Under the Radar

ECOROX & ECOSTONE: Truly Waterproof Wireless Speakers

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I took the ECOROX and ECOSTONE wireless speakers to the beach and threw them in the ocean and threw them in the pool. Repeatedly. They held up with no issues and floated effortless to the surface every time. If you're looking for wireless tunes to use at the lake or the beach or even around the pool at home, these speakers are going to handle whatever intentional or accidental water-related abuse you might hurl at them.

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They sound really good but there are other speakers at their prices ($129.99 list for the ECOROX and $149 for the larger ECOSTONE) might sound a bit better. But, then again, you're paying for a WATERPROOF speaker and they're awesome at that task.

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The ECOSTONE measures 10.1" long x 5" tall x 3.7" high and weighs 2.7 lbs. The handle is easy to grip and incredibly useful. Standard grille colors are blue, black and orange. There's a built-in LED flashlight and a 1/4" screw mount built into the bottom of the unit.

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There was a camo grille version that's now sold out at the website, but you can still track one down from online retailers if you're desperate for one.

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The waterproofing is accomplished with screw-on cap with a rubber gasket that should hold up for quite a few years. Of course, the speaker is going to be useful even after that gasket fails (and it's a gasket: it will fail. If you're into repairing your own gear, it looks like you could find a new gasket that would fit when you need one). If you don't need the waterproofing at a given moment, you can unscrew the cap and have access to an audio-in port and a USB output for charging a phone or tablet in an emergency. There's also an on/off switch that you can turn off for long-term storage without putting stress on the Li-Ion battery.

The battery is awesome. It charged in less than 3 hours and I've repeatedly used the speaker for a lot longer than the promised 12 hours it just doesn't seem inclined to quit.

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The Bluetooth pairing was easy, the controls are clearly labeled and easy to use and the unit can also be used as a speakerphone. The unit can play at really loud volumes without distortion. It comes with a good-quality carabiner clip and a wall charger to go with the micro USB charging cable.

If you don't have the budget or the space for a dedicated outdoors-only speaker, the ECOSTONE can get the job done as a home wireless speaker option.

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The ECOROX is much smaller (5.3" wide x 2.5" tall x 3" deep) and weighs just 11 oz. It comes with the same carabiner clip and 1/4" mount as the ECOSTONE and the battery promises 10 hours of playback time.

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The ECOROX can also be used as a speakerphone and the controls are as functional as those on the ECOSTONE. It also uses a Bluetooth wireless audio connection.

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The speaker's waterproof status is achieved via a press-in rubber cap on the rear with tiny nubs that plug into the Aux audio port and the micro USB port. I was dubious about this scheme until I tried it. The rubber cap works and the ECOROX is waterproof. I wouldn't expect it to be waterproof ten years from now, but who knows what wireless audio system we'll be using by then?

You can find the ECOROX for around $88 right now online. That makes it a much more compelling option than it would be at $130. It can't crank the volume you'll get from the ECOSTONE but it's also something that's not going to take up much room in your travel bag.

If size and price aren't your top concerns, the ECOSTONE is a great option to use on a boat or at the beach. The ECOROX is a solid backup choice.

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