LifeProof - AQUAPHONICS AQ10 Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Obsidian sand

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Take your tunes anywhere with this LifeProof AQUAPHONICS speaker. This floating waterproof device is submersible in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes, and it deflects damage from snow, ice and dirt. Pair this LifeProof AQUAPHONICS speaker with up to eight Bluetooth devices, and use the included dry box for storing keys and cards.

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Overview

What's Included


  • LifeProof AQUAPHONICS AQ10 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
81% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (133 out of 166)

Features


Connect wirelessly from a distance

Pair this speaker with your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth-enabled device.

Rich sound you can carry in the palm of your hand

This portable device can slip into your bag to bring your music, movies and games to life on the go.

Rechargeable battery

Play your favorite tunes for up to 13 hours on a full charge.

Waterproof speaker design

Offers possibility to submerge up to 1m under water for 30 minutes.

Drop proof, dirtproof, snowproof

Sealed from dirt, dust and snow and survives drops from 1.2 meters.

Built-in microphone

Never let your music drown out your phone again. Speakerphone capability lets you take calls right from the speaker.

Drybox

Helps to store case, cards and more in the water-tight box for convenient use.

Charge Out function

Easy plug your device to top off its charge.


Customer rating

4.1
81%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Built like a tank; doesn't sound like Mariah Carey

    Posted
    MarkusKong
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    LIFEPROOF Aquaphonics AQ10 Quick Features on the Product Waterproof Dirt proof Snow proof Drop proof Submersible to 1 meter for 30 minutes Sealed from dirt, dust and snow Survives drops from 1.2 meters Bluetooth pairs with up to 8 devices Built-in mic works as a speakerphone Charge out keeps your devices powered up Flats for easy water retrieval Dry box stows cash, cards and keys 13-hour battery rocks out all day long MIL-STD-810 516.6 (drop test standards) IP67 (waterproof/water resistance standards) Physical Button Options Bluetooth Play/Pause/Repeat Back Forward Volume +/- Source Power on/off Lock Connectivity Options (within dry box) Power out (usb) 3.5mm AUX in Connectivity Options 3.5mm AUX in Power in (for AC adapter) Power out (usb) What's in the box? AQ10 Quick Start Guide Care and Maintenance Manual AC Adapter Limited Warranty Pamphlet (1 year warranty) Setup/Testing/Conclusion I really enjoyed the packaging on the Lifeproof AQ10. The design/marketing personnel at Lifeproof really did an amazing job. What can I say? I’m a box guy… Not only was the packaging aesthetically pleasing, it also kept the AQ10 protected. The material on the unit itself is made of heavy duty plastic/rubber silicon. If you’re worried about fingerprints; don’t be! It's quite heavy so if you’re looking to take this snowboarding or surfing with you on your hip; think again! To pair the unit itself to a mobile phone; that was extremely easy and effortless. Setup was simple; you literally power on the device by holding down the power button and click on the Bluetooth button. Once you power on the device and click on the Bluetooth button; you simply look for the device “Lifeproof AQ10” on your mobile device and voila! The sound quality is decent compared to other portable Bluetooth speakers that I have come across. It's definitely not the highlight of the AQ10. The AQ10 may sound “loud” but I feel like it’s missing the “surround” sound feeling. The highlight of the AQ10 is the durability and versatility. I tried the “float” option and guess what… IT FLOATS! That is awesome. None of the other Bluetooth speakers I have can do that. So the best part about this thing is being able to put it in the pool or even take it with you to the snowy mountains. You don’t have to worry so much about damaging the thing because it's basically built like a tank. Lifeproof has done an excellent job with keeping the actual Bluetooth speaker encased. You also have the option to charge your mobile device as well if you have the cables on you. The AQ10 is a speaker but it also has the ability to charge your mobile device when you need to. To be honest, the best thing I like about the AQ10 is the dry box. For all you folks out there that forget that you have cash, credit card(s), or your keys on you when your going swimming or something; you have the option to use the dry box by storing those personable items. Just make sure no one runs off with your speaker. My issues are mainly with the sound quality. Again as I mentioned above; the AQ10 may sound loud but it certainly doesn’t produce the best sound. A major letdown (IMO) is the float option. You’re probably going wait… didn’t you say above that it's a highlight? Yes it is a highlight of the AQ10 because you can literally chuck it into the pool and it’ll float. My main complaint is that when it's floating in the water, the speaker is facing into the water… What this means is that you don’t really get to hear whatever it is you’re trying to listen to. The sound comes out the front of the speaker so there isn’t much sound that comes out of the back; if any. So if you’re trying to listen to music at the beach (in the water) as an example; all the sharks, fishes, and sea creatures will hear it except everyone else above the water. In conclusion, I enjoy the aesthetics of the device itself. I like the “tankiness” of the unit. But I feel like the unit as a speaker itself falls short. Would I recommend this? I would say do some research and see if you can view one in person. If you enjoy the brand Lifeproof then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this device as well. But if you have something comparable like a waterproof Bluetooth speaker with better sound; I may skip on this. But this is all based on my personal opinion. Some individuals may enjoy it more than others; I would still give it some thought.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A Bluetooth Speaker With Above Average Durability

