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Sol Republic Punk review: Pocket-size Bluetooth speaker packs some punch

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The Good The Sol Republic Punk is an attractively designed micro wireless speaker that's water- and shock-resistant and plays loud for its small size with minimal distortion. It also has decent battery life (8 hours) and offers extended wireless range (up to 60 feet).

The Bad Its $70 list price is a little high; no speakerphone capabilities.

The Bottom Line The Sol Republic Punk manages to distinguish itself from the micro Bluetooth speaker competition with better battery life, slightly louder sound with minimal distortion, a water-resistant design and longer wireless range.

7.9 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Sound 8
  • Value 7

The Sol Republic Punk's claim to fame is that it plays louder than your typical tiny wireless Bluetooth speaker, with 6 watts of power. It's also water- and shock-resistant and offers 8 hours of battery life, with a 60-foot (18m) wireless range, around double the usual range for Bluetooth devices.

Those are good numbers and the Punk is a very good micro speaker, around half the size of the company's earlier Deck Bluetooth speaker , with dimensions of 5.2 by 5.1 by 2.3 inches (132 by 130 by 58mm) and a weight of around 8 ounces (227 grams).

It comes in a few different color options for $70 or £63. We've seen it discounted in the US to $50, and that's the only issue: it's a great buy at the cheaper price, but merely a good buy at the more expensive one.

Stripped-down version of the Deck

From a design and features standpoint, the Punk is sort of a low-frills version of the Deck , which has speakerphone capabilities, a snazzy color-changing LED on the front, NFC pairing and a "heist" mode that allows multiple devices to pair with the speaker and alternate streaming tracks. (Sol Republic also makes the new Deck Ultra, a slightly larger version of the Deck that features 22 hours of battery life and very long-range wireless pairing.)

You don't get any of those extras with the Punk, nor do you get a carrying case (the Deck came with a simple but nice cover). But the Punk is ruggedized, so, in theory, you shouldn't need one.

The Sol Republic Punk is available in a few different colors. Sol Republic

The Punk does have something the Deck doesn't: on the bottom of the speaker, there's a quarter-inch threaded mount so you can attach the speaker to a variety of bike and camera mounts that are sold separately.

It's also worth highlighting that the speaker has an input as well as an output, so you can connect it to a stereo or home theater (a 3.5mm audio cable is included) and essentially use it as a Bluetooth adapter. I'm not sure how many people will do that, but the feature is there. Belkin, Logitech and Amazon Basics sell similar devices (sans speakers) in the $25-to-$50 range.

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