Outdoor portable speakers are now a common sight on the beach or at outdoor parties but there are some that are designed for more unusual purposes. Here are the top 5 most unusual portable outdoor speakers we’ve encountered, and this why they are so special from the rest.
#1 The Rotibox Outdoor Bluetooth Beanie
Imagine an all-in-one sound system inside a Beanie? The Rotibox Beanie is one portable outdoor speaker you’d probably don’t want to miss out on – yet it’s flawless stealthy design and enchanting musical performance is top of the line. This stealthy looking beanie incorporates a stereo speaker and microphone which allow you to listen to music and even take hands fee phone calls while walking or exercising. You can even ski down a mountain in the snow with this beanie and enjoy crisp clear music while at it!
The seriously cool thing about this beanie is it’s design. Clearly Rotibox didn’t skimp on the design with the focus on the Bluetooth – the beanie looks incredibly classy and nice, and its hands down one of the coolest and most high-tech beanies out there. As funny as the idea of talking through your beanie sounds, it actually works incredible well with this portable outdoor speaker system. It’s one of the most intelligent and perfect ideas that works out incredibly well.
But the most surprising bit about this beanie is really the sound. Who would have thought that a beanie would produce such excellent sound, but it certainly does. It has excellent range of treble and bass and overall value – in terms of the sound department, you’d probably not be disappointed. Pairing this beanie with our iPhone tests was also equally straightforward (you simply have to press and hold the play button to initiate connection with the beanie). It also provides some media control over the song track and volume from the built-in buttons on the side. Overall this is hands down one of the most unique portable outdoor speaker headsets. Plus, the beanie comes in multiple colours and designs too. What’s there not to love?
#2 FreeWheelin Wireless Portable Outdoor Speaker
How do you solve the problem of listening to music while riding on your motorcycle? Simple. You build a sound system into your helmet itself! This is what FreeWheelin (manufactured from Sound Ryder) is about: the advanced audio system that comes with this portable outdoor speaker allows you to secure 2 mini stereo speakers securely to your bike helmet with Velcro with the left and right speaker channels attached to the left and right of your ears. Although you can still hear environmental noise such as cars, you will be able to hear music from your iPod in crystal clear stereo right outside your ears. Wind noise is not a problem at all for these speakers. Furthermore, it operates by Bluetooth so its highly versatile and hassle free: you can even take phone-calls while wearing your helmet wherever you are! The great thing about FreeWheelin is that it installs easily on helmets and work with all tested portable devices (we tested an iphone 6 and Samsung Galaxy HTC, which paired compatibly with the system). It works with your phone to make and receive hands-free phone calls too.
What we found really impressive about this portable outdoor speaker system is the length of battery life, which lasted for 6 hours total, without compromising on the audio quality. It also solves a very important problem – using ear buds on the road are extremely dangerous since you cannot hear the traffic. This ‘open’ off-ear system allows you to hear ambient noise (i.e. cars approaching) while listening to music, which keeps you safe while riding. It’s lightweight and durable water-resistant construction, with its incorporated amplifier, is definitely an added plus. If you’re the type that’s constantly on the bike and wants to enjoy the comfort of listening to your favourite songs, this is one ingenious solution to consider.
#3 Turcom SoundSport
Meet the Turcom SoundSport portable outdoor speaker! This speaker is probably one of the most unique speakers we’ve seen as it is shaped like a water bottle, even down to its “Lid” design which has a hook/carabiner for hanging. The unique thing about this speaker is that it can be hung on a backpack or will fit in a water bottle holder on a bike!
The Turcom container indicates it is shock proof and this speaker does look like tough and well protected with its silicone casing. It weighs about a pound but is still portable and easy to carry around. Since it says it is shock proof we dropped it a couple times and tossed it around a bit and it still played without an issues. This also says it is water resistant and it will hold up against being splashed but because of the openings on the case, it most likely won’t survive being entirely immersed in water. But you can carry this out on a rainy day with no problems. The body of the speaker has power, volume, play/pause and answer/hang up buttons, along with the mic. The buttons are spaced and sized nicely and easy to push and use. The opposite side has small legs so that the speaker can be set on its side. The bottom of the speaker has an AUX port and a micro charging port that is hidden by a protective cover.
