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on December 29, 2015
I bought this for my father-in-law for Christmas. His home was completely demolished by an EF4 tornado the next day. The following day entailed torrential rain. Today, we found the speaker amongst the soaking wet rubble of his home. Amazingly, it powered right up and is in perfect working order.
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on March 6, 2015
This thing is great. I take it in the shower with me so I can jam out while charging my phone in the other room. Although it's highly water resistant, I still keep it on a shower rack and not within the water spray. I haven't tested the IP66 rating and don't really want to find out how wet it needs to get before it stops working.
The controls on the top of the speaker work well with minimal delay when switching between tracks. I've also taken a few calls through the speaker and have had no issues with it.
It feels durable and the power switch, auxiliary port, and charging port are underneath a rubber cap which slips on tightly. I attempted to duplicate the paracord holster for it but never completed it however I like how it protects the rubber from scrapes.

What really prompted me to write this review near midnight is the fact that THE BATTERY NEVER DIES. I purchased this speaker mid November and use it a few hours a day several days a week.

----I only charged it when I took it out of the box and tonight, March 6, 2015 at 11:52pm the battery died.----

Worth every penny.
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11 comment|118 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 2, 2014
I originally purchased this speaker because I needed a way to listen to my music, etc. in the car while my kids watched their DVDs through my minivan's audio system. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on something that I could ONLY use in the car (such as an fm receiver) though, so I found myself looking at bluetooth speakers. My Dad has a jawbone jam box speaker - but he paid an insane amount of money for it and when I found a review that compared the Photive speaker to the Jawbone and the Photive came out ahead, I was sold. Since I planned to use the speaker both in the car and on the go, I decided to spend the little bit extra and go with the HYDRA model for the water resistant/rugged features (I have two young boys - spills happen AND we spend a lot of time at the beach, on the soccer fields, etc where features like that come in handy). This speaker is FANTASTIC!!!!! The sound quality is AMAZING. The range is fabulous. We even did our own test comparing it to the Jawbone Jambox ($199.99) and I'd take the Photive HYDRA over the Jambox any day. Long story short? Buy this. It won't disappoint!!!!
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on July 26, 2014
Update 01-05-2015

The battery is still working great and gets charged less than once a week. I set the speaker on top of the stair rail and accidentally knocked it off. The speaker fell almost all the way down before hitting one of the stairs and bouncing into the wall across the way and then landing on the floor. My heart sunk and I thought there goes sixty bucks. I went to check on it and it had a small dent in the grill and a couple of the screws were a little bent. I turned it on and it still sounded perfect! That was 3 months ago by the way; durability on this speakers is awesome! I have been using it around water and have had no issues with the waterproofing either. I still use the speaker all the time and love it just as much as I did when I first got it.

Update 08-01-2014

Wow I love this speaker! I use it all the time and even my wife who has grown skeptical at my slight speaker/headphone obsession has admitted it was a good purchase. It is still going on the first charge somehow... I thought it might be dying three days ago when I moved my phone away about 6 feet and it started cutting out. I thought that I had found a good way to tell when it was dying.

I wanted to use it while washing some dishes but didn't want my phone to get wet so I set both the speaker and the phone in an open cabinet right above the sink. Somehow I remembered to stop the music but I left both devices connected while we went to the zoo. Four and a half hours later it was still on and I started playing some music again! And that cutting out I experienced at 6 feet disappeared.

The flashing blue light is a bit annoying especially in the dark. It can be easily fixed by turning the device because the led is recessed in one of the grill holes. If it is still bothering you then some electrical tape should work. Now to address the lack of a connection point for a carabiner or anything else.

I made a drawstring type bag that fits very tightly on the device. There is more information on this at the end of the original review. Instead of starting with the drawstring side I started with the closed side. I used a bowline knot to start and used some buckles to close it up. I hope this helps others trying to make a case; I was able to upload a few pictures to show you what I came up with.

