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LifeProof branches into waterproof Bluetooth speakers with new Aquaphonics line

LifeProof made its name selling waterproof iPhone cases. Now it's moving into the portable audio market with a new line of ruggedized Bluetooth speakers.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

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Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks and Nook e-books, as well as audiobooks.

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LifeProof's new Aquaphonics line of Bluetooth speakers will be available exclusively at Best Buy and bestbuy.com.

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Aquaponics is all about raising plants and fish in an integrated ecosystem such as a pond. However, don't confuse that with Aquaphonics, a new line of ruggedized Bluetooth speakers from LifeProof, the same brand that's synonymous with waterproof phone and tablet cases.

That's right, LifeProof, now owned by Otterbox, is branching out beyond its roots with three new portable speakers: The Aquaphonics AQ9 ($100), AQ10 ($200) and AQ11 ($300).

We just got them in the office, so I haven't had a chance to fully test them, but they do seem sturdy and sound respectable enough, though their prices may be too high for the highly competitive Bluetooth speaker market which already has its share of waterproof products.

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The two larger speakers have an integrated drybox and are able to charge your phone.

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The two larger models have integrated dryboxes for storing small items and float if they fall into the water, but they aren't designed to play audio while floating.

Here's a look at the speakers' key specs, according to LifeProof. You'll see my full reviews in the coming weeks. I'll be starting with the smaller AQ9 and AQ10, which ship on April 23 -- the larger AQ11 is listed as "shipping soon" without a specific date. Initially, you'll find them exclusively at Best Buy and bestbuy.com.

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The AQ9 has a built-in carabiner.

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Aquaphonics AQ9

  • Weighs less than 9 ounces and is designed for personal use and small groups
  • Up to 16 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels
  • Uses a single driver and single passive radiator
  • Reaches 81 decibels (dB)
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Built-in microphone for speakerphone capabilities
  • Waterproof to 3.3 ft. (1m)
  • Drop-proof to 4 ft. (1.2m)
  • $100
  • Available in 3 color options
  • Integrated carabiner clip

Aquaphonics AQ10

  • Weighs 1.7 pounds and is designed for small to medium-sized groups
  • Up to 13 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels
  • Has dual front facing drivers and dual passive radiators
  • Reaches 94 decibels (dB)
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Built-in microphone for speakerphone capabilities
  • Floats when tossed overboard and has a built-in, water-tight drybox to store cash, cards and keys
  • Waterproof to 3.3 ft. (1m)
  • Drop-proof to 4 ft. (1.2m)
  • Can charge a phone while the music plays
  • $200
  • Available in black and silver and green

Aquaphonics AQ11

  • Weighs 4 pounds and is designed for large groups in bigger spaces
  • Up to 15 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels
  • Has dual front-facing drivers and dual passive radiators
  • Reaches 100 decibels (dB)
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Built-in microphone for speakerphone capabilities
  • Floats when tossed overboard and has a built-in, water-tight drybox to store cash, cards and keys
  • Waterproof to 3.3 ft. (1m)
  • Drop-proof to 4 ft. (1.2m)
  • Can charge a phone while the music plays
  • $300
  • Available in black