Sphero Specdrums Review

Tap Colours, Make Music


As kids get older, they want less and less actual toys, requesting more and more tech, gadgets and even drum kits! Phones, tablets and games consoles are easy options, albeit expensive, but do you really want your children staring hour after hour at a screen, mindlessly doing nothing. And as for drum kits, do you want that kind of noise in your house, even if the kids are going to be the next Meg White or John Bonham?

We all like gadgets and gizmos in our house, as well as music and the kids do have a guitar and electronic keyboard. Fortunately, no one has asked for a drum kit yet! Combining gadgets, gizmos, music and drums with something educational sounds like an excellent idea and we do have a piece of tech that does exactly that, a little device that turns colours into music – the Sphero Specdrums! And it doesn’t take up the space of a drum kit, just a small space in a drawer.

The Sphero Specdrums are extremely cool little app-controlled devices that combine music with keyboard playing or drumming with smart tech that fits on your finger. They provide a great educational element to your tech devices and are an awful lot of fun! The premise is something that even a technophobe can understand – the Specdrum is a little silicone ring that is worn on the fingertip and comes with a coloured play pad turning colour into sound.

So how does it work? The Specdrums have colour-sensors in the ring, by tapping the ring against a colour it allows you to use your fingers to create, mix, record music, using the colours on the playmat (or any coloured surface) in a similar way to a keyboard. There are many different themes to download, so you can create anything from techno to blues to percussion or grand piano music, and the mat has both loops of sound and beats, as well as single notes and sounds.

The Specdrums come in different sized packs: 1 ring pack, 2 ring pack and a 12 ring educational pack. We have the one ring pack.

In the box (1 ring pack):

  • Sphero Specdrums Ring
  • Neoprene-type play mat
  • USB charging cable
  • Drawstring carry bag
  • Quick-start guide

Before use, the Specdrums ring needs charging. It is supplied with a charging cable but you will need a USB charger or plug it in to a laptop – it takes approximately 1 hour to fully charge for 2 hours playtime. You will also need to download and install the app for Android or iOS (minimum device requirements iOS version 11 or Android 6 and up – click here for the full compatibility list).

Once fully charged, it will need pairing to your device. This is a very simple process – with the ring plugged into the power, you just open the app, tap the CONNECT button in the top left of the screen and select your ring from the list. You can link up to six rings at once to the phone, so you can easily play with friends, or create some multi-layered music by yourself.

Charged and connected, all your need to do now is unroll the playmat, place it on a flat surface and start tapping away with the Sphero Specdrums ring that is on your finger. Let the creativity flow.

The app has a representation of the playmat on the screen, as well as options for the sound library, editor, your own saved files and of course the record function. You can actually use the app without owning a ring at all, and that’s pretty good fun – you just tap the touch screen of your phone on the coloured keyboard, and you can make and record your own music. But where is the real fun in that? The real element of fun and innovation comes from using the ring with it.

All that is left to do is create your own music by tapping the Specdrums ring on the coloured portions of the playmat or even on different coloured items of furniture, toys, clothing etc. around the house. Get drumming! Tap a colour, hear a sound!

Overall, The Specdrums ring is fantastic fun. Being able to use your fingers to tap out music on the playmat makes creating music so much better that just tapping away on a phone screen. You can create music wherever you go, the world is full of colour. Tapping out sounds using your fingers makes it is easier to get a rhythm going than it is when you are tapping a phone screen, and I imagine the fun factor only goes up when you add more rings into the mix.

Included with Sphero Specdrums are also lots of different sound packs and themes. There are cinematic packs, techno, jazz, hip hop, blues and more to help make your musical journey much more impressive. Our personal favourite is the Retro Gaming set, where there are lots of sounds that we remember from video games in the 80s and 90s.

To make it more interesting, you can even create your own soundboards by recording various sounds using your phones microphone and adding them to a custom keyboard. With a 10 and 13 year old in the house you can imagine some of the sounds they have recorded!

The Specdrums ring is not just about sitting down and playing music on the playmat or on the app. The kids absolutely loved going around the house and finding out what sounds they could create by tapping different household objects.

The colour sensor in the ring will pick up the colour of any item in your home and turn it into a sound. We found that bright and light colours work much better than darker ones, and flat and firm surfaces are more reliable than soft and squidgy. It really is an incredibly clever little device. At one point, the kids had even set up a little orchestra of toys and were tapping away at them and making music.

For such a small device, you get approx. 2 hours of playing time before it needs a charge – enough time to get lots of enjoyment from it before having a well-earned break for a hour whilst it, and you, recharges.

We have had a brilliant time and lots of creative fun with the Sphero Specdrums. The kids have been creating their own sound boards, recording music and have even taken it out and about in the carry bag (supplied) when we’ve had a couple of longer car journeys (headphones on, of course!), all with the tap of a finger.

We wouldn’t hesitate to rate these at 5/5. We have had no issues with the app or latency issues, although we understand there can be issues with some Android devices – click here for info. It has worked perfectly every time the kids have used it and they have loved every minute of using it, creating all sorts of sounds and music. And it’s not just the kids that enjoy using it, us adults quite enjoy it too!

Turn the world into a giant music instrument with the Sphero Specdrums. It’s portable, can easily be expanded and is extremely versatile.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: from £64.99

For more information, visit sphero.com. Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are our own. This review uses an affiliate link which we may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.


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