had no volume loss. The only issue was distortion
at the loudest volume. Even better headphones would probably dissipate the
distortion, but then again… you’d lose your hearing at that level!

The device and contacts are solid and well put together. The battery cover and
area for the batteries are tight, but that’s better than these falling out!

There are splitters available for $5 and amplifiers available for $400 and more.
The Boostaroo Revolution offers both a splitter (without volume loss however) and
an excellent amplifier which amplifies volume up to 400%. The $79.95 price tag
seems to be a good value.

Overall
4 Stars

Overall the Boostaroo Revolution works quite nicely for couples that want to share
music or movies by splitting an audio source into two outputs as well
as boosting the audio output. Motorcyclists, for example, can benefit from the
Boostaroo Revolution and actually hear their music over the noise of the motorcycle.

Also, audiophiles with headphones rated over 60 ohms can enjoy their music through
headphones with rich and clear surround sound pumped out through the Revolution.