Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

If you are reading this, you likely saw the title and said to yourself, “Huh?” Yes, combining a portable Bluetooth speaker and a car battery jumper system might seem like an odd combination at first, but the review sample actually came in quite handy a few weeks back when Raina’s car needed a jump one morning.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

Dreamwave describes the Survivor as offering “outdoor audiophile performance and [as an] emergency life saver.” I’m not quite convinced about the “audiophile performance” aspect of this statement. Sure, it sounds good and gets quite loud, but I would not exactly call the speaker’s outdoor “audiophile quality.” That noted, the part about “emergency life saver” is spot on.

Survivor is the world’s first and only all-in-one high performance 30W Bluetooth speaker sound system and 400A emergency 12V car battery jump starter.

Let’s first look at the audio aspect of the Survivor, then turn our attention to the car battery charging functionality.

Survivor Bluetooth Speaker

Weighing in at over four pounds, the Survivor is far from small. At the same time, despite the rather large size and significant weight, it is portable. You can keep it in your car or take it on your boat with ease. It has a rugged look and an impressively tough build that screams, “Take me with you!” (This is made simple thanks to the handle built into the top of the speaker.)

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

And since the Survivor has an IPX5 rating for water, dust, sand and snow protection — it is water/splash resistant but not waterproof —you won’t need to treat it as if it were a delicate flower.

Rugged & Portable Design: The Survivor’s rugged construction and IPX5 splashproof rating protects it against water, dust, sand, & snow. Its portable design and sturdy heavy-duty aluminum handle makes it the ideal outdoor activity speaker on the go.

The speaker has a 12,000 mAh rechargeable battery that can provide up to 16 Hours of playback time. (If you are playing the speaker with the bass booming the playback drops to 7 hours. That’s still pretty impressive.) Inside, the Survivor is packed with the latest tech. It has Bluetooth CSR 4.0 + EDR, A2DP AVRCP, APTX. It is also NFC-enabled so pairing with an Android device with NFC is as simple as tapping the device to the speaker. It also has a microphone so you can use the Survivor as a hands-free speakerphone if the need arises.

The Survivor has two tweeters and two full-range drivers. They are powered by a built-in 30W amplifier so you will get big sound to go. Obviously big sound isn’t worth anything if it is “big bad sound.” Fortunately, Dreamwave not only four speakers and a 30W amplifier but it also designed to deliver “Hi-Fi Sound and Anti-Distortion Circuity.” That means you’ll get good sound even at high volumes.

Full-Range Sound: The Dreamwave Audio Survivor Bluetooth speaker is equipped with two tweeters and two full-range drivers powered by a built-in 30W amplifier with anti-distortion circuitry for full, rich, clear sound.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

Walking around the Survivor reveals an assortment of different ports, buttons, and connections. The controls are what you would expect to find on a Bluetooth speaker. There’s play/pause, volume up, volume down etc. The buttons are, as you can see, large and easy to find.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

Hidden behind the other end there are a number of ports. There is an aux input for those times when you want to use a wired connection instead of the Bluetooth connectivity.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

Speaking of Bluetooth, the Dreamwave Audio Survivor has Bluetooth version 4.0+EDR so you are getting the best that Bluetooth has to offer in terms of connectivity and source.) Pairing is made easy thanks to Simple Secure Pairing (SSP.) SSP means you can pair your device with the press of a single button. Smartphones with NFC have it even easier but that excludes people trying to pair with an iPhone or iPad.

The Survivor supports Bluetooth music streaming (A2DP/AVRCP) w/ aptX and Bluetooth hands-free communication (HFP), as well as a simple secure pairing (SSP) & Near Field Communication (NFC). In addition to supporting Bluetooth’s standard SBC codec, for people using a device with Android 4.0 or newer the Survivor also offers compatibility with aptX. That means you will get “CD-quality.” Sadly, for people using Apple devices this means that, as with NFC, these built-in technologies are irrelevant.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

There is one additional port that I have not yet mentioned that is worth mentioning. Dreamwave realized that the 12,000mAh lithium polymer battery could let the Survivor serve as an external battery for charging smartphones and tablets so they put in a standard USB-A (5V/1A) port. It lets you connect a cable of your choice and use the Survivor as you would any other external battery. The USB port doesn’t function as an audio out port but I don’t see that as an issue. I do, however, wish the USB port offered faster charging than it does.

