King Song 16" 800w 680wh Self Balancing Electric Unicycle Review
We met up with King Song at CES in Las Vegas, and hung out with them all day.
Now, we have the FIRST 16" KING SONG in the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!
Myself and my lady Justine have been riding it around for a couple days now, and here are our impressions:
I like it. Not everything about it is perfect, but it has the 16" smoothness we are looking for, and the power and dependable engineering that only King Song has delivered.
Design / Appearance
It's another Ninebot One imitation, but much better functionally and quality-wise. Perhaps that's the right fit for you. I never really liked the way the Ninebot looked. It looks like a roomba. I don't like the look of the new King Song. It's subjective. If you like the way it looks, just ignore this paragraph. At least we'll have a couple color options.
Yes, it does have a ring of fancy colored blinking lights. And also solid headlight and break light, which has light sensors for power and is omnidirectional.
I wish King Song stuck with the open-bottom style they've been going with in the past. This new design is closed at the bottom, and I'm afraid gravel is going to get in there if I ride offroad. If you're going offroad, my opinion is the 18" or even 14" is just as good a choice now, because of this closed-bottom design decision. They each have their advantages. KING SONG, please make an open-bottom 16" unit.
Size-wise, I love the way the 14" can fit under a normal restaurant chair, and the simple fact is there isn't a 16" out there that fits like the King song 14". So, yes, it's a little bigger. This is the trade-off to get the smoothness of 16 inches.
The killer feature: BUILT IN TROLLEY HANDLE!!! You don't want to be carrying one of these things around for very long.
The feel: new pedals, cushioned sides
The new pedals look nice, but I don't know if I like them better than the old ones. The trademark King Song "v" angle isn't quite as steep, but it's still evident. Look, the honest truth is, I don't have big old gorilla feet. I like the steep "v" and I miss it. The angle is still there, but it is more subtle.
The new pedals feel good under my flip-flops because they're rubber padded. They look cool, and the edges are round. This will help people avoid bruises when learning or upon falling, and will help with riding fatigue.
The sides of the 16" model are very well padded; as good as the 14" and way better than the 18". WAY softer than the Ninebot One. Looks good; feels fantastic.
The cushions have a convex feel, and I watched a couple experienced riders doing 1-leg riding, which isn't possible on some designs.
You turn it on and hear a bombastic "HELLO! KING SONG!" Absurd, but somewhat charming.
It makes the same sounds as every other King Song unicycle. I'll paste from the other review:
When I discovered the sound of the King Song, I thought, "What is this noise?" My conclusion has been, the sound of the King Song has a lot less variation than the other unicycles I own and have tested. What I like about that is, it fades into the background like a sort of steady white noise. I'll try to describe it in text:
King Song: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeee
Every uni has a distinctive sound, kind of like every car has a sound. They all make a different sound, but the King Song is the steadiest one I've ridden. Based on conversations on the forums, it's not the loudest and not the quietest - one person said the Gotway MSuper goes to "11" compared to his King Song.
I'm a veteran blender salesman by trade (22,000 hours+ of Vitamix demonstration, no joke), and because I've blended so much ice in different proportions and variations I have an intimate relationship with the sound of a struggling motor . To me the King Song sounds like it has power to spare, compared to nearly all other unis I've tested and owned which all sound like they're sort of struggling. That's one reason King Song is my favorite.There is a rumor that the high-speed beep is fairly loud, and this is one of my favorite things about the King Song. Other unis I've tested have beep features that I just can't hear well enough, and it's important to get feedback when you're riding. The newest versions are more adjustable as well, allowing one to change the beep volume and ride settings.
The 16" version also talks to you if the tilt goes too far. Something like "PLEASE CAUTION, OVER POWER" in a hilarious Chinese robot surfer voice. I'll follow up and write about whether this feature is useful at all.
Power and handling
Riding feel and handling are exactly what I expected. It's right in between the 14" and the 18" King Song units. Softer and a little heavier than the 14", but lighter and more maneuverable than the 18".
The bigger the wheel, the less power you feel to the road for acceleration. The difference is small with the huge 800w King Song motor and gigantic 680wh battery.
This is a unicycle unlike any other available in the market. No other brand offers batteries this size in a 16" form factor.
I still like the 14" the best, but this is very, very close. It depends if you want maneuverability or smoothness.However, even with my gripes, this new King Song 16" is probably the best unit in the world for a newer rider. It will get you started, and take you into riding as real transporation. Just about everything else you ride will feel like a toy if this is your machine.