It would be easy to go into this review with a list of negatives, simply because the Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus doesn’t have the depth and power of some of the other portable Bluetooth speakers I’ve reviewed. But let’s back up for a sec and acknowledge that this is a multi-featured, water-resistant, and versatile portable speaker that only costs $79.99!
The fact of the matter is that there are places where it’s either impractical or inappropriate to bring a pricey portable speaker — whether it’s because the speaker might get lost or stolen, or because there’s a real chance that the speaker may get destroyed. Just because you’re in that sort of environment doesn’t mean you won’t still want to enjoy your music, and with the WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM portable wireless speaker, you can.
Included in the box are the Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM Portable Wireless Speaker, a microUSB to USB charging cable, a wrist strap, a warranty certificate, and a user manual.
The WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM portable wireless speaker is a 6″ long by 3″ tall by 2.5″ wide, triangular speaker that was designed with bike riders in mind. It has a standard-size screw thread mount so that if you have a bike mount, tripod, suction cup mount (or something similar), you can use it with the 04Plus.
The WAE Outdoor 04Plus is IP66 certified, which means that it resists water, and its sealed, rubberized body will also protect against dust, sand, and mud. The reinforced rubber ends will help with the inevitable drops and shocks.
Under a rubber stopper on the end, there is a charging port and an AUX-IN port. The power button is raised and easy to hit; above it is a button labeled FM that you most likely won’t accidentally hit. The first time you do press it, the radio will do an automatic scan, saving all of the detected stations, You can get more functions by downloading the WAE Music app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. I’ll talk about the app more in a bit.
The business end of the WAE Outdoor 04Plus has + and – buttons on each side of the triangle. If you are listening to streaming music you can adjust the volume with quick taps on either — long presses will either advance or reverse to the next song. When you are listening to the radio, you can switch between the stations by long-pressing the + and – buttons.
Clear, very powerful sound for optimal audio rendering in outdoor conditions (in the wind, on the street): single-unit 2.0 speaker + passive decompression driver.
Although the speaker will work just fine without it, the WAE Music app is worth downloading. It allows you to connect to several social media accounts, SoundCloud, and Spotify. With the app, you can adjust the sound settings, actually see and pick the local stations, access the user manual, and see other speaker options as well as see the speaker’s battery level; that’s a pretty cool bag of tricks.
The WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM portable wireless speaker uses Bluetooth 3.0 A2DP; you can connect two different devices to it for easy switching back and forth, and the company says it will get up more than 12 hours battery life; of course, this depends on how loud you are playing your music, but it’s a good guideline to go by.
Sound through the speaker is much better than I expected for an $80 portable. The WAE Outdoor 04Plus is certainly loud when you need it to be, and it is more than adequate for outdoor activities or hanging by the beach or pool. There is some bottoming out on bass-heavy songs when they are played at full volume, but you can adjust that out a bit with the equalizer; you can play with it to get a sound that you are happy with. You (understandably) aren’t going to get the deep bass, clear mids, or pure highs we’re used to from portable speakers in the $150+ range, but again … this speaker is $80! When you keep that in mind, the sound is suddenly (and not surprisingly) better
If you want a portable speaker that can go with you virtually anywhere, one that will give you decent sounding music while you’re engaged in outdoor sports or laying on a beach — one that won’t make you cry tears of frustration if (or rather, when) it gets stolen — look no further than the WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM Portable Wireless Speaker.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Slim triangle shape is a good size for mounting on handlebars; Sound is loud enough for outdoor enjoyment; IP66 rating means protection from water, dust, mud, and sand; The app adds extra functionality
What Needs Improvement: The sound isn’t what you can expect from the typical $150+ portable speaker, but that’s to be expected