    Posted
    scovartwo
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The Good Things About This LifeProof AQ10 The body of this LifeProof AQ10 Bluetooth speaker is made of thick durable plastic. The bottom has nice rubberized pads that slightly elevate the Bluetooth speaker. The water proof compartment on the bottom is kind of a nice addition, it perfectly fits credit cards and ID cards, but on the AQ10 which is the medium sized version of this Bluetooth Speaker, there is not enough space to fit even a small smartphone. The larger AQ11 would be necessary if hoping to use the waterproof compartment to store a smartphone. The buttons on top include previous track, next track, play/pause, volume up and volume down, this is much better than other Bluetooth speakers I have owned, which often requires double pressing the volume up or down buttons, in order to accomplish previous track or next track functions. It is really nice to be able to press the playback buttons to control the music, instead of having to hassle with turning on the smartphone to accomplish playing, pausing, or skipping the music. This Bluetooth speaker has two USB charging ports which are 5 volts at 500 mA, one is under the removable cover where 12 volt power adapter plugs into on the side, and the other one is in the waterproof compartment located on the bottom. This Bluetooth speaker has a really nice and uncommon feature, it has a sensor on top so that when the round button section on top is tapped momentarily, the buttons on top all light up for a second, and this is really handy if ever attempting to press the buttons in a dark environment. When the power button is pressed once it shows how much battery power is remaining: 1 LED = 25%, 2 LED’s = 50%, 3 LED’s = 75% and 4 LED’s = 100%. The manufacturer’s box was packaged inside a brown cardboard box so that the product packaging had bubble wrap or foam on all surrounding sides, this is an above average shipping setup. This Bluetooth speaker is great if used for music in the bathroom because of the fact that it is waterproof, the water vapors that build up in a bathroom during a shower will not cause any harm to this Bluetooth speaker. Other Details About This LifeProof AQ10 The speaker setup was difficult to identify because the grills on the front and back have fewer holes compared to the grills on other speakers, this is a good thing in that the grills are stronger because of having fewer holes, but it is difficult to see past the grills to clearly see the speaker measurements. There are two 1.25” speakers and a rectangular shaped passive radiator behind the front grill, then behind the back grill is a passive radiator of the same size and shape as the one behind the front grill. I had to place a bright light directly up to the grills, which lights up the inside area behind the grills enough to get a rough measurement of the speakers. On my Android smartphone I use a music playing app called PowerAmp and it has an equalizer which I have all setup and adjusted according to how I like my music to sound, and my musical preference is to have the bass tuned down quite a bit, I find this sounds good enough yet the reduced bass is less disruptive to neighbors, and because less bass makes the speaker physically move less, it requires less battery power to play music that has less bass. Anyway I am mentioning this to point out that my music setup sends a music signal to my Bluetooth speakers with low amounts of bass, this seemed to result in this LifeProof speaker sounding unusually low on bass when the music was played, which causes me to think this LifeProof speaker was most likely designed with a built in crossover which reduces the bass to the speaker by default, this is wise to reduce the likelihood that a speaker will ever get blown. In order for me to tune the LifeProof AQ10 speaker so that it had enough bass sound, I had to increase the bass frequency of the equalizer settings on my PowerAmp music playing app. If you are playing this Bluetooth speaker with an app that does not have an equalizer already having the bass frequency reduced, it will most likely play music with sufficient bass. I often use most of my Bluetooth speakers to connect to my Windows desktop computer for audio during movie playback, and I have found that some Bluetooth speakers pair better with my smartphones, than they do with the Bluetooth on my desktop PC. This LifeProof AQ10 has less than optimal pairing with my desktop pc, which has a fairly new version of Bluetooth built into the Wi-Fi card, I finally got it connected, but I could not get the built in microphone to record audio, yet when it is connected to my Android smartphone it is functional as a speakerphone during calls. This LifeProof AQ10 Bluetooth speaker is charged by an included 12 volt power adapter, and when the battery has run down completely, it can be plugged in and the music can be played while it is charging. The LifeProof website lists a 13 hours battery, which should probably say up to 13 hours, because the overall real life playback time of any Bluetooth speaker depends upon how loud the music is played. Louder music playback will result in a fewer number of music playback hours. I have several Bluetooth speakers of varying brands, and often times I connect the speakers to my smartphone, and when not listening to music I pause the music and leave the Bluetooth speaker connected, most of my Bluetooth speakers that I have I can keep them connected to my smartphone while the music is not playing, and they stays connected and the battery lasts for several days before the battery finally drains. Bluetooth is designed to be a really low powered wireless signal, and it normally drains such a low amount of power, that when a smartphone is connected but not actually playing the music, it uses next to no power, that is how efficient a Bluetooth connection normally is. For some reason, this LifeProof AQ10 drains more than the normal amount of battery power when it is connected but not playing music. I have tested my LifeProof AQ10 on two occasions by charging it fully and then connecting it to my smartphone and not playing any music at all, the battery goes from fully charged to fully drained in like approximately 20 hours with absolutely no music being played. Normally the battery power of a Bluetooth speaker gets drained mostly from the music being played, it is the movement of the speakers that uses most of the battery power, so I am not sure why this LifeProof AQ10 uses so much battery power when connected and not playing music. Anyways, if using this LifeProof AQ10, it is best to power it down when it is not in use. The small square plastic seal on the side that covers the power and USB connection, is a bit stiff and when it pulls out for charging, it sort of springs back and kind of hinders the power adapter when it is plugged in. I wrapped a rubber band around the plastic cover and it holds it out of the way when charging, a picture showing this is uploaded with my review. The lever that deactivates the buttons and prevents the buttons from accidentally being pressed, is not really that helpful, as the buttons are not really that easy to accidentally press. When I opened my AQ10 and tried to turn it on, I tried for like 5 minutes straight and it would not power up, and then I realized it would not power on because the lever that deactivates the buttons was in the locked mode, so it actually prevents the device from powering on also, the quick start guide makes no mention of this. There is no user’s manual provided, only a quick start users guide which has a website link that allows you to download the user’s manual. The buttons on this LifeProof AQ10 are a little soft when pressed, they kind of lack a more optimal satisfying click when the buttons are pressed, of which the power button is softest, but the buttons are ok, they could be better and they could be worse. Overall Impression Of This Bluetooth Speaker I am rating this item at 3.8 out of 5 stars. The LifeProof AQ10 has a few nice features that some other Bluetooth speakers don’t have, and it is durable and has pretty good sound.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Buoyancy Audio Problems Solved

