Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0 Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

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Meet the Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0 Bluetooth Speaker

Side profile of the Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker
The Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker is meant to tag along wherever adventure takes you.

When it comes to creating rugged adventure gear while unabashedly cavorting to the beat of a booming speaker, few do it like Outdoor Tech can. This company is passionate about the products it creates, seemingly with an endless supply of fun and positive attitude. Its latest offering, the waterproof Turtle Shell 3.0 wireless floating speaker, is available now for pre-order on Kickstarter.

Normally, crowdfunding campaigns should be approached with caution. But Outdoor Tech is no stranger to leveraging Kickstarter as a means to launch products and connect with good people. The company also offers – often showcasing at CES –  mobile accessories, portable power, compact handlebar-mountable speakers, and more.

The Turtle Shell 3.0 Bluetooth wireless speaker improves upon its predecessor with a design that is claimed to be 20 percent louder, longer-lasting, more feature-filled, and, quite importantly, able to float. Those familiar with the older Turtle Shell 2.0 may notice that the newer version is only about a quarter-inch longer, wider, and taller. But just this little bit is able to offer a greater battery capacity as well as buoyancy.

To some, having a rugged, splash-resistant speaker is sufficient for outdoor use and/or pool-side enjoyment. But floating audio brings a new level of fun while also eliminating worries about accidental dunks. The Turtle Shell 3.0 is IPX7 certified waterproof, which means it can safely submerge up to 1 m (3.3 ft) for up to 30 minutes without a problem.

The recently-announced UE Roll 2 Bluetooth speaker can do the same, but requires its personal raft to bob upon the water's surface. Those who spend time in deeper pools, rivers, or lakes might prefer the convenient, dive-free retrieval of a Turtle Shell 3.0 that has gone overboard. Plus, this level of waterproofing means that any sand, dirt, or mud can be rinsed off as easily as you.

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Why the Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0 Bluetooth Speaker Might Be for You

The Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker sitting at the edge of a pool
The Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker can play poolside, thanks to the floating, waterproof design.

The Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker is capable of more than just some floating fun. The built-in 3600 mAh battery has been tested to play for up to 25 hours at mid-volume, which is almost 10 hours longer than its predecessor. It takes four hours to fully-charge the Turtle Shell 3.0 via a micro USB cable, and a separate USB port allows users the option to charge up smartphones, Go-Pro cameras, or gadgets on-demand.

If just one Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker sounds good, then two may certainly be better. Each unit features Bluetooth 4.2 for pairing with mobile devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, laptop, PC, etc.) as well as each other. Through Outdoor Tech's mobile app, users can "daisy chain" two Turtle Shell 3.0 speakers together to play simultaneously.

This is the kind of multi-speaker functionality that some manufacturers have been implementing in latest designs, such as with Libratone's Zipp and Zipp Mini. However, the Turtle Shell 3.0 may or may not be able to pair as left/right stereo channels. And despite the maximum Bluetooth wireless range to a device, a daisy-chained Turtle Shell 3.0 needs to stay within 15 feet from the first in order to play properly.

Silicone-covered buttons provide power, pairing, volume, and track controls as well as a means to answer or hang up phone calls hands-free. A built-in microphone allows users to communicate through the speaker without having to first reach for the connected smartphone, which would likely be safely placed somewhere high and dry. Outdoor Tech has also implemented a standard tripod thread (1/4-20) as well as strap mount slots into the Turtle Shell 3.0, allowing it to be attached to bags, bikes, boards, and more. 

Outdoor Tech has surpassed its US$30,000 Kickstarter funding goal for the waterproof Turtle Shell 3.0 wireless floating speaker. Pledges start at $90 for one Turtle Shell 3.0 in choice of black, blue, red, and two-tone gray/orange colorways, saving $40 off the planned retail price. If production goes according to plan, backers can expect shipments to start as early as September, 2016.