Original Review

I really enjoy a good quality speaker. To give you a little background I own Klipsch S4 headphones, Klipsch iGroove SXT, Klipsch iFi, and have a 5.1 surround system for my TV consisting of Onkyo HT-RC160,Polk Audio PSW505, and Klipsch Synergy Quintet III. I realize in writing this that all of those are older, but that just goes to show I expect quality and longevity from my purchases(all of them are still working great).

Case:
The speaker is encased in a smooth but grippy rubber on all sides but the side where the speaker are. The speakers are protected by a tough metal grill, it may get scratched up but I have no doubts that it would protect the speakers. The accessory port is covered by a flexible round pop off cap. It looks like it is threaded but it is actually just two circular flanges for the lid to grip on. The lid stays on well but if it was designed a little tougher I feel that this speaker would actually be able to be submerged under water.

Sound:
This speaker is amazing! It has excellent clarity; you can hear the instruments and vocals as if they are coming out of different speakers! The bass is not earth shaking nor did I expect it to be for a speaker of this size. The bass does sound good but if your music relies heavily on bass then you will not be too impressed. If you are on the fence about buying this based on sound quality like I was just go ahead and get it!

Battery/Usage:
I have not had the speaker very long so I cannot provide an in depth review on the battery life. Per the instruction manual I charged the speaker for 5 hours with a 1 amp charger until the light turned off. I have been listening on and off for about a week and it has not died yet. I do wish it had some kind of battery indicator, even something as simple as a row of LEDs. This is my first Bluetooth speaker so I was not familiar with there operation. If you are connected via Bluetooth you can play/pause/skip track/vol+/vol- from the speaker. I did notice that with my phone, Samsung galaxy S3, that the volume on the phone is not controlled by the speaker. I just turn it up to 3/4 on the phone and then I have enough range to adjust it up and down on the speaker. Bluetooth range was about 30 feet before it would start to cut out.

Summary:
I love this speaker and I think it will be travel/adventure speaker for a long time to come. I was disappointed by the lack of way to carry it such as a place to clip a carabiner or anything to attach to. I did find a solution and will be posting a picture of it when I complete it. I will be make a smaller version of "Easy Paracord Drawstring Pouch!" found on instructables.com at http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Paracord-Drawstring-Pouch/ Even with the before mentioned improvements for the money this speaker is still getting 5 stars and recommended to whoever is in the market for a portable adventure proof speaker! If you have any questions please comment below and I will try to help you out!
44 comments|170 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Photive Hydra Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker is a small and loud Bluetooth speaker that has a unique feature.

Box Contents (Thick cardboard box):
-Photive Hydra Bluetooth Speaker
-Micro USB cable
-Aux cable
-Instruction manual

Pros:
-Quality sound (2x 3.5 watt drivers) (15w output) (highs are clear and mids sound good)
-Easy to set up
-Small and portable
-Controls like play/pause, change volume and change song
-Charges by micro USB; I do not like mini USB or unique/old plugs people don't use today
-Silicon cover all over the speaker give the speaker good grip when carrying
-Rugged design and cool looking
-On/off switch
-Water/weather proof and dust proof/shockproof (submergible) (IP66 rated)
-Aux port for playing non Bluetooth devices
-Long battery life on 1 charge (8 hours)
-Built in microphone
-Great gift for music lovers like me
-Great price for a waterproof speaker!

Cons:
-Silicon piece surrounding the speaker makes it hard to shake all the water off if no towel is available
-Bass is not too good but sound quality overall is acceptable

Overall, this is great choice if you are looking for a waterproof and great sounding Bluetooth speaker that is small and looks good.

Watch my video review.
I was supplied a sample for test and evaluation, for free to keep, and I promised that my review is fair and honest.
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on March 2, 2015
I really enjoyed this speaker but 7 months later the charging piece has broken. Doesn't seem like I can trade this in for a new one at this point so I am left a bit disappointed.

