Published on January 5th, 2015 | by Greg0
Altec Lansing’s Durable Bluetooth Speaker, The Life Jacket
Welcome to a brand new year, which means more cool new gadgets and plenty of fun technology to help keep you connected. Components continue to improve, from batteries to wireless protocols, which leads to ever-better products. Today’s model is a world away from the original wireless speakers, and while it won’t be right for every occasion and situation, it’s a very solid unit that impresses in a few ways.
The Altec Lansing Life Jacket isn’t afraid to be hefty- it’s one of the bigger, bulkier portable units, of the sort that offers weatherproofing and density instead of aiming to be lightweight or fit in a pocket. At a pound, it certainly won’t be hard to take just about anywhere, but you’ll notice it. They offer smaller and bigger versions (the Jacket and the XL Jacket, respectively), but this one has full IPX67 certification, which means it can stand up to immersion and submersion, and is hardened against dust and shock. At the pool or beach and want to play your music? The Life Jacket is your instant party assistant.
And with 16 hours of battery life, you’re unlikely to need to worry about charging during even the longest, all-day events. That’s one of the best battery ratings on the market, and seemed accurate in our tests. As with some others in this class, there’s a microphone for taking and making calls and voice prompts for calls, but there aren’t quite so many that have NFC support along with the superior apt-X codec which improves audio fidelity (when used with a device that supports it). Bluetooth connected flawlessly, offered standard range, and there is an auxiliary 3.5mm input and what’s rare about what’s on offer from the Life Jacket is the ability to remember pairing for up to eight devices.
The only things really missing from the latest from Altec Lansing were controls for track playback- volume buttons were large and easy to use though. The Life Jacket is also fairly directional, rather than pushing sound in all directions- not a bad thing, just better for some circumstances than others. It’s also not as loud as some others, especially at an angle, but does offer plenty of bass and pretty solid acoustics- swinging mids and plenty of oomph behind the music, crisp and just a little tight on higher notes. Like most other waterproof speakers, it won’t blow anyone away, but the Altec Lansing Life Jacket can play forever, just about anywhere you can imagine, and do a great job at a reasonable price. Available now in a few colors, for around $125.