Oregon-based Sol Republic upped its own ante today with a revamped version of its Deck Bluetooth speaker. Dubbed the Deck Ultra, the new portable Bluetooth speaker promises double the loudness and double the battery life, as well as increased Bluetooth connection range, with the new Deck Ultra.
The original Deck, though a bit pricey at $200 upon its release, impressed us with its clarity of sound, excellent form and function, remarkable Bluetooth range, and unique set of features. Yet, it seems that Sol Republic has managed to take the device to new heights with the updated Deck Ultra, which will be up for grabs at $50 less than the original’s initial price point.
With a slightly thicker body that allows for larger drivers and, generally, more power, the Deck Ultra purportedly cranks out tunes with “2x the loudness.” The revamped Bluetooth speaker is also able to operate for up to 22 hours, more than twice the 10-hour battery life of the original Deck. And as if the length of a football field wasn’t quite enough for listeners, the new version of the speaker has a ridiculous 450-foot Bluetooth connection range. One thing to note: These line-of-site measurements don’t necessarily translate to real-world performance. When we experimented with the original Deck, the speaker began to cut out at just under 100 feet, a far cry from the claimed 300-foot range.
The Deck Ultra maintains Heist Mode, a feature that lets up to five users connect their wireless device to the speaker (and stomp all over each others’ playlists in a musical tug-of-war), as well as another proprietary technology, the Outdoor Boost mode, which we actually found to work quite well with the original Deck speaker. The new speaker also moonlights as a speakerphone, cutting the music when a call comes in, and dropping the beat when the call ends.
As was possible with its predecessor, the Deck Ultra can be used as a wireless adapter, allowing you to Bluetooth-ify your home hi-fi system or car stereo. The device has line-in and -out ports onboard that let you connect to non-Bluetooth devices via 3.5-mm cable.
Given the original Deck’s performance, we expect good things from the “Ultra” version. Stay tuned for our hands-on report later this week.
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