Sunday, 10 January 2016 16:13

Aquajam - waterproof, dust proof, and sounds good too (review)

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A $129 Bluetooth speaker sold via Target (for $99) – hmmm. But in exhaustive and wet tests over Christmas this earned applause from all.

Aquajam call this a mono, full range, IPX7 certified, extreme climate, floating, snow proof, waterproof Bluetooth LE 4.0 speaker – so I decided to test those claims. They were right – nothing I threw at it (or threw it at) stopped this water bottle sized speaker from banging out the music. It even floats. There is a You Tube video here.

And to top it off Aquajam is an Aussie company started in 2014 so support is local.

On with the review.

The bright red, yellow, white, or black speaker comes in a Perspex tube. The AJ2 is a rugged speaker – water, dust, mud, snow, knocks and drops should not stop it functioning.

It comes with a USB charger cable, bike handlebar mount, a 3M tape mount (any flat surface), a carabiner (belt or rope) and a hand strap. It is meant to be used.

It also has a hands free microphone to act as a speaker phone when paired to an Android or iOS device.

Music quality

Sound quality is a little subjective as there are no published specifications e.g. RMS wattage, frequency response and total harmonic distortion.

It has three ‘speakers’ – the two round ones look like a mid-range and tweeter and the square centre one a bass radiator. The Target site says 2 x 3W – to put this in perspective the UE Boom has 2 x 1.5W and reviews usually say that this has impressive volume.

I compared it with a Klipsch Gig, a UE Boom and a number of other Bluetooth speakers around our house.

Volume was good, sound was clear, and there was little distortion at maximum levels. It favours the upper end sound spectrum e.g. more treble and mid-range than bass. In all very acceptable for the purpose. In all a good performer just a little behind the Klipsch and UE pedigree sound.

Battery

The built in Lithium battery offers 10 hours’ music replay – I can verify that. Recharge time was about 1.5hours at 1A – leading me to speculate that it has about 1500mAh battery. Recharging is via micro-USB (cable provided – no charger) via a flap under a waterproof top plug.

Competition

There are dozens of Bluetooth speakers – but to get this quality and IPX7 rating you have to spend two time its price to get the excellent UE Boom 2.

No it is not a Boom 2 – at half the cost you should not expect that but it’s a great knock about speaker that will give you hours of enjoyment anywhere. Take it mountain biking, fishing, swimming (with caveats), and use it without fear of damage. I think there is even a good use for it in the shower as a speaker and hands free phone!

The Aquajam wins on price and value.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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