Update: Photive is sending me a new speaker. I will be sending the old one back.
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on July 14, 2014
Ok, I felt compelled to write this,, So I have tried a few of the different models out there, and I for the price, I had finally settled on the Soundfreaq SFQ-04 Sound Kick Bluetooth speaker $99 from Amazon. I liked the Soundfreaq for the price and it was reliable, but I cannot find that darn thing for the life of me and I needed some Tunes for our Night Golf Outing. so I decided to Amazon Prime one overnight, I found this Photive Hydra for $60 it was already less so I figured If I found my Soundfreaq, I wouldnt feel so bad for buying this one.

So when I got it, it was rather small.. Id say it was about the size of a Rock Star Energy drink Can, The Speaker is not round, so dont want to throw you off there, the Rockstar Energy Drink can was just for reference in size..
My Soundfreaq was easily twice the size, and weighed a considerally more than the Photive
So I was apprehensive on the size..

So I open it up. and it comes with a short USB Cable, and a short headset cable if you need to plug directly in, Thats it, no plug for the way, it has a ON/Off switch and a USB in port for charging. This is where I started to think that it was inferior to the Soundfreaq, I was miffed at first that I didnt get a Wall Plug, but soon remember how many times I lost or had to find the Plug for my soundfreaq which was not USB at all and although NOT proprietary, still far more difficult to find a charger that fit it, than a Simple USB that ALL my SmartPhones and Tablets already use, so I figured that for me, it was actually a great idea,.

So before I get to the Sound, I wanted to state the ONLY CON I have so far..
This unit is WaterProof, There is a Rubber Cap that coveres the USB port, ON/Off switch, and Aux Input, Not a big deal, but the tether that holds that cap on when you need to access the Ports, is Utterly Useless,, You will see what I mean. Its like having a Tether on your Gas Cap of you car, but always find your darn gas cap on the ground under you tire. Whats the point if it doesnt work, The CAP works, it stays on when needed, but the when you take the cap off, might as well just take if it,, if you leave it hanging from the tether it will fall anyway...

BACK TO THE GOOD>>>.
It has on the speaker itself a Volume UP/DOWN, Bluetooth Pair and Forward/Reverse buttons on it, so you can control with you wet fingers..

Sounds wise, You get Bass,, BUT.. you can get more bass by using a reflective surface like a box, Bucket, or cooler to bounce the sounds back, that being said, this little guys is almost half the price, half the size of the Soundfreaq, YET it puts out more sound. This thing is very clear and to my surprise has actually got me hooked,,

Its easier for my 1 and 4 year old to care around, looks like mini boom box when they listening and dancing with it, it handles drops well,

No issues pairing, or with anything other then the TETHER so far and I would say that I will surely be buying more of these.....
For the Price and Sounds..

So back to why I bought this one in the First place. Night Golf. So I strap this to my back with some Velcro and had enough sound that I didnt need it on FULL volume, which is very impressive for Outdoors..

Hope this helps
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on June 30, 2015
Mini-USB connector broken after few months of use and the device will no longer charge - great sound but can't recharge it.... really disappointed.

Update 7/1/2015 8:30 am CST;
I went to http://photive.com/support/warranty/ and completed the online form. I did not get a conformation that they received my warranty claim, so we will see what happens.

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on October 31, 2014
Mini-USB connector broken after I charged the device and try to take out the USB cable from device.
I tried to contact seller, but There is not any way to do that.
I would like to get a replacement, or full refund.
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on October 11, 2014
I tend to discount the one star reviews, but I should have taken them seriously in this case. There are so many reviews stating the USB port is flimsy and breaks easily. I have found this to be the case in my situation. The first time I plugged it in, the USB port would not charge. Looks like the USB charging port has sunk into the speaker. For it to be advertised as rugged, you would expect a higher level of quality control. Don't waste your time on this China made junk. I have had it for only two days, and fortunately can mail it back and get a refund.
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