NUU Riptide Waterproof Outdoor Wireless Speaker

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Nuu Riptide mini wireless speaker is sand-resistant, waterproof and also floats on water. NUU

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Electronics and the elements usually don’t mix. “Just add water,” for example, is something you normally wouldn’t want to do with your average speaker. Getting sand into your electrical components, meanwhile, is no day in the beach either. It’s a conundrum that the Nuu Riptide speaker tries to solve for weekend warriors and watersport lovers who still want to get their groove on. But does its features sound good — no pun intended — for real as it does on paper? Let’s dive into this puppy, shall we? (Pun so totally intended this time around.)

In terms of looks, the Riptide uses a basic design that doesn’t stand out from other speakers, including outdoor rivals such as the ECOXGEAR Ecorox or the Braven BRV-1. On the plus side, it manages to avoid the bulky plastic syndrome often seen in a lot of outdoor speakers.

The Riptide practically rests on the palm of your hands, making it eminently portable for folks who want to take their music on the go. It even has a carabiner clip for folks who want the convenience of clipping it onto their bag when they’re out and about.

The Riptide also checks off several features that often come with many portable speakers these days. These include a built-in rechargeable battery that you can use to operate the speaker sans electric cord for up to six hours depending on how much you push the volume. For a speaker its size, that’s actually not bad. The Riptide also has a built-in mic. This means it can be used as a speakerphone when synced to a smartphone so you can use it to take calls — or end them — with the push of a button.

Wireless capability is about 10 meters or 33 feet, which is standard for many Bluetooth speakers. For curious tech heads, the speaker is compliant with AVRCP and A2DP protocols. For folks who prefer a wired connection, the Riptide also comes with a 3.5mm port that can be used with a double-ended plug to connect to your music player of choice such as an iPod, MP3 player or a smartphone. It also can work as a USB speaker with a computer.

Admittedly, many of its features are par for the course for portable speakers these days. What distinguishes the Riptide from most other speakers is its waterproof capabilities. With an IP57 rating, the Riptide can survive an underwater dunking up to a meter. It also comes with dust protection, including the ability to resist sand for folks who like to hang out and catch some rays or even flex their muscles by the beach to techno music. I’m sure you wish I was joking.

Of course, the measure of any speaker is audio quality. Fortunately, the Riptide delivers on that front. Sound is quite solid for a small speaker, especially when used with a good audio source. Volume can’t be pushed as high and it doesn’t have the low-end punch that you get with bigger alternatives but that’s to be expected with a speaker that measures less than three inches across its various dimensions.

Add a relatively low price tag of about $50 and the Riptide provides pretty good bang for the buck. Although many of its features are present in other competing speakers, its ability to survive being submerged underwater and resist dust and sand makes it stack up well against other rivals. Add solid audio for a speaker of its size and the Riptide is a viable option for folks who want a portable speaker that’s also outdoorsy to boot.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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