contact | advertising
TREBLEMAKER.com
Google
 
  home | rss/xml | reviews  
 
Bosch Power Box Review
A stylish, feature packed, jobsite stereo system with iPod integration
Date Created: 06/09/2006 Last Updated: 07/29/2006 Authors: Jon Accarrino & Megan Avery

Like to listen to music while you work but find your workplace a little too dangerous and dirty for your fragile little iPod? Bosch, a company more famous for their power tools than stereo equipment just might have the perfect solution for you. The [an error occurred while processing this directive] is a feature-rich stereo system that not only sounds great, but has a protective roll cage that keeps it safe in busy commercial and outdoor work environments. When used with the [an error occurred while processing this directive] (sold separately) you can bring your job sites into the digital music age. The Bosch iPod Dock easily connects to the Power Box where it not only protects your iPod but recharges it too.

The Bosch Power Box and iPod Dock sound like a powerful combo, but let's take a look at all the features of each item and how well they perform together in a busy work environment.


The Bosch Power Box
What's In the Box?

  • antenna
  • Power Box
  • battery (can also be used in various power tools)

The Bosch Power Box Dock for iPod
What's In the Box?

  • plastic protective case
  • mount plates for the following iPod models: iPod 3G, iPod Photo 4G, iPod U2, iPod Mini, iPod Video

Part I: Bosch Power Box

Retro Design
At first glance, you will probably notice a "retro" feel to the Power Box. The large circular LCD screen and speakers look like the console inside Adam West's Batmobile. Somehow this design comes off as being both modern and classic at the same time. As a result, the [an error occurred while processing this directive] is "hip" enough for the ladies, but classic enough for the guys.

 

Protective Roll Cage
Have you ever owned a music system that was inside a protective aluminum-and-rubber roll cage? I didn't think so. The Bosch Power Box is encased in a cage similar to many portable power generators. This helps protect the unit when getting accidentally knocked around. According to the Bosch website, the Power Box can withstand an accidental drop up to 10-feet high.  

Although you probably shouldn't drop it on purpose, this roll cage means that the Bosch Power Box will have a much easier time surviving a fall off your workbench than a fancy iPod speaker system like the iPod Hi-Fi. If you really feel like "drop testing" the roll cage, you might want to remove your iPod from it first.

 

LCD Screen
The retro circular LCD screen does more than just look stylish. The LCD screen displays all sorts of handy information relating to the Power Box including the time, EQ setting, CD track info and battery status.

The battery status icon is actually pretty useful and can display 3 different informative symbols. Here's what they mean:

  • DEAD: If your battery is almost dead, the battery icon will start flashing.
  • CHARGING: When the battery is charging, you will see a little lightning bolt symbol through the battery.
  • TEMPETURE: The thermometer symbol means you need to move the Power Box to a temperature somewhere between 40 and 105F before it can recharge.

Audio Features
You probably wouldn't expect much in the way of audio features from a stereo system inside a roll cage, but the [an error occurred while processing this directive] does not disappoint when it comes to sound quality.

The Bosch Power Box includes an integrated premium speaker system, AM/FM radio with search button capable of storing up to 20 FM and 10 AM Presets, a powerful amplifier, an auxiliary audio input and a built-in MP3 compatible CD player.

The MP3 compatible CD player is one of my favorite features. The next time you burn a CD in iTunes, take a look at the Preferences window. You can burn a MP3 CD with hundreds of songs (depending on their file size) and play it in the Power Box. Not a bad idea if you want to have a stack of CD-ROM mixes on hand that can hold up to a few hours of music each.

 

The Power Box also has a great Equalizer. In addition to the standard bass and treble controls, the Power Box's Equalizer has five presets; Jazz, Rock, Classical, Pop and Normal. If the Equalizer doesn't give your sound enough of a punch, you can always use the "Bosch Sound" button. This will boost and enhance the overall sound of the unit. Sometimes you just want to go to 11, like in the movie Spinal Tap.

The top of the Power Box has a sturdy handle and a heavy-duty 180º flexible rubber coated FM antenna. Honestly, this antenna does a poor job of boosting reception but it does stay within the protective roll cage. If FM reception is really important to you, just unscrew the rubber antenna one and use your own. The antenna is definitely one element of the Power Box that Bosch should consider improving.

 

Rechargeable Battery
One of the coolest features about the [an error occurred while processing this directive] is that it's rechargeable. This makes the Power Box useful in a variety of situations from camping trips to blackouts. If you spin the Power Box around, you will see a compartment located in the back of the unit. Opening the rear hatch will reveal a port that accepts Bosch BAT025 - BAT045 batteries commonly used in their line of power tools.

When unplugged, the battery will provide several days of juice to the Power Box depending on your usage. For example, the CD player requires more juice from the battery to physically spin the CD tray compared to a non-mechanical function like the AM/FM radio.

Power
In addition to having a great sound system, the [an error occurred while processing this directive] also has 4 protected GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupters) power outlets on its right side. These GFCI protected outlets will cut power if your Power Box somehow gets wet and could help prevent an accidentally electrocution.

When not trying to save your life, these extra outlets allow you to use the Power Box as a fancy power strip if needed.

Just keep in mind that the battery won't power these outlets. You need to have the Power Box plugged into a power source in order to use these extra outlets.

