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Watch: Soundfreaq adds water-resistance, pumped up sound to the Sound Kick 2

Soundfreaq has been rocking the center segment of the Bluetooth speaker market for a few years now, punching out plenty of affordable speakers that offer great sound for the money. The latest from the brand, the Sound Kick 2, is no exception, offering the smooth and clean sound signature we’ve come to expect from the brand, and a bit more, all for $100.

The second generation Sound Kick upgrades the audio of its predecessor with the addition of a passive radiator, which doesn’t exactly give it meaty bass, but does allow for a fuller sound in the lower midrange to complement the speaker’s dual 2.3-inch drivers. That’s much appreciated, but an even bigger story here may be the Sound Kick 2’s water resistance. The speaker offers rubberized flaps to cover its ports, and weatherized controls to make it much more acclimated to today’s active listeners, who increasingly want to blast sound everywhere from the beach to the shower.

Related: Video Review: Ultimate Ears Roll waterproof Bluetooth speaker

That said, the Sound Kick 2’s IPX4 certification means it may not be quite ready for your trek down the Nile this summer — the speaker will easily stand up to a splash here and there or the occasional rain shower, but you won’t want to dunk it completely. Still, unless you plan on floating the speaker next to you while you soak up rays in the pool, that shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Like virtually all Soundfreaq products, the speaker comes with the company’s UQ3 DSP control, which allows users to beef up the bass, or brighten the treble, though we think it sounds best for almost all genres on the flatter setting at the center. Other features for the speaker include a rugged metal grill, a kickstand at the back (hence the name) to allow for a wider sound image, a USB port for charging devices, as well as an eight hour battery, which is a bit below average for Bluetooth speakers these days, but not terrible by any means.

As we’ve alluded, sound performance is pretty impressive overall. The speaker sounds best in the upper mids where it offers clear and full snare, brass, and vocals, and it even offers some decent extension into the treble. Bass is a bit weak, as expected, but putting the speaker against a barrier adds some extra depth for a well-balanced performance.

All and all, at $100, Soundfreaq’s new Sound Kick 2 is one of the company’s best value propositions yet. If you’re interested, you can pick the speaker up at Target, or online at Soundfreaq’s website and Amazon.