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Grace Digital Ecoxgear Ecorox Bluetooth speaker review: A mini waterproof speaker that floats

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The Good The Grace Digital Ecoxgear Ecorox mini Bluetooth speaker is very compact and fully waterproof, and has built-in speakerphone capabilities. It also offers good battery life.

The Bad Bit pricey for how it sounds; tends to distort at higher volumes with bass-heavy material; vibrates at higher volumes and will move around on smooth surfaces.

The Bottom Line The Ecorox is a decent-enough little speaker that has the added benefit of being waterproof, making it a good choice for use in the shower. But it could sound better for its price.

6.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Sound 6
  • Value 6

With the introduction of its Ecoxgear line, Grace Digital has quickly made a name for itself in the waterproof portable mini Bluetooth speaker arena. I previously reviewed the Ecoxgear Ecoxbt, and while I thought its name was poorly rendered, I considered it a good deal, though its price has risen since I gave it a positive review.

The Ecorox is the Ecoxbt's little brother and its shape is very reminiscent of such speakers as the $99 UE Mobile Boombox. However, the Ecorox is truly waterproof and can be fully submerged in water, making it a particularly good shower speaker. It also can be mounted on a bike with an optional accessory, it has speakerphone capabilities and decent battery life, and, like a lot of these tiny Bluetooth speakers, it plays bigger than its size would indicate. My only problem with it is that at $129, it's pretty pricey for what it is, and it just can't handle bass-heavy material, distorting at higher volumes.

Design and features
Design is one of the Ecorox's strong points. For starters, it's a better-looking speaker than the larger Ecoxbt, and is obviously very compact, weighing 11 ounces and measuring 5.3 inches wide, 2.5 inches high, and 3 inches deep.

The speaker fires from both the front and the top. Its two ports on back -- a Micro-USB connection for charging and an auxiliary input for non-Bluetooth devices -- are sealed by a rubber gasket that you lift to get to the ports.

Available in a few different color options, the Ecorox is fully waterproof and even floats. Sarah Tew/CNET

All the physical buttons are well placed on top of the unit, with dedicated buttons for power, Bluetooth pairing, volume control, and track skip forward/back, and a call answer/end button for making speakerphone calls. Nothing to complain about here, though speakerphone performance is OK but not great; you have to sit or stand pretty close to the speaker for people to hear you well.

On the bottom of the unit you'll find a threaded tripod mount, which is where the optional accessories come into play. You can use a tripod, of course, but you can also purchase optional bike and car mounts (that suction-cup car mount is a dashboard mount for the interior of your car). You could potentially use the suction-cup mount to mount the speaker in a shower at home.

The controls are on top of the unit along with a passive bass radiator. Sarah Tew/CNET

On the back of the unit you'll also find a little strap and you can attach the included carabiner clip to the strap and clip the speaker to a backpack (or whatever you want).

Clearly, one of the Ecorox's big extra features is the waterproofing. As I said, this is a full-on waterproof speaker. It's IPX7-certified, which means it's submersible in a meter of water for 30 minutes, and it floats; we dropped it in a fountain and it worked fine after we pulled it out.

The back of the speaker with the ports sealed off. Sarah Tew/CNET

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