Customer Reviews: ECOXGEAR ECOXBT Rugged and Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Orange)
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Color: Orange|Change
Price:$79.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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I was so excited when I got this product that I immediately dropped what I was doing and started testing and analyzing this speaker system. My test results proved that this Bluetooth speaker is an outstanding product. I made a video about the features and how to use it. My video was 35% over the maximum size to even post. Please take the time to look at my video. I am sorry it may appear choppy but I had to crop it so much to make it fit the size requirements. I cover the set up and operation of the unit with your Bluetooth device.

This speaker is a rugged and industrial quality package that is great for the mobile device user who loves their music or audio books. It is easy to carry with two handles and the design is 100% waterproof for outdoor use and if dropped in water it even floats! The robust case is made of tough polycarbonate plastic covered with a rubber mold for waterproofing and shock resistance. The black speaker grill is even made of stainless steel.

The unit is totally mobile with an internal Lithium-Ion battery that is rechargeable and will operate the speaker for up to 10 hours on a single charge. The battery is an 1800 mAh battery that will recharge in about 2 hours. The unit comes with an AC wall charger and a USB cable to charge the battery with. You can also charge the speaker with your computer or laptop or the AC wall charger from one of your other devices that uses a 5 VDC USB connector. The wall charger is rated at 5 VDC and 1 Amp output.

The Bluetooth capability lets you stream music up to 33 feet away from the source device and you can use the speaker as a phone to talk into it and listen to the caller. The microphone is waterproof. The speaker has a solid sound and is good on the highs and lows. The unit comes with a carabineer to clip onto the speaker so you can use it on your backpack, tent or belt. It also has a lanyard to attach to the small water tight rear cover for the power input and auxiliary input jacks. Make sure that you use it so you cannot lose that cover as the unit will not be waterproof without it.

The unit controls are simple and nice. You have a power on/off button and a green LED to indicate that it is on. The Bluetooth button allows you to sync your device to the speaker and it flashes when it is looking for a pairing and it turns a solid blue Bluetooth symbol when it is connected. There is a power LED that is red when the battery is charging and green when the battery is fully charged. On the right hand side of the unit is a rocker volume switch and a phone button to allow you to use the speaker as a phone conversation device. The phone feature works well and it has great clarity on both ends of the conversation. An instruction manual is also included. It is brief but adequate.

The unit weighs in at 1 pound and 9 3/8 ounces on our precision scales. The unit will work only with a Kindle Fire using a wired connection to the auxiliary port and no cable is supplied but it is Bluetooth compatible with the new Kindle Fire HD units as they offer Bluetooth connectivity. Any device with a Bluetooth capability will work with the unit and it is great to use with an iPad for example while watching your Amazon Prime movies and TV programs. I have paired the speaker with three different Bluetooth devices and it worked quickly and easily to switch between and iPhone and an iPad. You will not believe the difference in the sound quality and benefits of having such a speaker. It turns your device into a real entertainment system.

This is an outstanding product and I strongly recommend it to you as a great device to own. It is a 5 star product.

I was provided a sample of this product for testing and I promised to provide a fair and honest review.
3838 comments| 285 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 15, 2013
i picked this up because i'm going on a canoe trip in a couple weeks, and i wanted to have music playing out of something louder than a phone or a little bluetooth plug-in type speaker. since most of the time will be spent on the water, i wanted to have something waterproof as well. a few minutes of searching amazon turned up this and a couple other products from grace digital. i decided to buy this particular speaker because it looked to be the most versatile and rugged of the options, without being crazy expensive.

first thing i noticed was its build quality. the handles/top/bottom are covered in soft black rubber for grip and shock protection. the speaker grille is metal and feels very sturdy. the buttons are a bit stiff, but considering they're under a layer of protective rubber, that's fine. it came with a bit of a charge on the battery, but i went ahead and charged it up fully before testing it out.

first impression of the sound quality was better than i had expected. these little speakers really pack a good punch! they have decent full-range response, and you can actually hear the low bass (it's not booming by any means, but the presence is still far better than my expectation). it doesn't sound weak or "tinny", and the high-frequency response was also clean without being harsh. it took full volume on my phone and the speaker both, and a pretty loud song, before i could get distortion to occur. and even then it was minimal.

since getting this, i have had it out in the backyard several times for an hour or so, always piping the bluetooth to it at about half volume. then yesterday, i took it out to an outdoor party and ran it via bluetooth for almost 8 hours straight at about 75% volume. the phone died from streaming pandora, but the speaker was still going strong. i actually don't know how to tell if it's about dead, because i haven't run it out of power or had to recharge it since the initial charge i gave it over a week ago. total listening time has got to be 12-15 hours on this first charge. amazing!

