iFans at CES: Best of Bluetooth Speakers

Turtle Shell

Outdoor Tech is at CES 2013 to show off The Turtle Shell wireless Bluetooth speakers.

If there is one trend that I have noticed at the International CES this year, it is easily the myriad of Bluetooth speakers that exhibitors are showing off at the convention. Bluetooth-enabled devices altogether, in fact, have a dominant presence throughout each of the showrooms.

Because of this heightened competition, it’s interesting to approach each accessory maker and ask what makes their own Bluetooth speakers stand out of the pack. Ahead, I pick some of the more interesting Bluetooth speakers I looked at during day two of CES. 

The Turtle Shell

Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell

The Turtle Shell (blue) and its larger sibling, which hasn’t hit the market yet.

The Turtle ShellOutdoor Tech has unveiled The Turtle Shell, a wireless boombox that can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device and meets IP5X standards for dust and water resistance. Or, use it to call friends with the built-in microphone.

The speaker has a rugged design that truly belongs in the outdoors, which is possible thanks to a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides up to 9 to 10 hours of Hi-Fi sound or talk time.

The Turtle Shell has a clip notch and threaded base that allows you to mount the speaker to a mountain bike, for instance, and works within a range of up to 33 feet from the paired device. Perfect if you have an iPhone in your pocket and wish to listen to music without hassle while you’re biking.

iFrogz BoostPlus and BoostUp

iFrogz Bluetooth Speaker

iFrogz iPad Speaker BoostUp

iFrogz unveils its brand new BoostPlus nd BoostUp wireless speakers for iPhone and iPad.

BoostPlus iFrogzOut of all the accessories I looked at for Apple products today, the iFrogz BoostPlus and BoostUp were definitely two of the most interesting ones. The representative for iFrogz that showed me the Boost claims that the peripheral uses not Near Field Communication — the iPhone lacks NFC, as you probably knew — but rather something he called Near Field Audio.

You use the wireless speaker by simply placing your iPhone or iPad on the BoostPlus or BoostUp — both coming soon — respectively, and then it automatically takes the sound waves coming from your device’s speaker and amplifies them to create a louder listening experience. And it even sounds pretty good, which was rather surprising. For anyone looking at purchasing a wireless speaker setup for their iOS device, the Boost is highly recommended. $59.99 for iPhone or iPod touch, $79.99 for iPad.

Scosche boomBOTTLE

Scosche Bottle

Scosche BoomBottleConsumer electronics accessory maker Scosche has unveiled its new boomBOTTLE weatherproof Bluetooth wireless speaker, a recipient of the Design and Engineering showcase honors award at CES 2013. Like the Fitbug products above, the boomBOTTLE is compatible with iPhone, iPad and all other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

The speaker is designed to fit in most water bottle cages on mountain bikes, and delivers good sound quality and acoustics thanks to a 50mm stereo driver. The product features an omni-directional speaker cone that sends music in all directions for up to nine hours of playback on a single charge.

Other Options to Consider

Razorback

Hipstreet unveiled its new Razorback amplified Bluetooth speaker system at CES 2013.

Marley Speakers

Accessory brand Marley offers a lineup of Bluetooth speakers. They even had a Bob Marley stunt double on hand to unveil the new products.

Bluetooth Speakers

Dok: A portable three-port charging and wireless speaker system.

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