LAS VEGAS--Everyone loves gathering around a campfire listening to someone strum an acoustic guitar, but lugging that delicate instrument through nature is cumbersome, and why should only one person get to choose the music?
Outdoor Technology suggests you democratize your next adventure with its new wireless Turtle Shell boom box, a Bluetooth-powered speaker with rock-star sound, IP5X durability, and a built-in tripod mount.
I swung by the Outdoor Technology booth here at CES, and the dudes took me into their camper setup to demonstrate the Turtle Shell's flexible features, like an integrated speakerphone and a threaded tripod mount on the bottom that lets you attach it to almost anything--they had it hooked up to a Joby GorillaPod.
Mounting that on the handlebars of my bike already sounds like a safer idea than riding around wearing headphones, but there's also the option to tether a carabiner clip to the steel loop under the Shell.
Most importantly, the Turtle Shell adheres to IP5X standards, which means it's built double-tough to keep away dust, grime, water, and whatever else you'll encounter on the road. OT recommends you connect a Bluetooth-enabled device for wireless playback, but you can also listen from a wired source using a 3.5mm audio cable plugged into the port on the side.
I had a chance to briefly listen to some tracks streamed wirelessly from the crew's demo unit, and while their sound engineers are still tweaking the final audio specs, my first impression is that the dual drivers and subwoofer certainly offer worthy competition for existing portable Bluetooth speakers.
You can choose between eight different colors of the Outdoor Technology Turtle Shell Bluetooth speaker for $129.95 in early May, and look out for a full review on its way to CNET.