 


Part II: Bosch Power Box iPod Dock

iPod Docking System
Usually sold separately from the Power Box itself, the [an error occurred while processing this directive] is the perfect Power Box companion for iPod owners. When you take a look at the left side of the Power Box, you will notice the following 2 ports:

  1. a cigarette lighter adapter (like the one you might have in your car), allowing you to plug in devices such as mobile phone chargers and portable TVs
  2. an auxiliary audio input port (3.5-millimeter input jack)

Separately these ports are useful on their own, but Bosch has found a way to integrate both the cigarette lighter adapter and auxiliary audio input with their iPod Dock.

If you look at the rear of the [an error occurred while processing this directive], you will see how it was designed to plug directly into the Power Box's 12-volt auxiliary outlet and 3.5-millimeter input jack at the same time. Because the iPod Dock plugs into both the power and audio ports, you can play music and charge your iPod simultaneously without any additional wires or plugs.

 

iPod Compatibility
Bosch's Dock for iPod accessory is compatible with all current and future Power Box models and with any iPod that utilizes the iPod's bottom proprietary adaptor. This includes all third and fourth generation iPod (20GB/60GB models) featuring click/touch-wheel and button controls, as well as iPod mini, iPod photo (30GB/60GB models), and iPod nano.


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

For the most part, the Bosch Power Box iPod Dock is a perfect citizen in the world of iPod accessories... except when it comes to the remote control. For some reason the Power Box remote does everything except control the iPod. This is another feature I would like to see Bosch consider adding to future Power Box models.

NERD NOTE: Technically any iPod or device with an audio output plug, like the Sony PSP, can plug into the Power Box's AUX input. However, they won't benefit from the protective case and recharging capabilities.

Field Testing the Bosch Power Box

An air conditioned room full of laptops and gadgets probably isn't the best environment to test out the Bosch Power Box. So we asked our neighbors down the street at M. Avery Designs to test it out for us. They are a custom handbag and accessory storefront studio that hosts "make your own handbag" parties. It's not exactly a construction site but it is a very active work environment. Just replace the saws, sawdust and nails with sewing machines and a floor covered with needles and thread.

Here's what the store's owner, Megan Avery, had to say about the Power Box:

"The Bosch Power Box was the perfect addition to our handbag shoppe. Not only is the unit very stylish and retro looking but It easily stood up the massive amounts of stray thread and dog hair (we keep a dog in the back room).

We have a Sirius satellite radio in the store so the staff usually plugs the receiver directly into the Power Box's AUX input in the morning. We'll all listen to Howard Stern until we have to open our doors to customers. At that point, in order not to offend anyone perusing our shelves, one of the ladies will plug-in their iPod into the Power Box and queue up a mix for everyone to listen to.

At night we host handbag parties and make your own handbag workshops. This is where the Bosch Power Box really comes in handy for us. Because the Power Box is so durable and easy to use, we allow our customers and clients to DJ their own workshops. We tell them ahead of time that they can bring their own CDs or iPods. As a result, the Bosch Power Box has become an extra selling point that we can offer to our customers for their private handbag parties.

I would just like to stress one point: You don't need to work on a construction site to enjoy the Power Box. Any active commercial environment or store will find the Bosch Power Box a welcome addition that will keep both fellow employees and customers happy."


Final Thoughts

Working in silence sucks unless you are studying for a test in a library. From outdoor home improvement projects to handbag studios, a little music always helps lift the mood and make time fly by. The Bosch Power Box is a perfect way to upgrade that dinky workbench AM/FM boombox you've been using and at the same time add some iPod integration. The [an error occurred while processing this directive] completely encases and protects any one of five iPod models (iPod 3G, iPod Photo 4G, iPod U2, iPod Mini, iPod Video) utilizing the iPod's bottom proprietary adaptor to accommodate for the various sizes available on the market today.

In addition to bringing great sound to the workplace, the Bosch Power Box is also extremely handy. Having the option to use the Power Box's four 12V DC power outlets is very convenient and will always come in useful in a busy work environment.

Although the [an error occurred while processing this directive] and iPod Dock may be designed with the workshop in mind, it feels right at home even in a commercial handbag studio. Amazingly Bosch, a company more famous for their power tools than audio accessories, has created a product that properly balances the need for protection with great audio sound.

Bottom Line: The Bosch Power Box and optional iPod adapter make it possible to safely take your fragile iPod into an industrial or commercial work environment.





This item is available for purchase from Amazon.com

Bosch Power Tools and Accessories is the North American branch of the largest power tool and accessory manufacturer in the world, Robert Bosch GmbH. Bosch provides a complete line of corded and cordless power tools and accessories engineered to survive any jobsite and allow professionals to take control of their work. For more information, call toll free 877-BOSCH-99 (877-267-2499) or visit www.boschtools.com.

For more information, check out: http://www.boschtools.com

Rating:
Requirements:
Any iPod 3G or later
Manufacturer:
Bosch

Audio/Visual Resources

Crutchfield
Sound and Vision Magazine
Electronic House
The Absolute Sound
Stereophile
Headphone Reviews
CNET
Audio Review
eCoustics
Avrev
Audio Ideas
Audioholics
Home Theater Mag
Stereo 411

Blogroll

Methodshop
PimpWiz
GadgetLounge
GadgetMadness

Music Blogs

Stereogum
Done Waiting
Largehearted Boy
Arjan Writes
Live Music Blog

 


[an error occurred while processing this directive]
links

 

Treblemaker.com™ 2006. All rights reserved.