Outdoor Tech OT2800-B Turtle Shell 3.0 – Rugged Waterproof True Wireless Bluetooth Hi-Fi Speaker, Black ★★★★☆
This speaker comes with a micro-USB cable (for charging) and a 3.5 mm audio-in cable (only works for sound, not mic). Just keep in mind that it does not come with a wall charger. You’ll either need to use an existing one you own, purchase one separately, or plug the cable into a USB port on your computer. I was able to use the speaker while charging it at the same time (some Bluetooth devices won’t let you do this). The speaker itself has a USB Type-A port that you can connect another device to for charging. In this, it acts as a sort of power bank that refreshes your Bluetooth transmitter (eg. phone or music player).
For some reason mine did not come with an instruction manual, but there are a lot of specs on the box. Uses a Lithium-Ion battery that has 20 hours of play time. The wireless range is 32 feet, and the device weighs just under a pound. Rated for Bluetooth v. 4.2 with an A2DP profile. I used my Samsung Note 4 and it connected perfectly.
The plastic is durable and tough—fitting for an outdoor speaker. It also floats in water and can be forcefully submerged without damage. I don’t plan to go scuba diving with it anytime soon, but I like that I can leave it outside without worrying about rain. The quality is excellent considering it was made in China (granted, it was designed in Los Angeles).
There are rubber feet on the bottom so you can place it on a wood or glass surface without worrying about the plastic scratching it. The feet also have quite a bit of friction so the wind won’t blow it around as much (and helps prevent sound vibrations from causing the speaker to jump around—which could otherwise cause it to fall off your table or other surface). You can also attach it to a camera mount with a ¼” thread (such as the Sabrent Tripod with GoPro mount adapter and Turtle Claw Clamp). This allows you to secure it to things like a boat or bicycle handle bar.
As for myself, I keep this speaker on my porch. It works well for the outdoors as the sound can get quite loud. When maxing both Bluetooth transmitter and speaker volume, I could easily hear it across my yard and even over a block away (sorry neighbors). At full volume, I didn’t notice too much in the way of distortion, so the sound holds well. The sound relies on more of a treble, which helps to carry the notes a good distance. There is some bass—the speaker underneath helps with that—but it’s fairly minimal. This is to be expected with the smaller size. If you want a bit more oomph, consider the larger Big Turtle Shell.
Now, here’s the annoying thing. There is a creepy old-man voice that speaks the state of the speaker, such as “Power on, power off, battery almost full, connected.” This creeped my wife out and she doesn’t even want to use it because of the voice, and I was not able to find a way to turn it off. I looked it up and found the guy is named Frank Harrington, and he has done several product videos for Outdoor Tech. At first I was like, what the hey? Then started to laugh. Seriously though, what was Outdoor Tech thinking? Had a few too many the night before? LOL. I’m able to overlook—even chuckle at—the creepy voice, but be warned it may not be the most appealing for some individuals. It’s not professional, it’s goofy.
Overall, I found that this speaker is durable, rugged and has good sound carry. A great option for camping, taking to the beach, brining on a boat, or just having on your front porch.