    Posted
    Trobadour
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    The setup for LifeProof Aquaphonics AQ10 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is extremely easy for people who’ve connected bluetooth devices before. If you haven’t, then there is a simple-to-follow instruction booklet that will get you up and running in less than 2 minutes. As soon as you turn on the speaker, it will start searching for a device to pair. I paired it with my iPhone 7 and it took a little under 1 minute. The key feature of this bluetooth speaker is that it is waterproof, not just splash proof. Waterproof means it can be submerged underwater and still remain functional. I am glad to report that this key feature works as expected. I tested it daily, using it in the shower/bath room and I even submerged it. The speaker is still functional, just like out of the box. Another small but useful feature is the ability to lock the speaker’s buttons. With a small switch near the “on” button, you can lock all other buttons so that you don’t accidentally change songs or pause the music unwillingly. Also, 4 lights will show you the charge level of your speaker. Similar lights lite up all other buttons, making it great for use in the dark. The performance of this bluetooth speaker is great. It definitely competes with similarly priced items with the added bonus of it being waterproof. I own at least 8 bluetooth speakers of varying price ranges. As mentioned above, I tested this in the shower/bath room. I placed it in multiple locations to test it’s loudness. I first started on the wall furthest from my bathtub, which was the best test I could think of for daily use. The previous bluetooth speaker I was using in the shower/bathroom is not waterproof and regularly priced at 49.99. Though it’s loud, the audio would drown out (no pun intended) by the running water of the tub. The priciest bluetooth speaker I own is regularly priced at 449.99. That one, I don’t dare put it near the shower/bathroom because of it’s price, but I can hear it over the water while it is in another room. This Lifeproof Aquaphonics doesn’t get drowned out being a good 15 feet away from my running tub. The next test was to let it play with me inside the shower on a high rack. Again, it worked fine, and of course, the audio was louder because it was closer to me. Lastly, I filled the tub with enough water to submerge it. I did so reluctantly, as I know that tech and water usually don’t mix well. However, like a band-aid, I just dropped it in and to my surprise, it floated. It started to spin around in the water, fully functioning. However, the sound becomes inaudible while underwater and it isn’t stable enough to face the direction you want to face it. I forced it to submerge underwater but it kept floating back up. This soundbar meets and exceeds my expectations. With it’s decent loudness and survivability of various weather conditions, it’s hard not to recommend this. As an added bonus, if you are planning on using it in the shower, you can accept phone calls and speak through the speaker using the integrated microphone. I had a friend call me to test it out and he didn’t know I was talking to him via the bluetooth speaker until I brought it up to him. On his end, he could hear me clear as day and on my end, I had no trouble understanding what he was saying. We actually spoke for about 2 hours, and that’s because I hadn’t charged the device after taking it out of the box. That speaks volumes (again, no pun intended) about the battery. The price for the speaker in terms of value is more than reasonable if you consider that other similarly priced speakers don’t offer the feature of it being submergible for 1 meter up to 30 minutes. Other lesser known features are the dry box, which is a small space storage area perfect for credit cards and the regular sized iPhones (5.5 inches) and the fact that it can charge your cellphone with your own USB cable in within that drybox area, making it an ideal beach bluetooth speaker. I highly recommend this product for people who plan on using it daily in a shower/bathroom, as it won’t be affected by condensation. Also, people who own a swimming pool may want to purchase one, seeing as how accidentally dropping it in the pool won’t affect it much. Lastly, if you plan on traveling to the beach this would be a wise investment.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Nice Features

