Contact Us   Site Map
Airline Mismanagement

Need to turn up the volume on your portable speakers?  Or maybe you want to share your music with a friend or two?

This small light and simple gadget might be just what you need.

 
 
Travel Planning and Assistance
Road Warrior resources
Noise Reducing Headphones
International Cell Phone Service
GSM cell phone unlocking FAQs
Unlock Your GSM Cell Phone
Portable MP3 Players
GPS series of articles
Should you choose an iPhone or Android series
Apple iPhone review series
iPhone 3G/3GS Battery replacement
Third Rail iPhone 4/4S External Battery
Apple iPad review series
iPad/Tablet Buying Guide
Google Nexus 7 review
Netflix Streaming Video
Sharing Internet Access series
Microsoft OneNote review
T-mobile/Google G1 phone review series
Blackberry review and user tips
Palm Tungsten T3
Motorola V3 Razr cell phone review
Motorola V600 cell phone review
Nokia 3650 cell phone review
SIM Saver GSM Phone Backup and Copy Device
Clipper Gear Micro Light
Amazon's new (Sep '11) Kindles and Fire review
Review of the Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle eBook reader review
Amazon Kindle 2 preview
Sony PRS-500 eBook reader review
Audible Digital Talking Books review
Home Security Video Monitoring
Quik Pod review
Joby Gorillapod review
Satellite Radio Service
Satellite Phone Service
All About Speech Recognition Software
2005 Best Travel Technology Awards
How to connect to the Internet when away from home/office
Bluetooth wireless networking
How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset
Logitech Squeezebox Duet
Packet 8 VoIP phone service
Sugarsynch software review
iTwin remote access device
Barracuda Spam Firewall review
Cell Phone Emergency Power Recharger series
First Class Sleeper
Roboform Password Manager review
Securikey USB Computer Protection Key review
Steripen UV Water Purifiers
ScanGaugeII OBDII review
SafeDriver review
Expandable Bags for Traveling Convenience
USB Flash Drive
Vonage VoIP phone service
Laptop Screen Privacy Filter
AViiQ Laptop Stands
Aviator Laptop Computer Stand
No Luggage Worries
Pack-a-Cone roadside safety flashing cone
Emergency Self charging Radio
Evac-U8 Emergency Escape Smoke Hood
MyTag Luggage Tags
Beware of Checked Baggage Xray Machines
SearchAlert TSA approved lock
Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and splitter
Dry Pak protective pouch
Boom Noise Canceling Headset
Ety-Com Noise Canceling Headset
Nectar Blueclip BT headset holders
Skullcandy Link Headset Mixer
Lingo Pacifica 10 language talking translator
Nexcell NiMH rechargeable battery kit
Jet Lag Causes and Cures
SuddenStop License Frame
CoolIT USB Beverage cooler
Travel ID and Document Pouches
Protect Yourself Against Document Loss
Personal Radio Service
PicoPad Wallet Notes
Times Electronic Crossword Puzzles
Slim Cam 300 micro digital camera review
Stopping Spam
BottleWise Bottle Carrier review
The End of the Internet as We Know it?
How to Book and Buy Travel
Scary, Silly and Stupid Security Stories
Airline Reviews
Airline (Mis)!Management
Miscellaneous Features
Reference Materials
About the Travel Insider
 
Search
Looking for something else? Search over two million words of free information on our site.
Custom Search
 
Free Newsletter

In addition to our feature articles, we offer you a free weekly newsletter with a mix of news and opinions on travel related topics.

 

 View Sample
Privacy Policy

 
Help this Site
Thank you for your interest in helping this site to continue to develop. Some of the information we give you here can save you thousands of dollars the next time you're arranging travel, or will substantially help the quality of your travel experiences in other, non-cash ways. Click for more information
 
Reader's Replies

If you'd like to add your own commentary, send me a note.

 

 

Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and Splitter

Get more sound from your portable music and plug up to three sets of headphones into the player
 

The Boostaroo is a simple battery powered device, enabling up to three different sets of headphones or speakers to share the same music source, and feeding louder volume music to them.

 

 

The Boostaroo is compact, light, inexpensive, and simple to use - a great gadget to enhance your (and your friends') listening experience.

