Grace Digital’s Ecoxgear portable speakers are known for their rugged, all-weather designs and the Ecoboulder, while much larger than its siblings, still fits the bill nicely.
This all-in-one radio, PA system, and Bluetooth speaker combo bears a remarkable resemblance to a piece of carry-on luggage, complete with a telescoping handle and outdoor wheels. The thick exterior shell is built like a tank and the entire unit feels durable enough to handle some rough travel. But no speaker is truly portable without an internal battery, and the Ecoboulder boasts a full 10 hours of playback at maximum volume and up to 100 hours of standby time on a full charge. There are two output 1 amp USB ports for charging your devices, so you won’t have to worry about them running out of battery while on the go.
The Ecoboulder is built for the outdoors with an IP67 rating, meaning it’s dust and waterproof to the point of being submersible in shallow water for up to 30 minutes. Don’t worry about it taking a swim if it falls in a pool or lake either, since this 30 pound juggernaut also floats.
On one side of the unit, a side door opens up for stowing your source device inside, keeping it safe and protected within the waterproof compartment. There are a variety of input sources in addition to Bluetooth streaming, including AM/FM radio, two auxiliary inputs, and a quarter-inch microphone port. This opens up a whole slew of possibilities for using the unit to emcee, host karaoke, and put on performances. You can plug an array of instruments into the mic port like a guitar or keyboard, and the input volume can easily be adjusted independently from the primary audio source. Also, if you have a second EcoBoulder speaker, you can wirelessly sync them together for true stereo playback.
The sound is pumped out of an 8-inch 100-watt driver and 3-inch tweeter in the front, along with an 8-inch passive bass radiator in the back. The speaker offers good balance across the registers, including some decent thump and tightness in the bass, full sounding mids, and bright, crisp treble response. With up to 100-watts of power, the Ecoboulder won’t have any problem blasting music outdoors far and wide, either. At the loudest volume, however, you may notice a mild amount of distortion. It’s more noticeable when you’re indoors, although in that case, you should probably turn it down a few notches anyway.
With all those features and great sound quality packed into the EcoBoulder, it’s basically a party on wheels that doubles as a PA system; perfect for parties, receptions, or impromptu soap box speeches. Priced around $250, it’s also a fantastic value, and we’ve seen it priced even lower online.
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