    Posted
    mikeheel
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
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    The LifeProof AQUAPHONICS AQ10 Portable Bluetooth Speaker feels, looks, and sounds good. In terms of build, the speaker seems solidly built. At about 1 3/4 pounds, it is not terribly heavy, but it feels solid. I like that the ends are squared off; this allows you to place the speaker vertically (on end) as well as horizontally (on bottom). Presentation is good. LifeProof did a nice job with packaging. Mine came in a sturdy, attractive housing. However, be warned, instructions are on the skimpy side. The instructions that are present are in very small print. I have numerous BT speakers, but I initially had a hard time getting this one to work. When it first connected to my phone, it wouldn't play music through the speaker. As I tried to make it work, I apparently hit the "Source" button (which looks more like a skip song button). If there had been any useful directions, I may have figured that out quickly. But since there weren't, it took rebooting everything and trying again several times with different phones before I realized what was going on. Part of the issue is that it didn't work quite as the instructions said (mine never blinked to indicate it was ready to pair). But it did eventually work. That first pairing was hard, but subsequent pairings were easy. I think it works well; it just didn't work quite as described and there wasn't any help for how to overcome the issue. To pair, simply hit the BT button for a half second or so. Release. Initiate pairing on your source device. That should work. Don't hold the BT button on the speaker waiting for it to flash. And don't press other flashing buttons on the device - especially the source button. Connection is via BT 4.2, which is good. If desired, there is also an audio-in port, so you can plug a device directly into the speaker without using BT. I struggled to find a use for that, but it's there if you need it. Once paired, it holds the signal well and offers good sound quality. I compared it side-by-side with another waterproof BT speaker I use, and the A10 had clearly superior sound. You can tell the dual front-facing drivers and dual passive radiators do their jobs. This little speaker can crank up to 94 dB. The speaker is actually waterproof, not just water-resistant. If you have everything closed up the way you're supposed to, it can be dunked in up to 1 meter of water. It can actually float, too, if dropped in water. There is a small water-tight drybox to store items when using the speaker around water. The drybox is a bit more shallow and narrow than I had hoped. It won't hold a wallet, full-size phone, or some key fobs, for instance; but it can hold some cash or other small items. It has a microphone, which works well enough for calls in a pinch; but I don't really recommend using it for calls unless you really need to. Continuing a trend I've noticed in recent electronic devices, the wall plug seems unnecessarily bulky. I wish it were smaller. I also wish the speaker charged via USB-C or micro USB instead of the proprietary charger it uses. Better make sure you don't lose that charger while on vacation! The charging port is placed on one end of the speaker. The power button is placed on the opposite end. I guess that makes sense, but in practice, it can the speaker just a little bit more difficult to use if you want to just leave it plugged up somewhere, as I do. OTOH, the speaker is rated for 13 hours of playback, so I may be the only one who finds the button placement inconvenient.. Likes: -Good sound and range. -Attractive appearance. -Solid feel. -Waterproof. -Floats. -Drybox. -Decent battery life. Dislikes: -Propriety charging port; would have greatly preferred USB-C or micro-USB. -Minimal documentation. This made setup more difficult than necessary. -Price. Overall, I recommend this speaker. Once I got past the setup issue, it was really good. It is a bit on the pricey side for the market, and I'm not sure the features make it all that much better. But it's not absurdly high, has good sound, and has nice features. Definitely a strong first entrant into the BT speaker market by LifeProof.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great for a rugged, waterproof experience

