Last year's International CES (the 2014 show) was chock full of Bluetooth speakers, and one of the few that stood out from the pack was Nyne's floating, waterproof Aqua speaker. Gizmag has since had the chance to test one out and see if it truly sinks or swims.
This particular writer is something of an audio freak. I've been a fan of music and radio since I was a kid, and today I've usually got at least one Bluetooth device nearby so my favorite podcasts, audio books and Spotify tracks are always within reach. One of the holes in my system, however, has been how to keep the listening going in the shower or at the beach, so I took an automatic interest in the Nyne Aqua.
The Aqua is rated IPX7, which means it can withstand being submersed in a meter of water (3.3 ft) for up to 30 minutes. To be clear, that doesn't mean that it will blast out your jams with crystal clear fidelity from the bottom of your hot tub, it just means that if you leave it at the bottom of the pool for half an hour, you probably won't destroy it.
We put it to the test in the shower at home where it happily took plenty of splashing, spilled shampoo and ugly drops in stride, filling the bathroom with great tunes and chatter the whole time.
To really up the ante, we also took it to Colorado's Pagosa Hot Springs on a frigid January day in the Rocky Mountains. The outdoor air temperatures were below freezing, but the hot springs pools we floated the Nyne Aqua in went up to 109º F (42º C), so it was facing some serious extremes simultaneously on its front and backsides.
The Aqua survived, taking the abuse in stride and keeping the party going, even after being submerged on multiple occasions.
In addition to its 2,200-mAh battery good for up to 10 hours per charge, other specs include a built-in waterproof microphone that seemed to work well enough for incoming calls and a 3.5-mm auxiliary input.
The size and shape of the Aqua, though perhaps a little goofy-looking, are a few of its bigger wins, making it easy to pack, stow and hang while traveling or cavorting on the beach or at the pool.
The sound quality you get from the Aqua is good but not the best on the market, and the same can be said for its volume capability. The unit puts out 10 watts of power and has an equalizer button that lets you cycle through four preset settings – a nice extra, but one that we tended to forget was there. For the price though (it retails at US$129.95 but is currently $100 at Walmart.com), you get more than you pay for.
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