Soundcast’s premium VG7 outdoor speaker is a portable dance party at a princely price

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San Diego-based premium outdoor speaker maker Soundcast has started shipping orders of its latest high-end Bluetooth speaker, the VG7, which it first showcased at CES earlier this year. This tower of power is encircled with drivers and encased in robust armor to serve as a musical warrior in any setting — especially your backdoor barbecue.

The omnidirectional outdoor speaker was designed as a flagship for the company, and follows its new mini portable, the VG1, which hit the market last year as the company’s first new product in three years. While Soundcast may have taken some time off, the company with a passion for remarkably good portable sound is back with a vengeance.

Like the last speaker we reviewed from Soundcast, the Melody, the VG7 is weather-resistant and shock-absorbent. With an IPX4 rating, it’s designed to take a licking (or a rain shower) while delivering premium sound on all sides. The VG7 features a 7-inch down-firing subwoofer set inside its plastic shell, and four 3-inch drivers to power the mid and high registers, as well as both indoor and outdoor equalization settings.

“Soundcast conducted extensive market research when designing the VG7, and we found that consumers want the ability to move their speakers to different areas of the yard based upon their activity, whether they are in the hot tub or the outdoor kitchen area,” said Charity Hardwick, Soundcast’s vice president of sales, in a statement. “The VG7’s powerful, 360-degree sound and formidable, weather-resistant design makes it the perfect speaker to fill a homeowner’s premium, outdoor living space with audio.”

We got a sneak preview of the speaker before it hit the market, and even after discovering its shock-inducing price point of $799, we were pretty blown away by the sound this 20-pound hulk can muster. While it may not be a breeze to haul around, the VG7 is essentially a party in a box, able to reproduce rich, powerful, and strikingly detailed sound at high volumes — indoors or outdoors.

We first heard the speaker inside, and were lambasted with tight and clear audio with a sparkly finish up top, while bass filled the room easily, scooping lower than expected. For kicks, we next brought the speaker outside onto the busy streets of Portland’s bustling downtown and let the music fly. Belting out some Peter Tosh at near max volume, the speaker easily rose above the diesel engines of mass transit passing by, while showing no signs of distortion.

While there’s no question the VG7 costs a pretty penny, those looking for a one-stop powerhouse for their backyard will want to give it a serious look. The VG7 is currently available at select audio retailers nationwide.