i haven't tested its waterproof abilities yet, but i plan on doing that next weekend on the river, and i'll come back here and update my review then. my friends are excited to have a waterproof, floating, bluetooth, battery-powered speaker available to enjoy music with. sounds like my and my wife's canoe will the the popular one!

well, we made it back alive, and so did the ecoxbt. it ran just fine all day, strapped on its back to the top of our cooler. it was never fully underwater, but it got drenched several times. there were also times when the speaker cones would fill with water and the sound would get pretty muffled, but i would just dump it out and it would be fine again.

only thing i noticed that kinda concerned me was that the back cover that protects the charging port and line in had water in underneath it when i popped the cap off. the reason i popped the cap off was because the volume suddenly decreased. i thought perhaps it was going dead, so i pulled the cap off to charge it. when i did, the volume came right back up and some water poured out. it's possible that the water was causing some kind of short, which was draining power from the amp and therefore decreasing the volume, hard to say. it still works fine, so i'm not sure if this is a defect or just the result of a lot of water inevitably making its way into the speaker. will update again if problem persists, or if speaker shows signs of damage as a result.

update #2 3/10/15
so i've had this bt speaker for close to two years now. it still sounds awesome, and it looks as good as the day i bought it new. i haven't had the same problem as was noted in update #1, so i'm starting to wonder if perhaps i didn't have the back cover seated securely and water worked its way in because of that. the battery has held up very well. i actually used it over the weekend for several hours. it had been buried in the trunk of my car for about three months when i found it. i didn't have to recharge it at all, and it still managed to make music for 6 hours before i turned it off. it may not have the same charge capacity as it did new, but it still offers several hours of playback after almost two years. once again, i'm very impressed.
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on November 9, 2015
This would be a 5 star review, if the device hadn't died right after the one year warranty expired (I always find that suspicious). However, it did die. As others have said, it stopped charging.

Since the warranty was up, I opened the device up to see what caused the issue. There was a white reside all over the inside; it looked like oxidized metal powder to me, which the rust/corrosion on the metal components would help explain. Obviously, the waterproofing had failed.

Now, I took this speaker camping and on float trips, and it did last most of two summers, so it was pretty durable, but I still dislike that a waterproof speaker failed due to being used exactly for it's intended use.

- Fairly loud
- Battery lasts around 8 hours
- Bluetooth range is decent (10m or 30ft, maybe?)
- Durable, rubberized housing
- I paired a ton of devices with it, and all worked
- Floats when it falls out of your canoe
- The buttons are a bit stiff, and seemingly durable
- It's fairly well constructed, except, as others have mentioned, the charging port (that's where I think it leaked)

- The waterproofing failed
- Sometimes, there is a bit of audio lag when watching video on a paired tablet
- The buttons are a bit stiff, and somewhat difficult to tell if you've pushed them or not
- It's fairly well constructed, except, as others have mentioned, the charging port (that's where I think it leaked)

Advice for manufacturer:
- Good job, but in the next version, replace the push in rubber gasket seal for the charging port with a circular screw cap with a rubber gasket
- You can see from the pics there's corrosion on the speakers, the housing, the chip heat spreader, and the aux port (and all of this was after cleaning)
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on December 13, 2014
Edited: I've updated my review to 5 stars after contacting Customer Service and getting a new wireless speaker. The issue with the charger housing has been resolved and is now very sturdy. I highly recommend this speaker--but I'm very glad I kept my receipt handy for 1 year!

I loved this wireless speaker since I ordered it in January. It easily connects to my devices and produces an amazing amount of sound for something so tiny. The whole thing is completely waterproof and will bounce if you drop it. Awesome!

Why am I leaving a 1-star review if it's this awesome, you might ask? Good question.

There's one major product flaw: The speaker eventually becomes completely useless once it can't be charged anymore. The housing for the charger port on mine just completely fell INSIDE the speaker. The alternate auxiliary charge port won't work either. I've had this amazing speaker for slightly less than 1 year and now it's a $90 paperweight. Such a shame for something that was great and got so much use around my house.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on October 21, 2013
As rugged as the speaker is the power cord insert broke the 2nd charging. Rugged and waterproof do no good if it won't charge, Waste of good money.
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on January 11, 2016
This speaker worked great until the USB charging input completely broke. Initially it was just a little bit flaky, where I'd have to jiggle the power input to get it to charge; but, just this last week, the metal input piece fell into the unit completely. It appears from reviews that many others have had this same problem.

As far as functionality, besides the terrible USB charging input, the speaker worked great. I used it while doing things throughout my house and never had a problem pairing it with my iPhone or laptop via bluetooth.

