Review - Turtle Shell 2.0 bluetooth speaker

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Turtle Shell 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker Turtle Shell 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker Copyright by Outdoor Tech

This is the time of portable. The time of wireless. The time of Bluetooth. It's time to tell you about the Turtle Shell 2.0.

Backpacking is a discipline where think-alikes always look for specific characteristics in gadgets. It has to be light weight, it has to be more or less resistant to the elements, and it should be multifunctional. Add the likeable looks to the equation and we are yelling "SOLD!". Well, we can safely say that the guys from Outdoor Tech hit it right on the spot with Turtle Shell 2.0.

 

The packaging
Let's take a look at the outer box for starters. The back side features a nice infographic-like depiction of the features of the speaker telling you basically everything you need to know: from autonomy and water resistance to the Bluetooth range and controls. On one side you are getting more clearer view of technical specifications while the transparent front, half covered with magnetized cover, reveals the speaker in its full glory. So you are aware of what are you getting even before ripping the package open.

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Unboxing
The cardboard packaging contains a few extras, besides the speaker itself. Once we removed the Turtle Shell, we noticed a nice cardboard inset containing a single-page user manual, small booklet with some extra directions, audio and micro-USB cable, white protective pouch and two Outdoor Tech stickers. We have to say, the pouch and the stickers are really a nice touch. We are always happy when we get a little something extra; it shows that the manufacturer is thinking about the small things to keep the customers happy.

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The speaker exterior
The model we received for the review is pitch black. And it looks excellent. The rubberized surface, even though a magnet for lint looks and feels great. Feeling it under the fingers leads us more to believing that the speaker is waterproof, as claimed. The turtle shell shape is a great move from the standardized box-like shape of most of the speakers which enables the sound to disperse evenly all around the speaker. On the picture you can see the size of the speaker compared to the regular pen - that’s a small turtle for a big sound mentioned on the box.
On one side you have three rubber control buttons, firm to the touch but responsive nevertheless. The front features an ON-OFF button while the rubber cover hiding the audio input and USB port are on the back. The bottom is separated from the desk surface (or anything you place the speaker on) by 4 soft rubber "legs" and features a standard camera thread and a strong metal leash clip (so you can hang it to almost anything). Also, there is a rubber "rib cage" which, we guess, helps the "boom-box" feature.

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Usage
Powering the speaker On or Off, as well as pairing it to the Bluetooth devise makes the lady from the box say things. That’s cool :)
Pairing is as easy as 1-2-3. You just hold the middle button for a few seconds until you hear the lady say "Pairing", select the speaker on your cell phone from the list of visible devices and the lady will say "Successful". That's it. It's working. Oh yeah, the power button blinks with a nice blue so you know when it’s working.

The music and the speakerphone features can be controlled both by your phone and by speaker (answering the phone, hanging up, skipping tracks, volume up and down). Also, if you happen to not have Bluetooth on your phone (is it possible?) or you want to use it with your MP3 player, it is possible via the audio cable included.

 

The sound
The box says "Louder than a bear's roar!". While we didn't have a bear handy during the review, we can testify that the speaker is loud. Very. Placing it on a table of a regular hotel/hostel room, a blankie on the picnic or a towel on the beach and turning the volume up all the way will raise some eyebrows and render the conversation possibilities to the minimum. Boom-box work as advertised even though, on tracks with accented sub-bass note the bass tends to get a bit distorted. Other frequency specters are all very clear even on higher volume levels. Same goes with speakerphone feature - we could hear our interlocutor loud and clear, as did he on the other side, even though we were walking around the room the whole time. So, works as advertised.

 

Other features
Let list the features and comment on them:

- Two speakers and passive bass radiator provide 96 decibels of clear sound (yep, testify)
- Connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device with easy one-touch pairing. (Check)
- Reconnects automatically to previously paired device. (Check)
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with 16 hours of play time, and over 700 hours of standby time. (Sounds about right, as far as we managed to test)
- IP65 dust-proof and water resistant. We tested it. It passed. (We didn't have heart to do it, sorry, but we believe you!)
- Built-in microphone, 'cause you've got a lot to say (sometimes to Siri). (We talked to Siri, she understood everything we said)
- External controls allow you to adjust volume, change tracks, play/pause and answer calls. (Indeed)
- Standard camera thread and extra strong metal leash clip for multiple mounting options.
- Voice Prompts let you know what is going on. (We powered it on and off for an hour, just to hear the lady talk)
- Bluetooth 4.0 (the batteries told us to say "Thank You")
- Micro USB charge port gives you freedom to use any micro USB cord you have available, even your mom's. (We asked mom, she said "Use your own".)
- 3.5mm audio-in port in case you are still rocking a Walkman. (Thanks for adding the dinosaurs as a feature)
- WIRELESS RANGE: 32 feet. (True)
- ITEM SIZE: 5.6 x 3.9 x 2.1 inches. Fits in the palm of your hand. Maybe both hands, if you are a small child. (Fits)
- ITEM WEIGHT: 0.65 Pounds. (Yep, lightweight)
- INCLUDES: USB charging cable, 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable, signature ODT carry pouch, User Manual, and some stickers. (Thank You ODT)

 

Conclusion
We want to keep it. Need we say more? :) On the positive side, well, everything. As for Cons, the rubbery surface might get scratched. Might. And the bass gets distorted sometimes. That’s about it.

turtleshell colors

Be sure to check out the official Outdoor Tech website, this baby comes in various color flavors.

 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 08:36

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