If water is the enemy of mobile devices, then a waterproof wireless speaker is the ideal way to take your music with you into wet situations without risking mishap. Ecoxgear takes that motif to the logical extreme with the Ecoxbt, a bluetooth system that’s not only waterproof, it has handles and it floats – and it takes your phone calls.
This is not the first waterproof bluetooth stereo I’ve tested, but it might be the best. The output makes it one of the better sounding $129 bluetooth speakers I’ve heard, waterproof or otherwise. And unlike some earlier waterproof systems, the Ecoxbt runs on a built in battery rechargeable via USB instead of AA batteries. The difficulty has always been how you include a recharging port on a waterproof system, but Ecoxgear gets around that with a port cover which snaps on tightly. In my tests the port cover stayed dry in place even when tossed around in the water. It floats as advertised, and it’s rugged enough that you can use it in hectic scenarios. Its ten hour battery life is above average for bluetooth speakers.
I can only knock the Ecoxbt for two things. One is the fact that while it on-board buttons for controlling the volume and taking phone calls, it lacks the play/pause and next/previous buttons which some of its competitors offer. This means that you would have to control such things from your iPhone or iPad or whatever device your music is on, which may not be feasible if you’re in the water. The other is that there’s no gradual indication of remaining battery life, as is the case on some competing products.
These omissions may be a dealbreaker doe some users, but won’t matter to others. Those in the latter category are in for a treat, as the Ecoxbt offers fantastic audio for its price and is very well designed for various water scenarios.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5 • Price: $129 • ecoxgear.com