Speaker is perfect for any environment.
Technology is amazing, especially when you can use it in less than ideal environments. My family and I love to camp. We started out tent camping and have slowly moved up to pop-up camper and now to a motorhome. However, there is just something special about primitive tent camping. My two sons and I (Daniel 7, Samuel 4) have become actively involved with our cub scout troop and have enjoyed our tent camping experiences. We are asked to leave technology at home, but I still typically have my phone nestled in a waterproof Catalyst case on my hip. To be honest, this is one of the safety elements for me. I have shied away from wired headphones and anything that accesses the bottom phone port, as this opens the phone to the elements. I received a URPOWER Bluetooth waterproof speaker to review.
The packaging is rather eye-catching, with the black speaker with green accent detailed on both the front and back of the white slip cover. The packaging measures 9 3/8” long by 4 9/16” wide by 2 1/4” tall and weighs Underneath the slip cover is a plain cardboard box with URPOWER www.iurpower.com written on the top. Lifting the lid, you will find the speaker wrapped in plastic, the instruction manual, the 26 1/2” 3.5” to 3.5” jack and the 26” USB A to micro USB flat charging cable. I am pleased the company chose to use a flat cable. These seem to pack much more nicely than the round cables. There is really not much more information to be gathered from the packaging. There is a small white sticker on the side of the cardboard, which does support that the product is IPX7 and supports a variety of smart devices.
The manual is well written and easy to use/visualize. There are 8 panels with instructions/operation information. The diagram on panel 2 shows the layout of the speaker. The top of the speaker has 4 functional buttons: power, play/pause/hands-free calling, volume up/next, volume down/previous. It also has a green power LED across the top detailing power, charging (RED LED) and Blue flashing LED for Bluetooth. On the bottom of the speaker is a standard 1/4” Tripod mount/screw. There is also a rubberized flap on one of the sides that allows access to the charging ports and the AUX in port. The product is listed as using Bluetooth 4.0, takes 3 hours to charge with 5-6 hours playtime from an 1800 mAh battery. The product is listed as IPX7. To be honest, I was surprised to see that the company posted IPX7 status. The first digit is for solids and this device is likely IP6 and dust tight. However, the company does not claim this status for the device. The second digit of the IP rating system is specifically for liquid protection. Most of the similar devices I have tested (Reacher for example), were listed at IPX4-5. IPx1 is listed as dripping water, falling drops, IPx2 is listed as dripping water when tilted at 15 degrees, IPx3 supports protection from spraying water up to any angle up to 60 degrees from vertical, IPX4 supports protection from splashing water from any direction, IPX5 protects from nozzle directed water jets against the enclosure, IPX6 protects from powerful water jets against enclosure, IPX7 protects from immersion up to 1 meter depth, IPX8 protects from immersion beyond 1 meter depth. As you can see from the ratings, this device is designed to be safe and free of harm if under water to about 3 feet.
The manual further details the operation. To power on the device hold the power button for 3-5 seconds. You will hear a female voice alert “Power on” “Pairing.” Go to settings on your device and find URPOWER-F2. Select this and hear “Paired.” Honestly, that is the hardest part of the speaker. The buttons are self-explanatory. The volume up/down is responsive to short press. Long press the same buttons to move to next/previous track. If desiring to use AUX in simply plug the 3.5” Headphone jack into the AUX in port and it will confer to AUX in mode. This eliminates the IPX7 rating. To answer a phone call (when connected) press the call button once. Repeat this process to end the call. The phone call feature is convenient and the sound is actually quite good. Unfortunately, there is a lot of ambient background noise. The speaker has an auto shut off feature after 15 minutes (connected to Bluetooth).
The URPOWER device is very rugged and I am a huge fan of the black/green color scheme. The only issue I can foresee is that the colors do not stand out that well from the environment. In daylight, the device is easy to see, but in low light and night, it is difficult to see. Any outdoorsman is aware that black is not always a good color as if you drop it, it is very hard to find. The device weighs 1 lb 7.9 ounces and measures 8 inches long by 3 1/8” tall by 2” wide. The product is heavy, which makes this less ideal for backpacking. It will work great by a pool, in the bathroom, for a park outing. All of these are valid options for the device.
The device is heavy and I believe that this benefits the sound quite well. Many similar speakers have a rather tinny high-pitched low bass sound. Those speakers work well for pop sound but do not do as well for full instrumental, bass heavy music. I was impressed with the quick connection. My typical bass test track is “Why So Serious?” The Joker Theme from The Dark Knight soundtrack. At around the 3:27 point, the music builds and builds like a train. You get a great appreciation for bass, for sub-bass as it feels like a helicopter in a good set of speakers. I have had speakers that you cannot hear anything up until about 4 minutes. This speaker actually does a good job at the bass of the song. Again, I was quite impressed. You can also listen to the opening of Star Wars attack of the Clones to hear some good strong sub-bass. I also test my speakers with the Far and Away Soundtrack and the Braveheart Soundtrack. The speaker holds the full instrumentals quite well. The sound did very well at about 60%. Above this, it was sharper than I like. Also, I find that any time you are up above 75% the popping/cracking/interference sounds start to become more evident. The URPOWER fared better than most but still had some of this at higher decibel levels.
This is listed as waterproof, so I filled my sink and left it in the water for 5 minutes. To my disbelief, the device floated. I held it underwater and you could hear the sound and feel the vibration and then when it came back above the water, the sound was just as good. I tried both with the device on and off and I was able to power it on and to get a quick connection. There was no difference in the sound. This makes a great shower speaker, it makes a great bathtub speaker and a safe bet near the pool shallow end. The sound is better than expected, with above average base. I tried this speaker with AUX into my phone, and using Lightning to HDMI, watched Zootopia with my projector. The sound did very well and actually was better at the 75% range with movie sounds than with music. This reminded me of my own drive-in theater. The call feature is an add-on and useful at the beach/pool etc if you cannot access your phone. It suffers from excess ambient noises due to the general microphone. Overall the sound is good, I would rate this speaker at 5/5 as it does what it says it will do. I am happy with the packaging, I am happy with the sound and I am happy with the product. it is a little heavy for backpacking but works well for outings and more rugged environments.
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For more information, visit iurpower.com.