It does take a bit of time to fully charge (approximately 6 hours when it needs a full charge) but does give approximately 10 hours of play time depending on volume level. Pairing was not a problem with my Android. You just push the power button and are greeted with a male voice indicating power is on and it is ready to pair. The speaker’s Bluetooth range was very good and you can expect good uninterrupted music for the long haul.
Musically this speaker sounds very good with clear instrumentation and vocals and surprisingly good bass. For this size, there was surprisingly no distortion at high volume and the bass was very boom-y at high volume as well. The speaker’s phone call capability was decent as well as the calls were clear and sounded good on both ends of the conversation. There were no issues with voice commands through the speaker while running on Android phone. Overall, this is one very exotic looking portable outdoor speaker that will grab anyone’s attention instantly with its stealthy design and sound quality.
#4 Outdoor Tech 4200 Big Turtle Shell
The first impression we got of the Big Turtle Shell (‘BTS’) was its unique turtle shell design that’s well articulated at the edges and modern in its outlook – it also has a bit of heft to it but overall it’s not too heavy, which is good for portability. The build quality seems rugged enough to give the feeling that it can take a beating without much concern. In terms of pairing, the BTS could easily connect with standard Bluetooth devices (tried on with our GS4 and iphone 5) at 20 feet without any drop in signal.
The sound quality is what makes this beast really stand out. We were surprised at just how good the sound quality was – you can hear separation between instruments and the bass is punchy and impactful and never muddy. It definitely excels in the mids and highs, and produces no distortion at high volumes (in fact, the music was loud enough without having to max out the BTS volume control). The maximum volume on the BTS is peaks at 110 decibels. This means that the BTS is easily loud enough for outdoor use. The cool thing about the BTS is that you can use it to charge your phones while away from a power outlet, which is perfect for outdoor camping trips. The battery on the BTS is exceptional as advertised on the product, and can last for one to two weeks despite occasion use of (4-5 hours per day), which is incredible and probably exceeds the standards which it advertises.
This turtle shell portable outdoor speaker comes rugged and water resistant to IPX-5. It also has an integrated microphone along with external controls to adjust volume and tracks. The bottom line is that the BTS is probably hands down one of the loudest, toughest and best looking portable outdoor speaker on the market. It’s a true beast that will not disappoint.
#5 MicroSolar Portable Outdoor Speaker
Hands down one of the coolest and most versatile outdoor speaker, the MicroSolar is trumps in terms of convenience. You can literally bring this baby out anywhere (whether it’s out to the beach or on a camping trip) and never run out of power – it’s both solar powered and water resistant. This speaker looks great and has a very interesting design: the plastic doesn’t feel flimsy and the handle is solid. It’s a medium sized speaker, the diameter is 10 inches and it weighs 5 pounds. Carrying this portable outdoor speaker back and forth to the beach is not an issue, but the MicroSolar is probably too large to put into a bag with other items. The cool thing about this speaker is that you can use it in wet environments because of its water resistant, which takes away the stress of worrying about it under outdoor conditions.
The solar panel really does a good job of keeping the MicroSolar charged. It’s really nice not to have to worry about the battery life, which is essentially unlimited if you are using the speaker on a sunny day. It can remain on full power for your entire beach vacation with daily use in the sun without ever being plugged into an outlet! The documentation claims 10 hours for a full charge from solar power and that does seem to be accurate. It can also be charged via standard USB cable that comes with it.
The sound quality on the MicroSolar is good. Although the bass is not very punchy, this is probably to be expected of portable outdoor speakers of this size range. One good thing about this design is that the sound is omni-directional – you can position yourself anywhere around the speaker and it will sound equally well. All in all, this portable outdoor speaker has a great cute design and packs a loud punch for a speaker that is solar powered.