RuggedTec (www.ruggedtec.com) generously offered me the opportunity to review one of their bluetooth speaker systems in exchange for this review. I elected to review the StrapSound bluetooth speaker which is a product marketed towards cyclists, but is quite honestly very applicable to many other activities.
Packaging of the StrapSound was well conceived and elegant. It reminded me of an Apple product where everything seemed to fit just right while making the product standout. Included is the StrapSound speaker, a very stretchy rubber device which can be used to affix the speaker to a variety of things (and provides the namesake: “StrapSound”), a USB cord for charging, an aux cable, microfiber bag and instructions.
Power comes from a DC+5V, 1000mA and a 600mAH Lithium-ion battery, but it can also work via USB. The speaker is 40mm, 4 with a bass booster of 40mm. The output power is RMA 2Wx1.
The speaker itself has a rubber jacket with a simple rubber seal on one side covering the inputs and the mouth of the speaker on the opposite. The speaker is about as long as a credit card with the diameter of a golf ball. More accurately, it is 50x50x80mm. It weighs a little over 3oz. Take this to mean that it is small enough and light enough to pack most anywhere. The StrapSound runs $49 with free shipping.
Overall construction felt solid with no moving parts and a no-fuss/easy-to-use design. As a low-tech person, I appreciated the simple controls. The body displays a power button and a +/- for volume control which were sized appropriately and easy to use. Under the rubber plug on the utility end was a USB and aux cable input. My StrapSound was lime green which I’m not sure was intentional, but I appreciated it. It also comes in black. Charging and pairing it with my iPhone was equally easy.
The StrapSound boasts a six (6) hour rechargeable battery and functions wired or wirelessly. It is also water-resistant, shock proof, dust proof, and rugged overall. It is clearly meant for outdoors and doesn’t need to be babied.
I was first tinkering with the StrapSound in my office after charging it for the recommended 5 hours. There is a little red indicator light next to the input which helped me to identify when it was charged. My first impression when sound started playing was – POW! Sound from the StrapSound within my 10’x10’ office was loud almost to the point where sitting next to it was a little too close. My kids were in the room and they both backed up nearly in unison to give their little ears some space. While the speaker appears to be on one end, sound definitely permeates cleanly throughout the device. Volume control is easy enough from the device or my iPhone.
My experience with StrapSound was that it was very easy to accessorize to most any activity. Sound was amplified indoors and responsible within a respectable area outside. One of the reasons I like the StrapSound for use in small groups is that the sound covers a reasonable distance within a social circle and is not so overpowering that the guy down the trail or down the block is going to be listening in. While the system lacks prominent bass, it does fine for what it’s designed for. Aside from using it around the house and yard, we’ve also taken it family camping and strapped it to handlebars of various bicycles. It was fun family event to watch my kids get riled up while riding their bikes with the Flight of the Bumblebee chasing them down the street.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a durable, lightweight and solidly performing Bluetooth speaker, give StrapSounda try.
SOUND like something you’d be interested in? If so, RuggedTec has generously offered to give one to my readers for FREE. To be eligible, simply write a comment below and tell me the adventure you’d like to use the StrapSound I’ll select someone at random in the next two weeks or so. Because I don't want to over promise shipping for an American company, US-based entries only.