I'm attempting to repair the item on my own, but if I cannot fix it, I will definitely be looking at another company's products for my next bluetooth speaker.
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Review downgraded from 5 stars to 4 stars (see update dated 8/12/2013 at the end of the review for details)

I tested Grace Digital ECOXGEAR Bluetooth speakers with Android devices using Bluetooth (Nexus 7 Tab, Galaxy Nexus Phone, Galaxy 7.7 Tab) and using a audio plug for non-Bluetooth Sansa Clip+ MP3 player. I found the speaker had a nice rich sound that can be made quite loud. I paired with my bluetooth devices flawlessly and worked with an audio plug as well for my Sansa MP3 player. It really enriched my listening pleasure - the sound is so much better! Plus it extended the distance of where the sound is available from my devices. My computer is on the second floor study. Normally the Bluetooth connection on my computer allows me to listen to the devices on the first floor, but not on the deck off my first floor. With a ECOXGEAR Bluetooth speaker I can listen to my tablet and mp3 while on the deck, plus I don't have to worry about exposing the tablet to sun and water. Note that under manufacture warnings for ECOXGEAR (included at the end of this review) it is mentioned to avoid exposing the speaker to direct sun.

I don't usually use my phone with an external speaker, but for the completeness of the review I made a call using speaker and ask my friend on the other side if I sound any different. She said I sounded clear and not any different from normal.

Some negatives:
' The speaker has 4 buttons: power, bluetooth, volume + and volume -. There is no way to pause, stop/play, or skip directly from the speaker.
' [update 8/12/2013] If the speaker is connected with an audio cable it plays for 10 minutes and then shuts off. In a bluetooth mode it plays for as long as you want. I normally listen to the speaker in the bluetooth mode so this limit does not interfere with my use of the speaker, but it is worth mentioning.

I am attaching a photo collage of 8 photos number 1 through for reference in this review.

Photo #1 shows everything that came in a package: in addition to the speaker, the package included a charging cable, a narrow profile charger that takes up only one slot on the power strip, a leash for the gasket covering outlets on the back, and a small carabiner clip (which I have not found use for yet).
The speaker is positioned next to the ruler for size reference. It is 9 inches in the widest part (handle-to-handle), 3.75 inches in height, the bottom is 2.5 inches wide. Photo #5 shows the speaker on the digital scale weighing in at 1 pound 9.2 oz. It is a substantial piece of equipment, best suited for using on the deck or at pool side. It is a bit heavy for hiking, where I watch every extra pound I bring along. Note that my measurements are slightly different from the Amazon weight and size measurements, noticing this difference I re-measured and confirmed the accuracy of measurements.

Photo #2 shows the gasket covering USB and audio jacks. If you compare photo #1 which shows the gasket on, and photo #2 which shows the gasket off you can see how the design on the back of the speaker helps you position the gasket in the proper way. Positioning the gasket correctly assures waterproof tightness of speaker. And it works! I put the speaker under the faucet for a test, then dried the outside, and re-opened the gasket - it was completely dry.

Photo #3 shows the speaker upside down. The bottom of the speaker is 2.5 inches wide and has some textured, so the speaker stands very securely with a good balance.

Photo #4 shows the back of the speaker with a gasket on the leash. Initially I was not going to use the leash, as the speaker looks better without it when the gasket is closed. However, when I used it with an MP3 with an audio cable I misplaced the gasket. After finding it, it was immediately leashed!

Photo #6 shows the top of the unit. From the left:
- The first button is a power button, it is green when the unit is turned on. When you turn it on it generate 1 short beep to indicate it is on.
- The second (blue) button is bluetooth. When you want to pair the speaker with the device you press the button, the light will flash quickly and beep twice to indicate that the speaker awaits pairing. At this point you can go into bluetooth setting on your device and connect. Photo #7 shows "EXOXGEAR" appearing on my Galaxy 7.7 tablet. Once the device and the speaker are paired the speaker will issues 2 short beeps and the blue light stops flashing, when the unit is paired the color is steady blue. Photo #4 shows power on and bluetooth on state of the unit.
- The third button (red) is battery indicator. When this button is red in indicates that the unit is charging, when it turns green it means the charging is completed and the unit is fully charged. Photo #6 was taken when the unit is charging. Note this is another situation where the gasket is off and a leash is handy.
- The forth button (with plus/minus labels) is the volume button. One short beep is issued when the maximum volume is reached. To reach the absolute loudest volume possible both the device and the speaker should be at maximum level.
- The fifth button can be used to answer phone calls if the speaker is paired with the phone. You can listen to the caller on the speaker and talk over the built-in microphone.

Photo #8 shows me holding one of the handy handles on the speaker. Each size of the speaker has a handle. Pretty handy!

