Bring the noise with the Splash Speaker

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Impressive sound

The sound volume and quality are both admirable for an affordable device as small as the Splash Speaker.

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A day at the beach or in the pool isn’t really complete without some tunes. Most electronics and portable speakers don’t do very well with the elements, though—especially water. The Splash Speaker from Thumbs Up, however, is designed specifically for pumping out jams near water.

Form

The Splash Speaker is fairly simple. It’s a 3.375-inch square that’s 1.75 inches thick. It weighs about half a pound. With the speaker facing you there is a rubber wrist strap attached to the top left. On top there are four buttons—Power, Phone, and Volume up / down buttons.

The right side has an access panel that covers an auxiliary input port and the micro USB charging port. The entire unit is splash proof and connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth 3.0.

Function

Thumbs Up claims the wireless range of the Splash Speaker is about 33 feet. That seems like a fairly safe distance for your smartphone or tablet to be safely outside of the splash zone. The Splash Speaker will last three to four hours on a full charge—adequate, but not the best battery life.

As soon as you turn it on it goes into pairing mode. It shows up as BLSPLSPK on your mobile device. It can only be paired with one device at a time, though. Once it’s been paired the only way to re-pair it with a different device is to remove or forget the Splash Speaker from the connected mobile device to break the association. Then the Splash Speaker will automatically go into pairing mode again.

My Experience

This little speaker can crank out some music. I have louder Bluetooth speakers, but for its size the Splash Speaker is impressive.

Keep in mind that the Splash Speaker is splash-resistant—not waterproof. That means you can set it on the side of the pool and it won’t be damaged by splashing—and you can even touch it with your wet hands to push the phone button and answer a call—but if you drop it in the pool it’s probably going to be fried.

If its paired with a smartphone the music will stop when there is an incoming call. Answering is as simple as pushing the phone button on top of the unit. The volume and clarity of the phone call is pretty good—for both you and the party at the other end of the call. Once the call ends the music resumes automatically.

My only complaint is the difficulty of opening the access panel on the side. It closes tightly to seal the auxiliary port and micro USB port from water damage. I respect that. The tab on the end that you pull to open it, however, is too small for me to grip tightly enough to open it. I have to use some sort of knife or screwdriver to pry it open.

If you use the auxiliary input to connect a music source rather than Bluetooth you’ll be giving up the splash resistant aspects of it. Unless you have a very long cord the device you’re connecting would need to be right next to the speaker, and having the panel open to access the auxiliary port on the Splash Speaker exposes it to damage from water.

The Verdict

The volume and quality of sound from the Splash Speaker is impressive given its size and price. If you have the money to spend there are better outdoor sound systems available—especially if we’re talking about delivering music poolside in your own backyard. Most of those won’t also allow you to answer calls from your phone while you’re swimming, though.

At $70 this would be a bit pricey, but it’s actually available from Amazon for under $50—with free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime members. If you visit the pool, lake, or beach often I would recommend picking up a Splash Speaker.

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About Author

I have a passion for technology and gadgets--with a focus on Microsoft and security--and a desire to help others understand how technology can affect or improve their lives. I also love spending time with my wife, 7 kids, 2 dogs, 5 cats, 2 rabbits, 2 ferrets, a pot-bellied pig, and sulcata tortoise, and I like to think I enjoy reading and golf even though I never find time for either. You can contact me directly at tony@xpective.net. For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

37 Comments

  1. I_know_a_thing_or_two on

    I was trying to think how using the speaker in the shower would work. I guess it would have to be kept up and back so it only got splashed a little. The killer issue, however, is having to constantly re-pair it with other phones. IOW, my wife and I cannot both pair with it and then one or the other can send music. Instead, we each must pair and unpair every time to share access to the speaker. That isn’t so nice.

    Given how they’re marketing the device, at least based upon your description, it would work fine: take it to the beach or pool, pair with it, and start streaming music. You don’t want other phones trying to pair with it or send it music at the same time.

  2. It would be a great speaker to use by the pool but I still have to worry about my phone getting wet.

  3. I don’t know how many times I’ve been swimming and wished I could also be talking on the phone.

  4. Michael Johnson on

    During the summer my family goes swimming 3-4 times a month. Having a waterproof speaker with us would be fantastic!

  5. I don’t swim much, but I’ve already ruined several small speakers from water splashing over the gunnel of my sailboat! Wow, would I love to have music while sailing on the high seas!

  6. A water proof Bluetooth speaker with a wrist band at a reasonable price, what is not to like, especially someone who loves hanging out around water all day.

  7. John Sullivan on

    This would be nice to have when going to the beach or the pool. While I don’t know if we have “dropped” electronics into water (coffee on the other hand…) but I have had to eventually replace a cell phone because the same someone who dropped a phone in coffee (*cough* my wife *cough) also sat down in a pool with the phone clipped to her bathing suit.

  8. The worst time I’ve had with electronics getting wet is when I was in the military and a friend was looking at my phone (a little flip phone, about a dozen years ago). As he was handing it back it dropped into my beer. It worked fine in the beer, even ringing when he called it. As soon as I took it out of the mug, it died…

  9. my son dropped his iPhone 6 in a salt water pool the day after he bought it… learned a big lesson there!!!

  10. Brian McMichael on

    Looks like it would be useful if it’s outside for a picnic and gets caught in the rain.

  11. My son dropped his DS in the bathtub. It was a goner. Not sure why that was in there, but I keep a better eye on what gets taken into the bathroom now. Waterproof products like this are great. I’d love a speaker for outdoors.

  12. Waterproof electronics are fantastic when little ones are at the age of grab and dash. You never know where they end up when they finally drop it.

  13. Perfect timing – was just looking at something like this for trip to the beach.

  14. I’m not a guy who usually wears shorts. And every piece of electronics I carry has it’s place on my person. On a super hot summer day, I was out running errands and wearing those uncommon shorts and things not being where I usually keep them. It was so hot, when I got home and saw my kids playing in the pool, I felt like being silly and just jumped in! As soon as I hit the water I realized my (brand new) phone and iPod were in my pockets. It was an odd feeling of a chilly respite from the heat with the sinking feeling that my electronics were frying at the same time.

  15. Igor Pismensky on

    Fell into harbor while mooring boat, with cell phone on hip. Minimal damage, could have been worse. Speaker would be good addition to cockpit.

  16. William Howard on

    Would be great to win this, since I live in the Pacific Northwest. And everybody knows how much rain we get.