We've said it time and time again: There's no shortage of speaker docks for the iPod. However, a speaker-cum-case is a bit less ubiquitous, and one that's also fully waterproof is even more of a rarity. The EGO Waterproof Sound Case for iPod from Atlantic combines all of these features and adds shock protection for the player for a fairly reasonable price of $149.99. If you want to listen to your iPod poolside--or heck, in the pool--this speaker case is a perfect fit.
Because it takes four AA batteries, the EGO Waterproof Sound Case isn't as light as it looks, but it is pleasantly compact--just 9.8 by 6.5 by 1.8 inches--and it will float in your pool. The overall design is quite cool in a retro sort of way: it reminds me of those see-through telephones of the early 90s. The case is totally clear with white speakers, which gives it a clean look befitting of summers. The corners are protected by rubber bumpers, and the casing is made of shatterproof polycarbonate, meaning it's rugged enough for any outdoor use. Even the iPod compartment is shock-absorbing to protect the player inside from any abuse the speakers take externally. Plus, although the cradle is sized for the iPod (4G and newer only), the speakers connect via a standard 3.5mm jack, so you could use any similar-size MP3 player with the unit.
The EGO Waterproof Sound Case is light on extras. There's no remote, and it doesn't add an FM tuner to the player. It does feature a built-in kickstand for those times when you prefer not to have it floating in water. Atlantic also includes rubberized fittings for the iPod Nano and iPod Mini as well as a wrist strap--presumably so the thing doesn't float away from you while you're lounging. There's even a rudimentary (and very long) shoulder strap that can be attached to the speakers for carting them around, leaving your hands free.
Unsurprisingly, the EGO Waterproof Sound Case doesn't offer much in the way of bass, though it's not entirely lacking--just don't expect to get a truly thumping low end. All in all, the speakers sound pretty good, though not spectacular. They deliver sparkling clarity and nice mids but fail to offer the amount of warmth and depth I normally demand from my music. I was impressed with the openness of the sound, though. In the final analysis, these speakers are more than decent enough for use poolside, and the 30-hour rated battery life is nothing to scoff at, either.