The Cowin Ark isn’t like any other Bluetooth speaker we’ve seen…which is, of course, the point. But that unique design has another function: It hides some Voltron-esque detachment properties that allow a much more flexible set-up than even the best portable speakers of 2018 that we’ve reviewed so far.
The speaker is made of two parts, the top Sound Bar and the large bottom Bass Station. The Sound Bar (called Cruze, a name rarely used even by the inventors) on its own acts like the traditional Bluetooth speaker. You can pop it off and carry it around with you to play tunes for up to 8 hours on the battery life. It has two speaker drivers, passive radiators, and the latest connectivity options, including the cool NFC ability to pair your phone with the Ark with a tap so they’ll always recognize each other. It also has Bluetooth phone call technology.
When the sound bar runs out of juice, magnetically attach it back into the base station and it will start charging again. Even better, that base station also houses a 3.5-inch subwoofer. The odd shape of the base station is intended to lasso as much reverberation as possible and aim it into the air for maximum effect. The result is a much more powerful blast of music, although the Cowin Ark can also be used for gaming, movies, and other various features suitable for one of the top portable speakers of 2016.
The Ark crowdfunding efforts ended with great success last month, which means plans for production and preorders are on the way. Of course, this also means that all the old discount options have mostly dried up too. Fortunately, the Cowin Ark has a new series of discounts available ahead of its May 2016 delivery date. Pay $155 to $170 (depending on what deals are left) and you can get the model when it is released.
For more information on the latest and best portable speaker reviews for 2016, check out our recommendations and best-of lists to compare features!