Today we are checking out something that resembles a mini PC in the shape of an arcade machine from the 80s. This is not a PC though, rather a retro portable speaker called Ditoo made by Divoom. Let's talk about it.
When we first saw this gadget - it certainly caught our eye for being quite unique, but also with a retail price of 160 USD it isn’t exactly cheap for a speaker. To be fair, it seems to be sold at half price most of the time. Either way let's cover what that gets you.
This speaker comes with a very presentable and solid packaging. Inside we find the speaker unit itself, a braided USB type C cable, user manual and some stickers. Here we have a black version, it also comes in 5 other colours. To me the red seems the most eye-catching so I quite like it, and this black one blends more in the interior, but then again it depends on what kind of colour scheme you have at your place.
While this speaker is made out of plastic, it does feel very sturdy and has some heft to it. This is probably because they have crammed in a screen, 10 Watt speaker and battery to feed it all. We will talk about performance a little later on. Let me walk you through the unit itself. The most unique part of this is the aforementioned display - it is a 16 by 16 pixel LED screen that measures just over 3.5 inches. On the top we have the speaker driver and at the back there is an additional port to optimise the sound.
On the right hand side we have a power button, USB type C port for charging and MicroSD card slot. While this is primarily a Bluetooth speaker - you are actually able to play music directly from the expansion card so it can be used in a standalone mode.
On the front there are 6 very satisfying mechanical buttons which control different features such as navigating through the menu as well as volume control. To the side there is a little joystick looking leaver, unfortunately it is just a simple switch and it serves as play/pause as well as select function. These buttons also have special functions like controlling the keyboard backlight as well as main screen brightness control.
Besides obvious streaming music over Bluetooth it includes things like internet radio, productivity tools like alarm and reminders, voice memo and daily planner. It also has more general notification tools for social media and weather. I actually have it permanently on my desk, just connected to the USB cable to keep it charged. It is linked to my phone so I can quickly play music on Spotify without even lifting the phone. In stand-by mode it is set to show time and every hour it will display weather notifications which makes it a rather useful gadget on my desk. More unusual features include thermometer and noise meter, scoreboard and of course you can design all kinds of patterns and pictures within the accompanying app.
Talking about the app - it covers all the features and has a whole community with custom designs to keep you entertained, which seems to be updated daily by user submissions. For me, I will stick with maybe boring but functional clock and notifications set-up.
I did also mention it looks like a mini arcade machine, and in a way it is. You can play some retro games like Tetris, or blocks. Go a bit crazy and use it as a slot machine or roll the dice. It is not something I would use for gaming as it’s not as responsive as I would like, but the function is there and it is still a pretty cool party trick. I also found navigating the menu a little frustrating as you need to do it using the buttons plus the lever to select whatever menu item you are going into.
This brings us to probably the most important question - does it actually sound any good? Well, this is a very small unit and based on this I had my expectations set pretty low. But when I turned it on.. it blew me away. First of all, it can easily fill the room and has a very punchy base. While testing - it became clear that it completely outclassed our Google home mini. It has more depth and does not distort unless you set it unbearably loud. Check out the difference here.
Just like Google home mini - the speaker driver is pointing up, thus filling the room and making it really immersive. While listening to music this is certainly nice.
This is obviously not just a desktop speaker, but rather a portable unit with a built-in battery. In our test we set the sound volume to about 40% and screen brightness at around 70% displaying time and notifications and it lasted just over 8 hours. A more standard Bluetooth speaker would last about 12 hours, but most of them also don’t come with a screen so there is a bit of trade off.
To summarize I feel this is a very nice looking and surprisingly functional speaker that I can wholeheartedly recommend as it is something that I have on my desk all the time. While at this price it would be hard to justify just an LED panel or just a speaker, but as a whole coherent package with all the included tools I actually think this is a good deal and also would be a perfect gift to someone who is into retro gadgets.