You probably haven't heard of Kicker unless you're into tricking out your car stereo with aftermarket gear, but the company just announced a new portable Bluetooth speaker for sports fans that could be a hit with tailgaters this summer. I know you're thinking the world doesn't need another portable speaker, but the Bullfrog Jump is different because it's meant to sit in the trunk of your car until you're ready for the party.
That might be why the design somewhat resembles a space heater -- Kicker isn't trying to make it the center of attention. Instead, it made the Jump fully party-proof with a rugged, rubberized cabinet that can withstand rain, beer and other liquid spills. It was even awarded an official IP6 rating, which means it passed a test to officially call itself tough as hell.
Durability is important for a tailgating speaker, but even more crucial is the ability to hear the thing once everyone gets a few drinks in and starts yelling at their teams.
Kicker claims the Jump's pair of four-inch drivers and three four-inch passive radiators can overpower even the most obnoxiously loud fan, and in the off chance that you need a little extra boost, the Auxiliary output lets you daisy-chain two Jump speakers together for stereo sound. You can also keep your phone fully juiced using a USB port on on the side, while the built-in battery keeps the music going for 20 hours of play at average volumes.
The rubber keypads can change the volume or cycle between preset stations on the built-in FM radio. They're waterproof, too, for easy clean-up in in case something does spill onto it.
The real kicker, though, is the price.
If you want to get your hands on the Bullfrog Jump when it hits outdoor retailers and online stores this September, you'll pay a hefty $399, which comes out to about £300 or AU$530.
That's a big ask, especially when you consider that even the most expensive models in this list of our favorite Bluetooth speakers sell for $299 (£230, AU$400). Still, most of those don't have the power of the Jump's speaker array, so I can't say for sure yet if it's worth the cost.
Stay tuned to CNET for the full review.