Plenty of Bluetooth speakers can get outside and play music at the beach, campground or poolside. Not as many are purpose-built for paddling into the waves and catching the big one, though. Designed to stand up against rolling saltwater, shock and other hazards of the great outdoors, the Hercules WAE Outdoor Rush speaker can mount to your surfboard or snowboard and bring the tunes along for the ride.
The latest addition to Hercules' wireless speaker line, the WAE Outdoor Rush is built for the demands of action sports like surfing, kiteboarding and skiing. Not only can you dunk it a meter (3.3 ft) in the drink for up to 30 minutes thanks to its IP67-certified construction, but you can do it in salty seawater without thinking twice. Hercules protects the portable from corrosion with a nickel electroplating treatment around the metal grilles.
So not only does the Rush keep the tunes flowing while you tease your toes at water's edge, it dives right in the water and keeps playing. The integrated 1/4-in screw thread allows for easy mounting, and the speaker is buoyant so you don't have to worry about it getting loose and dropping like a stone.
For those times you don't want to risk taking your Bluetooth-paired mobile device into the water, the Rush comes equipped with FM radio. Powered by an internal antenna, FM delivers a nice alternative for getting your music fix.
Playing a surfboard-mounted speaker sounds pretty cool, and it certainly looks cool enough in Hercules' video, but the actual experience might leave something to be desired. Even if you can actually hear the speaker over the sound of crashing waves, you still have to worry about it throwing off your balance or concentration, falling off and getting dragged out to sea and breaking in a crash.
Whether or not using it while actually riding water, snow or wind proves enjoyable, the Rush looks like a solid outdoor speaker. It includes Bluetooth 3.0, a line input, an eight-button physical control interface, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery driving around 12 hours of playtime, and a "boost charger" mode that lets you charge a USB-connected mobile device from that 1,800 mAh battery. The speaker measures 6.5 x 2.2 x 2.6 in (165 x 57 x 65 mm) and weighs 11 oz (320 g).
The WAE Outdoor Rush is a CES 2016 Innovation Award Honoree. It will hit the market in April for US$129.99.
Watch the speaker play in sand and surf in Hercules' video below.