Description

The Boostaroo measures 4.5" x 0.9" x 1.2" and weighs 3.7 oz with two AA batteries inside.

It has a 15" cord that plugs into the audio output of any typical personal audio device such as a CD player, Walkman, MP3 player, laptop computer, etc.  An alternate model is available with a longer 3' cord.

A slide switch turns the unit on and off.  When turned on, a red LED inside illuminates.  The unit is built out of semi-transparent plastic, so you can see some of the internal electronics.

On the side of the Boostaroo are three sockets, into which you can plug mini speaker systems, headphones, or whatever else you might want to use to play the music back through.

The unit is powered by two AA batteries, and does not come with batteries included.  A single sheet of instructions tells you all you need to know about using the unit.

The Boostaroo amplifier has a 90 day no questions asked return policy, and a generous one year warranty, enabling you to buy the product with confidence.

Functionality

The Boostaroo contains three pre-set stereo amplifiers.  These take the sometimes too-low sound levels from personal audio devices and amplify them to a higher level.  The unit seems capable of handling fairly high audio input levels without overloading.

There is nothing to adjust and no volume or other controls, apart from a master on/off switch.  The manufacturers sensibly point out that you should simply adjust the volume on the player unit, and therefore no further adjustment is needed on the Boostaroo unit.

The best way to manage the volume that you hear is, if your headphones or speakers also have a volume control on them, set this volume control to maximum.  The volume control in these units - unless they have their own built in amplifier - works so that if you turn the volume down, you are wasting some of the (battery) power from the amplifier.  But, on the amplifier, you only use as much battery power as is needed to amplify the sound - if you turn down the volume, you reduce battery consumption at the same time.

So, always have the volume control on any unpowered speakers or headphones at the max level and rely on the volume control on personal music player.  Remembering that the Boostaroo will make  the sound much louder than before, you should, of course, start with the volume set to a low level and then carefully turn it up as may be needed.

Testing indicated that the Boostaroo adds about 16 dB of extra sound to any given input.  This is 30 times more power, and sufficient as to make all the difference between 'too quiet' and definitely loud enough.

There was no appreciable sound coloring or other impact on the quality of the amplified sound.  Indeed, any change was probably for the better - because the personal audio device wasn't having to be driven so hard, it was not overloading its circuitry and so distortion levels remained low.

Battery Life

The manufacturers claim that the Boostaroo will last about 35 hours on a set of two AA batteries (note their website says 20 hours but this apparently relates to an earlier model).  This claim is of course very usage dependent - if you have three sets of speakers/headphones plugged in, and are playing high level music, then your battery life will be massively less than if you are just playing a single set of headphones through the Boostaroo.

Boostaroo also offer an interesting suggestion.  They suggest that batteries in a typical audio device with moving parts (ie CD player or tape player, but not a solid state memory MP3 player) are driven hardest by the need to power the moving parts (spinning the CD or turning the tape).  Many times when the batteries become too low to perform this task, they still have enough power to work in the Boostaroo and give some more hours of useful life while doing the relatively 'easy' job of just amplifying the sound.  And so Boostaroo suggests you recycle your 'dead' batteries into the Boostaroo, where they will give several more hours of work before completely dying.

Cost

The Boostaroo comes in two models.  The standard model has a 15" cord and costs $29.95.  The other model has a longer, 3' cord, and costs $1 more.  They can be purchased through Pro Travel Gear (the manufacturers of the Plane Quiet noise cancelling headphones) and if you use the discount code Travelinsider you'll get a 5% discount.

Summary

This is a simple and easy way of boosting the audio level when playing portable music devices through small speakers.  It is also a great way to enable two or three people to all listen to the same music (or film soundtrack or whatever) simultaneously.

If either of these scenarios applies to you, then this $30 gadget is probably something you'll want to own.

If so, please donate to keep the website free and fund the addition of more articles like this. Any help is most appreciated - simply click below to securely send a contribution through a credit card and Paypal.

 

Originally published 26 Mar 2004, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 
 
 

 


Your Feedback

How Would You Rate this Article

Poor
Average
Good

Was the Article Length and Coverage

Too short/simplistic
About right 
Too long/complex

Would You Like More Articles on this Subject

No
Maybe
Yes

Back to Top