    Posted
    cusedice
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The purpose of this speaker is to have a Bluetooth speaker that will survive drops, falls, spills, being dropped into water, sand at the beach, etc. With that purpose in mind, this is a good speaker. Is the sound quality as good as some other Bluetooth speakers in this price range? No, it's not. But that's not the point. The sound is decent, albeit heavy on the treble with very little bass. Using the equalizer feature on my phone to add some bass only created distortion. Rock, Country, etc will sound good. Anything that's heavy on bass will be lacking. It can get loud but it starts to distort at higher levels. But again, that's not the point. When it comes to having a Bluetooth speaker that gives you a worry free experience, this is great. I have taken this outside and dropped it onto concrete from a few feet in the air. I filled up the sink and submerged the speaker, while it was playing music, for a few minutes. Unless you hold it down, it floats. Again, a great thing for people who camp, have a lake house or a boat, or just go to the beach a lot. Dirt doesn't get in and any dirt you get on it can just be washed off by running it under the sink or with a hose. That my friends, is THE POINT of this speaker. It can take a beating and still come back for more. I have another brand that has much better sound quality, but if I take it into the garage while I'm doing work or outside, I always have to carefully place it and make sure it doesn't fall or get wet. This speaker has good enough sound quality and alleviates all of those concerns with having it outside. Also, with the way it's designed, you can stand it on end or even use the handles on the ends to hang it from a ladder or wherever if you're working and don't have a place to set it. I gave it 4 stars for decent sound quality, number of ports and options for playing music, ease of Bluetooth connectivity and overall design and ruggedness. I did mark one star off because in my water test, I notice that while the water was mostly kept out of the dry box compartment, there were some drops pretty close to making it in (see pictures). The only concern there is the usb and aux jacks that don't have covers. Honestly you wouldn't be able to put much in the drybox outside of some credit cards, cash, keys, etc. Maybe an ipod shuffle or nano for listening to music, but it is a very small compartment. I'm also not a huge fan of the proprietary charger but I have other's that have the same issue so I can't take a star away. Just be aware of it. For someone looking for a speaker for in the house or at the office, I wouldn't recommend this. For someone who wants to give this to a young child, or someone who does construction or just works outside a lot, I would highly recommend this. If you are near the water or go to the beach a lot and need a speaker, this is for you. There is a larger version that might have a little more kick to it but I think this is a good travel size. Battery life was a little over 12 hours in my test...oh, and it has 2 USB power out ports so you can charge your phone from the speaker. In a pinch, that could end up being the best feature! So if you're the type who likes stuff to just work out of the box and stand up to your abuse, I recommend.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Great durability, not so great audio

