Damson Vulcan review – the logical Bluetooth speaker choice?

damson vulcan reviewIf you are after a Bluetooth speaker you are certainly not short of choice. So, for a company to make any impact in this rather cluttered market, they really have to come up with something special. Is the Damson Vulcan such a beast?

I suppose the first thing you have to consider before looking for a Bluetooth speaker is how you are planning to use it.

Will it stay at home and occasionally be moved in to the garden. Is it going to come with you to festivals and picnics in the park? Do you want to be able to clip it to your clothing so you can hear music whilst walking or riding?

Damson Vulcan design

The Vulcan from Damson is portable and, as well as being well suited for home life, is still small enough to be put in your bag to take to the park. If you are camping then this speaker might be on the larger side of your allowance – but you may want to make that extra effort.

Design wise, the Damson Vulcan does stand out in a crowd – mostly due to its Rugby ball shape.

It is mostly black save for a bit of metallic detailing and, because of this, fits in remarkably well to any environment even with its curious shape. Should you want to add some creative flair, Damson offers a range of interchangeable metal grilles for the Vulcan.

I really like the two different treatments to the black bits too – you get the glossy finish down the centre strip but a more tactile matte finish around the speakers.

damson vulcan front topIt looks pretty chunky but is actually relatively light. This is, of course, ideal when thinking of portability. I am so happy to see that Damson bundles it with a protective pouch to prevent scuffs and scrapes when being transported.

Part of the weight-saving comes from the Vulcan’s lightweight Neodymium-loaded speakers. More about those later.

As well as the pouch Damson includes 5 different power adapters in to the mix. They really do want you take the Vulcan with you everywhere!

Damson Vulcan use

Once you switch the Vulcan on a rather well spoken voice greets you with a “Hello”. The Vulcan has Bluetooth 4.0 with the aptX codec on-board providing the wireless connection. To connect your Bluetooth device, simply hold down the source button and wait for it to blink blue.

My HTC One M7 connected immediately with a satisfying acknowledgement. Once hooked up you can also use the Vulcan for conference calling thanks to the mic under the Damson logo in the middle of the control panel.

Damson Vulcan rearYou can also hook up your NFC (Near Field Communication) device for extra simplicity and, If you want to use the speaker with a wired connection, there’s a 3.5mm stereo input.

There are volume controls right on the speaker, along with the aux/play/pause button.

Damson Vulcan sound

The Vulcan houses 4 drivers. Two 5cm forward-firing mid/treble drivers and two side facing 3.8cm side facing Neodymium drivers to deliver a wider stereo image through it’s Wide Field Stereo processing. With the addition of a 11.8cm passive radiator subwoofer you certainly get an output of sound that is way beyond what you would normally expect for a speaker of this size.

This set up has Damson describing it as 4.1, and who am I to argue?

damson vulcan side port speakerThe Damson Vulcan is listed as being able to last around 6 hours on a full charge – in real life, being played at a decent volume, I’ve seen almost 7 hours.

Using the Vulcan in the home it easily fills my livingroom with sound. Damson states that you get “Soundbar sound [from a] portable speaker” I would tend to agree with them on that count.

The bass definitely has presence in tracks from Portishead and Massive Attack as well as the chugging sounds of Nile, Black Sabbath and Clutch.

Mids and highs are also well catered for and I particularly loved how the Vulcan handled the female vocal stylings of Bat for Lashes, Florence and the Machine, Kate Bush and Tori Amos.

Taking the Damson speaker outside I expected the usual loss of presence and punch but this actually just seemed to open the soundstage.

damson vulcan gardenEven when the Vulcan was sat on a plastic garden table the sound was incredible – granted the bass thinned a tad, but for any garden party/outdoors bash this speaker certainly doesn’t disappoint.

The speaker stays put thanks to a large rubbery foot at its base.

Using it for hands free calling also worked really well – just remember that most of the neighbourhood will be able to hear the conversation though 😉

I predict some loud BBQ’s and picnics once the English weather realises that we should be having more summery days!

Damson Vulcan conclusion

damson vulcan speaker outdoorsThere isn’t much I can pull Damson on with the Vulcan.

The speaker looks great, is light enough to take with you to the park and dishes out great sound.

Pairing it with a device is simple and the packaging is well presented. Bonus points for bundling in the variety of adapters, aux cable and carry bag – the latter is something which gets overlooked by quite a few portable products.

It seems that Damson have managed to cover everything I’d want and expect from a portable speaker – and wrapped it up in a great looking device that works effortlessly.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this speaker – you can even go global with it thanks to all of those adapters!

You can buy the Damson Vulcan direct from their website for £99.99