The unit can be charged while playing the music. However, if you plug in a charger while the speaker is playing the speaker will turn off. You need to turn it on again, as well as re-enable bluetooth connection. The first time it happened I thought I could not charge the speaker and listen to it at the same time, but it is possible if you restart the speaker.

The charging colors on the speaker (red for charging, green for full) are lit only when the charging cable is connected. If charging cable is disconnected the status of the battery is not shown.

Often I get extra insight into a gadget by reading the manufacturer's warnings. Here is the complete list of ECOXGEAR speakers manufacture's CARE, MAINTENANCE & PRECAUTIONS:
1. Although the unit is waterproof when the CAP is properly closed, the unit is NOT designed for use under water. Do NOT intentionally submerge the unit underwater.
2. Close the CAP properly before use. If the unit is placed in water
without the cap properly closed, water may enter into the unit and void your warranty.
3. Dry unit completely before opening the cap. Do NOT open the cap if wet or in a wet environment.
4. Do NOT apply excessive force to any surfaces of the unit when wet or in a wet environment.
5. Do NOT use or store the unit in places with high temperature.
6. AVOID direct exposure to sunlight and strong magnetic fields.
7. Periodically check the rubber seal ring on the cap for premature wear.
8. Periodically clean the rubber seal ring with a soft moist cloth and ensure no objects such as dirt,
hair, sand are on the rubber seal ring. Do NOT use any oily solvent or chemicals for cleaning.
9. Rinse off the unit with tap water after use in salt water or swimming pool.
10. Power the unit using the built-in rechargeable battery for portable use and connect the USB cord
to a computer USB connection or to an AC outlet using the AC-to-USB cord adapter to charge unit.
11. Noise and audio distortion may occur when the batteries are nearing end of charge.
12. Do NOT remove the built-in battery. Do NOT remove the grill cover.

I received Grace Digital ECOXGEAR speakers for testing from the manufacturer to write an honest and unbiased review and you will find both pluses and minuses of my experience in this review. If you have any questions on features I covered I am always happy to answer comments.

Overall, I am pleased with the speaker. It provides rich sounds and extends the use of my electronic devices to an area I could not reach before.

Ali Julia review

Update: 8/12/2013
I received a query via email that asked me to test the speaker with an audio cable. I normally listen to the speaker via bluetooth. I unpaired the tablet from the speaker, connected the same tablet to the speaker with an audio cable and speaker worked very nicely for 10 minutes and then turned off. The tablet was still running (not asleep). In the bluetooth mode I listen to the speaker for a lot longer than 10 minutes without the speaker turning off, but in a wired mode it only stays on for exactly 10 minutes.
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on May 26, 2016
This speaker is way overpriced. There's the same type of products that have way better sound and are cheaper. I have a Oontz waterproof angle speaker. You can also buy that speaker on Amazon.

The speaker works well around water. The charge last's fairly long around 6 hours. If do decide to use it till you die, it will take a little longer to charge. I go to the beach a lot and it's always nice to have music. This speaker does do well when there's sand around. It's definitely rugged but it seems like that's where the money was spent instead of using it to sell a quality speaker. When I'm by the beach, with the waves being loud, it's definitely tough to hear the speaker unless you're right next to the speaker.

Overall, I would not suggest getting this. The newer model may be better but this model wasn't great.
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on July 1, 2014
I really really liked this speaker. It would basically everything I wanted and I know someone who has one. Unfortunately I went through about four of them, all with minor issues. The first one had a faulty headphone jack that stopped working shortly after I got it. The power light did not work on the replacement I received and as small an issue as that is I still wanted one that just worked. My third one had a loose charger port and it would not charge unless I held the plug to one side which is not feasible, as I was not looking to spend my days holding the charger in. Im not sure if Amazon is sending me refurbished or returned ones as new but I did not expect so many little issues. I ended up taking my money back although I still may try this one again because it is so nice. It is waterproof, it is quite loud for its size and the bluetooth is a nice feature although it cuts out at a distance of about 15 ft.
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on June 16, 2015
Speaker worked for about year and half. Then the charger housing broke. After reading other reviews, this failure seems to be an occurrence with this product. Called customer service with Grace Digital to inquire about warranty. I was informed the warranty was good for only one year. I could return my speaker (I would pay shipping charges) and pay $32 additionally to have them repair/replace the item. That was the best they could offer even though they admitted to having a faulty design. Costly mistake to have purchased this item!

Update: Just called customer service again and spoke with a supervisor. She graciously informed me that I could send back faulty unit and they would repair/replace at no additional charge to me. She understood there was a small batch of these speakers with faulty part. She was more than helpful and certainly changed my attitude regarding this company and their customer service.
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