As noted previously, the 12000mAh offers up to 14 hours of continuous playback time if you are enjoying your music at a moderate volume or 7 hours if you have it cranked up to max volume. When the Survivor runs low on power you can recharge it using the included AC power adapter OR the included 12V car adapter. This latter charging system makes clear the fact that this speaker was designed for use during in cars or on boats.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

Party at the lake or dessert with your friends and family all day long with its built-in 12,000mAh lithium polymer battery. It plays louder and longer with its combination of advanced technologies and audiophile sound tuning that reproduce the fullness, clarity and depth of your music the way the artist intended.

If the speaker was just a speaker but packed all these features it would be worth considering. And I would argue that that is even the case at its price of $269.99! But, and this is an important but, the speaker as a speaker is just part of what the Survivor has to offer. So let’s look at the other feature set that is worthy of note.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

Survivor Survival Features

Dreamwave realized that the huge capacity battery inside the Survivor could do more than just power the speaker and be used as an external charger for phones and tablets. So…

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

Dreamwave built an ultra-bright 110 lumens LED flashlight into the speaker. The light is bright and does a great job of illuminating what is in front of you. It can project up to 400 feet in front of you. In addition, the light can display an SOS flash sequence if you are in serious trouble.

The rugged construction, IPX5 protection against water/dust/sand/snow and portable design with a sturdy heavy-duty aluminum handle, makes the Survivor the only true outdoor activity speaker sound system that can go wherever you go and continue to keep you going in an emergency. Never leave home without one, it can be your life saver.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

The Survivor can also serve as a battery that can jumpstart your car or boat if the battery dies.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

This is accomplished by Dreamwave including jumper cables with the speaker.

GearDiary Dreamwave Survivor Speaker and Emergency Car Battery Starter Is a Powerhouse

To use them you simply plug the cables into the social port on the end of the speaker and, with ease, fire up your engine. The integrated 400A emergency 12V car battery jump starter is powerful enough to start up a 7.0L V8 engine!

Now you may be wondering if a speaker can actually function effectively as a battery for starting a car. I can answer that with ease- yes. In fact, last month Raina’s Honda Accord would not start. It had been bitterly cold overnight and the car was dead, dead, dead. I grabbed the Survivor, plugged in the cables, connected them to the car and, within seconds, the car was up and running. It really works!

So when Dreamwave says the Survivor is “tough, waterproof — and in an automotive emergency, has enough power to jump your car with its provided jumper cables” they are speaking the truth.

Product Highlights:

  • Portable Bluetooth speaker for use with smartphones, tablets, and laptops
  • 30 watts total system power
  • Built-in microphone for hands-free wireless speakerphone operation
  • IPX5-rated waterproof, dirt-proof, and shockproof
  • Stereo minijack auxiliary input with stereo minijack cable
  • NFC touch pairing with compatible Android™ devices
  • Built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to 16 hours
  • Battery capacity: 12000mAh
  • Car battery jump starter with 400A max. continuous discharge current
  • 400A Emergency Car Battery Jump Starter
  • 110 Lumens LED Flashlight w/SOS Flash
  • USB 5V/1A Port for Charging Mobile Devices
  • USB charging cable
  • Weight: 4.1 lbs.

The Survivor is a most unusual speaker. It offers big sound and much, much more. So while $279.99 might seem like a lot for a Bluetooth speaker it is worth keeping in mind that this is not just a speaker. Instead, this is a speaker that is ready to not only entertain but also can step in in an emergency. So while I thought building a car starter into a speaker was silly but that was before the Survivor started Raina’s car one morning. That experience sold me on it.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Loud sound that sounds good; Water and dust resistant; Built-in flashlight; Can jump-start a car; Can charge phone or tablet

What Needs Improvement: Serious, industrial design may not be for everyone


About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.