updated 03:23 pm EDT, Thu July 4, 2013
Different sizes, portability, water resistance offer range of options
Two different audio device manufacturers have unveiled new models of portable and lightweight Bluetooth speakers for a variety of needs, styles and options. Pyle Audio is debuting a marine-grade, shock-resistant and waterproof system called the Sound Flow that is intended to be functional even in difficult environmental conditions, while Planet Audio is launching an entire line of Lynx Bluetooth speakers ranging in size and style for more casual use. All models from both makers are available now.
Pyle's Sound Flow ($70, website not yet updated) is the most rugged of the offerings, featuring a waterproof design that stands up to adverse weather, camping and a variety of outdoor uses. The speaker itself is sealed and rubberized and the case features a built-in metal hook for hanging. It offers up to seven hours of playback, includes a rechargeable lithium battery and USB charging cable, push-button pairing with almost any Bluetooth-enabled device, and offers enhanced bass reproduction along with accurate mid and high range.
Planet Audio's Lynx line of Bluetooth speakers also features a splash-resistant outdoor model, the PA600B ($80) available in either black or white. It offers up to five hours of playback and includes both an aux cable for non-Bluetooth sources and a USB charging cable, carrying bag and bicycle clips for handlebar use. The company's pocket-sized, conish PA100B ($30) features up to four hours of playback and a convenient LED status light. All of the models offer up to 33 feet of wireless range, an aux-in port, automatic pairing with nearby Bluetooth audio sources and stereo A2DP support.
The PA200B ($40) takes a completely different design approach for portability, using a collapsible foldout design that can be used for strong stereo sound when unfolded or deeper monophonic sound when stacked. The PA300B ($45) is aimed more as a flexible speaker for Bluetooth phone and conference calling that can be portable but equally at home in a boardroom, featuring two-channel audio and easy-access buttons on the top for call management. Both the 200B and 300B offer up to four hours of battery time.
The most stylish of the offerings comes from Planet's Lynx PB252 speaker ($80), which comes in eight colors (red, pink, yellow, orange, black, white, blue and camoflage) with an emphasis on being both lightweight and durable for on-the-go protection. The unit features track selection and volume controls and up to four hours of playback time