Felt's Nomad: A Pocket Speaker That Actually Sounds Good

You've seen lots of pocket speakers. They clip onto a phone case or otherwise connect wirelessly or not to your phone to improve playback fidelity. Given the abysmal state of built-in phone speakers, it's true that most pocket speakers provide quantitatively better sound. But, most of them are still awfully lacking in the fidelity department. Felt Audio's Nomad is a pocket speaker that actually takes its duties seriously.

If you're going to the trouble of carrying around an external speaker, you might as well get good sound. The Nomad is a follow up to Felt's Pulse pocket speaker. The Nomad (the small case in the photo, next to Felt's Rewind retractable Bluetooth earbuds) ups the ante with two 31-mm aluminum cone drivers. Playback time is rated at 5 hours. Something else that's handy in a pocket speaker - its case is water resistant.

Yes, a floor show booth isn't the optimal place to audition sound quality or much of anything else. But, the Nomad actually sounded darn good. Its transducer is definitely upscale with way above average midrange and highs, and a bit of lows. Moreover, for its size, playback volume was impressive; and that's not its "about to burst into flames" volume level - that's the low-distortion volume level.

A few more odds and ends: A rear spring clip makes it wearable and the clip also doubles as a desk stand; it accepts Bluetooth 4.0 or wired connections; it offers volume, play and skip butons; it has an omnidirectional microphone on board for taking calls. A USB to micro-USB charging cable is included. Dimensions are: 2.5 x 3.5 x 0.875 inches (without the clip). Weight is 3.7 ounces. The Nomad comes in black and white (other colors are in the works). Its MSRP is $120.