A Rugged Bluetooth Speaker Built for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Portable speakers these days come in all different shapes and sizes, with features flourishing from your simple portable speaker that plugs into your iPod or iPhone and simply boost your music playing potential, to bluetooth speakers that can withstand water, sand, and some will fill a whole house or beach with your favourite music. Finding the right speakers for your means you have to consider and prioritize what you’ll be using it for.
With the two of us being outdoors so much, whether its running, mountain biking, rock climbing, doing yoga or acroyoga down by the beach, we needed something that can handle some rough times. So some of our priorities that we were looking for was a speaker that was waterproof or water resistant, one that was relatively small (easy to pack when travelling and easy to strap to a bag), and most importantly, needed to be wireless, because we’d be using it during activity most of the time, wires are just something we didn’t want to deal with.
We liked the looks and sounds of the Buckshot Bluetooth Speaker from Outdoor Technology, which we bought from Mountain Equipment Co-op for $49.99 CAD. First things we noticed when it arrived was A) it was small, smaller than either of us expected, and B) the packaging and manual were very simple, catchy, easy to scan over and take in what info you needed, it felt almost like the simplicity you get when buying a new iPod!
Some technical specs about the Buckshot Speaker:
Shape and Size –> The Buckshot is a tube shaped speaker, measuring 3.55” tall with a 1.5” diameter.
Casing and Buttons –> The sides of the speaker are covered in a rubberized material making it super easy to hold in the palm of your hand. At one end is the metal screen for music output, and the other end consists of three small buttons and one, rubber covered USB port for charging. While the button controls are slightly tricky to get the hang of (with each button taking on 2 or 3 different roles depending on how long you hold them), once you’ve got it down, this portable speaker is extremely simple to use.
Bluetooth Range –> Buckshot speaker needs to be within 3 feet of your syncing device to establish connection, but once your connected the Buckshot has a 32 foot range.
Battery Life –> The Buckshot boasts a 9 hour battery life, to give you lots of time for living your life outdoors and never having to worry about recharging your speaker in the middle. When compared to other single driver bluetooth speakers such as the JBL Micro Wireless (5 hour batter life), Buckshot can definitely compete for top spot in its class when it comes to battery-life.
Dust and Water Resistance –> The Buckshot meats IPX5 dust and waterproof standards, meaning the speaker will handle splashes and even dropping into water briefly. We did however read many bloggers claiming to have left their Buckshot fully submerged for upwards of 20 minutes without any performance effects!
Speakerphone –> On top of wirelessly playing music, Buckshot is equipped with a top-mounted microphone to let you handle incoming phone calls through your iPhone with ease. A simple press of the power button will answer and hangup phone calls so you never miss an important call while your on the go.
Our Favourite Buckshot Speaker Pros
- Great Size === Even while running this rugged speaker can be carried in the palm of your hand with ease, comparably this significantly lighter than even a handheld water bottle.
- Bike Attachment === Accessories are so often sold separately, and with one or two attachment pieces the price of your speaker can sometimes easily double. Which is why it was a nice touch that Outdoor Technology included a simple to use bike handlebar mount for the Buckshot speaker. Switching to a bluetooth speaker while biking is such a safety improvement from wearing headphones, but this speaker still lets you hear great sound quality even on windy days.
- Sound Quality === When buying a small, rugged, wireless speaker for your outdoor adventures, we weren’t expecting anything spectacular when it came to sound quality. We were pleasantly surprised at how
clear the music was coming out of such a tiny object!
Biggest Buckshot Speaker Cons
- Range Fluctuates === We can obviously see how establishing an exact range for bluetooth connection can be difficult, especially when your dealing with something that is going to be operating in less than ideal weather conditions, and often times bouncing around quite a bit, but we have noticed that even while running, if at times one of us is carrying the speaker, while the second person is carrying the iPhone that is connected, there can be connection issues even when separated by only 10 feet or so. I’m guessing, however, 9/10 people who own the Buckshot will be carrying the speaker AND the connected device, so this really won’t affect many people.
- No Auxillary Plug === Bluetooth is great, but at times when connection isn’t the best, it would be nice to have the option to simply plug in an auxiliary source of music.
- Moderate Overall Volume === I stated above that the sound quality is great, but I would have loved to have a bit more volume output from this little guy. It’s by no means quiet, but if you’re trying to fill a room or play something loud enough for a group to hear, we find ourselves using all kinds of hacks to amplify the sound (aim speaker into a bucket or at a wall, etc).
When considering the price point, size, features and overall appearance, this Outdoor Technology Buckshot bluetooth speaker is an awesome bang for your buck (pun…. sort of intended!). If you’re a trail runner, biker of any sort, hiker, or like to listen to music during any outdoor activity, the Buckshot Bluetooth Speaker could be a great option for you.