Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Gear Closet: Ecoxgear EcoDrift Rugged Speaker Review

Gone are the days of heading out on an adventure without even the smallest of luxuries. Today, thanks to continually advancing technologies, we can now hit the road with plenty of entertainment, information, and communication at our fingertips. Case in point, many of us now take small, lightweight, yet durable Bluetooth speakers with us for use at the campsite or even while on the trail. Being able to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or other sources of news and information is easier than ever. But if you're still a bit reluctant to bring such a gadget with you on your own adventures, perhaps the new Ecoxgear EcoDrfit speaker will change your mind.

Like most of Ecoxgear's products, the EcoDrift is built for use in the outdoors. It is not only waterproof (IP67), but it is also shock resistant and dust/dirt proof too. The company says that the speaker can be fully immersed in water and continue to function just fine. In fact, it'll even float, making it a great option for any trip that involves being in, on, or around the water.

At the heart of the EcoDrift is a 15-watt speaker and a passive woofer that cranks out solid, but not overwhelming sound. Don't get me wrong, the EcoDrift can get plenty loud if that's what you're looking for, but in doing so the sound can get a little distorted. This isn't quite as noticeable when used outdoors, but when used inside in quieter environment, you'll get better performance at a more moderate volume level. It's there that the mids- and highs- sound their most clean. Bass isn't particularly solid in any environment, but that is somewhat to be expected for a speaker of this size.

Speaking of which, the EcoDrift is fairly compact, which makes it a good option for travel. It also weighs just 17 ounces (481 grams), which is isn't too bad for the level of performance it delivers. Once counters and weight-weenies will still find it to be too heavy, but then again they're probably not bring a Bluetooth speaker with them anyway.

The EcoDrift pairs easily with a smartphone or tablet and can be pumping out jams in a matter of seconds. The speaker uses Bluetooth 4.2 technology, which gives it a wireless range of about 100 feet. I've found that it's better to keep the audio source closer to the speaker for best performance. The device also comes with a 3.5mm auxiliary-in port if you want to plug the source directly into the EcoDrift instead.

One of the big features that Ecoxgear touts about this device is that it has a dedicated button just for summoning a digital assistant such as Apple's Siri or Google's Ok Google service. Having this built into the speaker is probably handy for someone who keeps their phone stashed away somewhere out of reach, but honestly I found it to be not particularly useful. Most of the time we don't stray too far from our mobile devices these days and when they are close at hand it is easier to just call out "Hey, Siri!" rather than pushing the button. Still, it is there in case someone does need it.

The EcoDrift also functions as a pretty good speaker phone. It's built-in mic allows several people to gather around and join int he conversation, with audio generally coming across quite clear in both directions. This gives the speaker a bit of added functionality that you might not expect, and it is a nice inclusion. In fact, you may find yourself using this feature more often than you thought both at home and on the road.

Battery life is a solid 15 hours for the EcoDrift and recharging is done via a micro-USB port. The speaker also has the ability to pair with another Ecoxgear device using the EcoConnect feature turning both devices into a stereo option. This is particularly handy for backyard gatherings where you want music playing in different parts of the yard but with only one device driving the tunes.

Priced at just $89.99, the EcoDrift is a fantastic option for those looking for a small, but powerful and feature packed, Bluetooth speaker for travel and outdoor adventures. I particularly like how rugged this device is and appreciate its good sound as well, Having a speakerphone option and the ability to interact with a digital assistant are nice bonuses too.

Find out more on the Ecoxgear website.

No comments: