Ensuring your gear has the gumption necessary to let your outdoor soul thrive!
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When the first portable Bluetooth speakers arrived a few years ago, we gladly sacrificed sound quality and features in the name of convenience. The Big Turtle Shell from Outdoor Tech changes all of that. At $229.95, this rugged and powerful Bluetooth speaker represents the next generation of portable wireless speakers.
On Performance and Design…
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. – Plato
So let’s talk about music. Room blasting, campsite shaking, soul reverberating music. If that’s your style, then it’s time to let you know about the Big Turtle Shell from Outdoor Tech. A one of a kind design combined with technological innovation creates a portable speaker that delivers high-quality sound in almost any environment and doubles up as a power bank for your other electronic devices.
Much like the original Turtle Shell, Outdoor Tech ensures that aesthetically, the Big Turtle Shell marches to the beat of its own drum. This wireless wunderkind looks like a cross between the Tian Shan Mountains, and something from a Ninja Turtle/Transformer crossover film. It’s a completely unique eye-catching design that looks as clean as the sound it produces.
The unique multifaceted design has a water-resistant silicone rubber exterior housing that can handle a little snow or sea spray, and it’s also shock-resistant in case it takes a tumble from the cabin deck. But it’s underneath that chunky, rugged frame where the magic happens offering impressive, room-shaking, full-bodied sound.
Once you wirelessly connect the Big Turtle Shell (BTS) with your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device, you get 110 decibels of crystal clear auditory bliss over a range of over 32 feet. No Bluetooth? No problem. The BTS also connects via 3.5mm stereo input for those who haven’t quite moved into the land of the new millennium.
So how’s the sound you ask? On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like our test track, AWOL NATION’s “Sail” the BTS delivers a powerful low-end that you may not expect from a portable speaker of this size. Admittedly on some tracks like Lecrae’s “Nuthin” or Thirty Seconds to Mars’ “Do Or Die” the bass was a little lighter than we’d like. There’s also a small amount of audio distortion when you max out your phone and speaker volume, but that’s with us testing at maximum output and getting a little nitpicky considering it’s not the audio range in which most people will consistently using the BTS.
At the end of the day, whether you’re blasting Alien Ant Farm’s “Smooth Criminal”, “Shake it Off” from Taylor Swift, or pretty much anything in between, the speaker provides a powerful, clean response to your musical repertorie.
Sound and durability are nice, and a crucial feature for any portable speaker. But it’s all for not if your BlueTooth speaker dies off after a few measly hours of use. Since no one wants the party to end early, Outdoor Tech juiced up this bad boy with 7800 milliamps of battery power – in layman’s terms, that’s more than 3x that of the leading big Bluetooth boombox giving you more music so you can let the good times roll.
For practical purposes, that equates to a full 16 hours of play time and 325 hours of standby. On more than one occasion we’d pull the Big Shell from our gear stash after a few weeks of non-use, toss it in the car, head out to no-where land and then power up to hear the reassuring voice prompt announcing “battery high”.
And since there’s no power outlets in no-where land, here’s the cherry on top. That 7800 milliamps of battery power serves as your strategic energy reserve. Tap into the outbound USB port, and utilize the Big Turtle Shell as a power bank to charge external devices. Got an iPhone? The TBS will charge it four times. Samsung Galaxy user? Three charges for you. And that power thirsty GoPro that keeps running out of battery power? The TBS will charge it six times over.
Add in the fact that Outdoor Technology included a built in microphone so you can answer incoming calls… and dare we say you’re close to writing this purchase off as a business expense.
Notes from the Field…
We don’t need to tell you that the Big Turtle Shell isn’t for the minimalist in the crowd. While the two handle openings on the bottom of the speaker make transporting/attaching the TBS easy breezy, and while it does tuck away neatly in your daypack, it’s a bit meaty for your daily commute. For those in search of a smaller option that takes up less room in the pack, the original Turtle Shell, or SOL REPUBLIC Punk might be more up your alley.
Perhaps more importantly, you should be forewarned that ownership of this device will (either consciously or subconsciously) have you wandering around your neighborhood re-enacting iconic John Cusack moments from ‘Say Anything’. Just be prepared.
The Big Turtle Shell from Outdoor Technology offers big sound for big moments making it a perfect option for house parties, basecamps or anywhere you want musical goodness.
*Gumption Gear Review received the product samples featured in this review from Outdoor Tech at no cost, and receives no monetary compensation for this or any related review. The item featured was provided solely in return for our honest views and opinions.Read More
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