The Divoom Timebox-Evo is a bluetooth pixel art speaker that breaks the mould. This little box is loaded with features, and the first thing you’ll notice is the 16×16 LED panel that serves as a canvas for pixel art. The accompanying Divoom app boasts an exhaustive list of extras, including social media notifications, a smart alarm clock, daily planner and sleep aid. The Timebox-Evo features a powerful 6W speaker under the hood, and comes with a 2500 mAh battery which will give you up to 6 hours of playback time. All of this for less than $60.
Setup is very easy: all you have to do is download the Divoom app, which is available for Android and iOS. Once you’ve fired up the app, you can either register or sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account. Then you simply go to Settings, and you can go ahead and pair your phone. It’s also possible to connect to a PC or laptop, however there is no supporting Windows or Mac app, so you can only use it as a speaker in this scenario.
Once you have the Divoom app installed, you unlock a plethora of features. You’ll be greeted with a screen displaying some awesome community artwork, and you can download any of these to your device. You’re bound to find something you like, and the themes range from pop-culture to holidays and nature. It’s fully interactive, as you can like and comment on other pixel art designs. You can even upload your own designs and gain followers. There is also a chat feature where you can invite another user to a chat by entering their ID. So to start creating, just hit the little Pencil icon. You can choose between picture, animation or text. It’s actually quite astonishing how much you can do with a simple 16×16 grid, and there really are some mindblowing community designs. You can really have a lot of fun with this little canvas, especially if you’re creative minded. You’ll see a lot of Christmas themed ones right now as we’re entering the festive season. Even if you’re not using the Timebox-Evo, it serves as a very cool looking home decoration.
It is also possible to record voice memos with the Timebox-Evo. By holding the Play button, you can start recording a voice memo of up to 60 seconds. The memo will be deleted automatically once playback has finished. You can also access this functionality with the app, where there is even some voice changing options. I had a few good laughs with these voice filters. Would’ve been nice to have the option of sharing your voice memo before it being deleted, so hoping to see that in a future update. On the music tab there is a huge list of online radio stations that can be played through your device. There must be over 100 stations here, with every conceivable genre. You can favourite the ones you like for quick future access.
On the Discover tab there is a seemingly endless list of features. There are some widgets that are bound to be useful at some point, such as a stopwatch, countdown timer, scoreboard and noise meter. Believe it or not, it’s even possible to play games with the device, and you can fire up a good old game of tetris. Then there is a little music studio that lets you try your hand at DJing. Almost like a very basic version of FL Studio, where you can throw together audio samples and loops. There is also a whole host of interactive instruments, including a little drum kit and piano. I found myself spending hours on this little mixer.
A feature that I really like is the sleep aid. Here you can set the Timebox-Evo to play soothing sounds as you’re trying to fall asleep at night. There are copious options, ranging from rain to meditation and midnight sounds. You can set the duration anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes. This is going to work great if you have a hard time falling asleep, or if you’re trying to mask some background noise. The LED screen also has a night light option. I tried this a few times, and really found the rain theme soothing. You can also use the Timebox-Evo as an alarm, and there is a daily planner where you can have the alarm go off throughout the day to remind you of your daily tasks.
Sound quality is always important with a bluetooth speaker, and forms the foundation of the whole experience. The Timebox-Evo features a DSP-tuned 6W speaker with a bass port design. At only 10cm in height and width, this little box delivers powerful sound. I was really impressed with the punchy bass and it can go surprisingly loud. This should be more than adequate for a crowded house or swimming pool area. Vocals sounded pleasantly clear and the mids are solid. The Timebox-Evo manages to produce very powerful sound while remaining highly portable. It’s definitely more convenient to carry around than the bigger bluetooth speakers on the market. So you have a few options as to what is displayed on the screen. First of all you can display the time, and with the app you can add stuff like the weather, temperature and date. But for me it was really cool just using it as a desk decoration with some pixel art.
The battery life is solid with 6 hours of playback time. Keep in mind that this is at moderate volume levels, so it will be a little less if you’re going to be playing it at full tilt. You can check the remaining battery life by pressing the Power button. I was able to use the device for a full day before having to charge, and I was using it quite a lot, tinkering and testing for review purposes. So I would say with moderate to heavy usage you should be able to get at least one day per charge. The six hours of playback time should be more than good enough if you’re going to use it as a speaker. The Timebox-Evo charges with a USB-C cable that is included in the packaging.
The controls are fairly intuitive. Each button has a normal and long press function, and just consult the manual if you get stuck. The Timebox-Evo has some good heft to it at 326 grams, and it feels weighty in the hand. It has a rubbery finish on the sides, with the LED panel in front and speaker grill on the back. Build quality is good and it should suirvive getting dropped a few times.
I think the Timebox-Evo offers exceptional value at under $60. The LED screen is absolutely stunning, and you can really let your creativity go here. With the Divoom app you get loads of extra features. But even disregarding the LED panel and features, the Timebox-Evo offers powerful sound with good quality. I would highly recommend this if you’re in the market for an innovative bluetooth speaker.