Canonical sell a variety of Ubuntu-branded merchandise through their online store, but is the latest item – the “Ubuntu Speaker” – worthy of bearing the brand?

Manufactured by Oregon Scientific, the ‘Boombero’ speaker is, in all fairness, pretty unique.

It uses Near Field Audio, a novel wireless technology that can send the sound from a smartphone to a speaker located within a small range.

Ubuntu Boombero Speaker

To ‘sync’ the sound between your smartphone and the speaker you just get your device, hit play on a video or music track, and then place the device on top of the speaker. The NearFA technology does it magic automatically; no special apps or bluetooth pairing is needed.

Although a list of ‘supported’ handsets isn’t given all iOS devices are said to work, as are most recent Android smartphones. For phones where nothing happens an 3.5mm audio cable is provided.

‘Up to’ 20 hours of continuous playback off of 3 AA batteries is claimed.

Audio Quality

Canonical’s sales patter describes the Boombero has giving a “surround sound that shocks the senses.”

Without one in hand I’m not going to go that far, but at £44.99 ($76.31 and €58.62 respectivelyI would expect the audio to sound better than the tinny tripe most of the portable speakers on the market tend to transmit.

For me, I’m not sold. If my phone has to be sat on a speaker for it to work I may as well buy a £10 battery powered set that plugs into the headphone jack. That way I get the same experience and have £35 left over to spend on Quetzal t-shirts and Ubuntu stickers.

Buy Ubuntu Speaker

The Ubuntu Boombero speaker costs a cool £44.99/$76 (excluding p+p). Whether it’s really worth it depends on your tastes – or addiction to Ubuntu-branded goods.

Buy Ubuntu Boombero Speaker

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