Summer may be almost over, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty more opportunities to spend time outdoors. Since the changing seasons can bring unpredictable conditions, when you’re outside the Scosche boomBOTTLE+ Waterproof Wireless Speaker is a great sound solution! It’s ruggedized, waterproof, and it can fit in your bike’s bottle holder or your 4×4’s cup holder!
Measuring about 8.6″long x 2.8″wide and weighing one and a half pounds, the boomBOTTLE has a “durable shock absorbing TPU exterior [that is] strong enough to withstand drops or vibrations caused by rough terrain.” It also has “sealed, dust-proof speaker grills to keep the dirt out during backcountry rides.”
The boomBOTTLE+ is available in three color combos: black and gold, sport blue, and black and space gray. It is slim enough to comfortably grip in your hand, yet large enough to pack two 55mm drivers, a passive subwoofer, and a 6,000mAh battery that can power the speaker for up to 15 hours, or in a pinch it can be used to recharge your phone’s battery. It takes about 3 hours to fully recharge the boomBOTTLE+’s battery from dead, and the performance that you get from it will depend upon the volume that you play your music at, and whether you use the speaker solely for music or if it’s also charging your phone. The example is given that if you use the fully charged speaker to charge a dead iPhone 6+, then you can expect 1 – 2 hours of music playback before the speaker dies.
The front of the speaker has a pairing button in the center with volume up and down controls on either side; these rubber buttons are large, and they are easy to adjust even with gloves on. The stereo speakers are behind silver grills on each end.
The top has a loop that you can either attach a lanyard strap to, or you can use the included carabiner clip. The bottom has a camera mount thread. Why? Well, you could mount the boomBOTTLE+ to a tripod at a pool party, and that could be pretty handy.
Each side of the boomBOTTLE+ has a textured oval which will help you keep a grip on the speaker when it’s muddy or wet.
The access panel is located under a rubber cover with an attached strap.
Side note: the strap is awesome, because you can easily use it to pull open the rubber access panel cover; no need to slide any fingernails under an edge.
Inside the access panel are the microUSB charging port, a charging indicator LED, a 3.5mm audio input, a USB port for attaching the charging cable for your mobile phone, a switch that changes volume strength from indoor to outdoor (it makes a difference), and a speaker channel switch (left, stereo, and right). The point to the speaker channel switch is that if you have two boomBOTTLE+ speakers you can pair them together for true right and left sound — maybe when you have them mounted on tripods outside. Why not?
As the yellow warning label says, you need to keep the cover closed to maintain the watertight seal.
The indoor/outdoor switch basically functions as an equalizer. When you flip it to outdoors, there is a noticeable rise in treble and volume. Indoor is — for lack of a better description — muted a bit. When I first tested the speaker it was on indoor, and I needed to adjust the iTunes equalizer because while the sound was great — it was a little bit flat. Once adjusted a bit, it sounded pretty darn good. Bear in mind that the first song I played was an old Motorhead song (Kev’s been on a heavy metal retro kick), so the sound was bass and mid-range heavy to begin with.
Bass on the boomBOTTLE+ sounds really good. A bottom-heavy song like Muse’s “Dead Inside” on full volume won’t bottom out; The Preset’s “This Boy’s in Love” (which is all over the soundscape) is crisp and clear. The big thing to remember with this speaker is that you might want to adjust your device’s equalizer settings if you think it’s not putting out enough definition between the ranges, because it can and it will.
I like that the boomBOTTLE+ doesn’t have a direction in which it needs to be aimed; it’s true that the “integrated omnidirectional diffuser channels music in all directions, creating 360 degrees of immense sound.”
Perhaps the biggest caveat, and there always has to be one, is that you can only pair the boomBOTTLE+ to one device at a time. If you’re already paired to your laptop and you want to listen to music on your phone, you’ll have to bump off the previously saved connection. Re-pairing is simple enough, but it would be nice to have the ability to handle at least two devices.
I should also mention that unlike many portable speakers, the boomBOTTLE+ doesn’t function as a portable conferencing speaker; when a call comes in, music will silence so you can take the call — on your phone.
So there you have it. The Scosche boomBOTTLE+ has an IP67 dust and waterproof rating, it is rugged enough for bumps and drops, it sounds good, and it even floats. If you’ve been looking for an outdoor speaker that can also come inside, the boomBOTTLE+ might be your perfect solution.
The Scosche boomBOTTLE Weatherproof Wireless Portable Speaker retails for $179.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer and from other retailers including Amazon [affiliate link].
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Rugged water and dustproof design; It can handle drops and bumps; Can get surprisingly loud and still sound good; Indoor and Outdoor EQ settings; Can be paired with another boomBOTTLE+ for true stereo sound
What Needs Improvement:Can only pair to one sound source at a time; does not function as a conference call speaker