    Posted
    TheTechNugget
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
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    I’ve reviewed a handful of bluetooth speakers and headphones—and I tend to rate them all against one another, as it tends to be objective about audio without some sort of reference point. For example—if the only audio devices you’ve ever listened to are Bose products, then listening to something of objectively lower quality will tend to disappoint; likewise, if you live in the budget audio market for both speakers and headphones, then a slight bump to the quality (even if the device you’re listening to is not objectively higher quality), you will think it the best product out there. We are all unfortunately swayed by our opinions of past performance, and I’m no different—so my goal for this review is to compare the product against some other mainstream devices to determine whether or not I think it’s a good purchase—or if you should save your money. The Lifeproof Aquaphonics AQ10 speaker is presented as a bluetooth speaker that is waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and drop proof—above all other features. I’ve tested most of those things, except for the snow proof part…it may be May in Cleveland, but surprisingly we’ve had no snow this month. Oh, and it gets loud (at least according to the back of the box). This is not the first waterproof speaker I’ve owned or reviewed, and it definitely lives up to its marketing, but not in any impressive way: it is only waterproof. It also floats, which is nice in case it falls off your boat or into the pool, as it would be easy to retrieve without damage. But beyond that, it is useless in water. This may seem to be a weird thing to complain about, but let me explain: The notion of waterproof electronics loses its excitement as more and more devices are released that are waterproof. IP67 water resistance is becoming the norm, which is great, but devices that survive submersion, versus devices that are usable during submersion are significantly different. For example, the iPhone 7 can be submerged, finally, but the fingerprint reader and screen become all but useless under water; this means that the water resistance on the iPhone 7 is a precaution, or a safety mechanism, NOT necessarily a feature. In a more practical sense, it’s not so easy to take pictures under water, unless you launch the camera app before submersion and then use the side buttons to take the picture. Yes, I know this review isn’t about the iPhone, but I’m trying to prove a point. A speaker that can float should be usable during floatation; that would make it a truly impressive product. I don’t want a speaker I can use by the pool; I want one that I can use IN the pool. Otherwise, it’s water resistance and ability to float is nothing more than a safety precaution. So, you may be asking—can you use this during floatation? Short answer is no; unfortunately the speaker is top heavy and flips upside-down while floating, which completely submerges the speaker grills and essentially mutes the sound. Next let’s review the sound quality; after all, this is the reason you want a speaker. Sadly, I was pretty disappointed with this device when it came to sound output. Later in the review I will compare to other devices, but first, here’s a quick overview of it’s performance: * Lows: Don’t even bother. The bass on this was speaker was the most disappointing part. On a mid-size speaker in the $200 price range, I expect some bass, but this was virtually non-existent. Even with the device placed on a corner table, the best possible placement to allow for sound reflection, the bass on this was absent. * Mids: The sound profile for this device seems to be heavily weighted in this area. It did a fine job at low and medium volumes, but the sound starts to get very blatty at higher volumes. * Highs: This was OK—but even at middle volumes, the highs started to split audibly and become distorted. Another integral component to a good portable speaker is its battery life. I didn’t drain this speaker entirely nor charge it up fully, but during the two-week test period I used it without charging it, only utilizing the out-of-box charge that the device came with. One thing to note on this device, though, is that it comes with two USB out ports for charging, meaning some of the juice being used by its onboard battery (which boasts 13 hours of use) is transferrable to a USB device, be it your phone or MP3 player. You might be wondering why I bring up MP3 players…since no one really has dedicated MP3 players anymore. One of the more interesting features on this product (and it’s older brother, the AQ11) is a dry box compartment on the bottom of the speaker that keeps whatever you can fit in there completely dry, even during submersion. I tested this with a piece of tissue that would very obviously show signs of dampness should it come into contact with any water—and surprisingly found the dry box to perform well. So then, what can you fit into the dry box? Maybe a couple of credit cards and your car key (as long as you don’t have a thick fob attached), and a little cash. Or, perhaps a small MP3 player, like an iPod nano? One of the USB out ports for charging, as well as one of the two aux line-in ports, are inside the dry box as well, meaning with short enough cables you could create an all-inclusive audio package that will stay safe in any element. Not necessarily a reason to buy it, but certainly a cool feature. And real quick—let’s talk about buttons. Bluetooth speakers tend to have a minimal button set and tend to use combo buttons, with gestures, for basic control. The AQ10, on the other hand, has quite a few buttons, almost to the point where it seems excessive. The play and previous/next track buttons are all distinct, plus a bluetooth button to enter pairing mode, a source switch button, volume up and down, AND a separate power button. There are a lot of buttons…if you’re into that sort of thing, that’s another tick mark in the positive column. The AQ10 is regular price $200, which puts it up against speakers like the Sonos Play 1, the new Bose Soundlink Revolve and Soundlink Mini II, the Sony HG1 and the JBL Pulse 2. None of those competitors will provide the durability that the AQ10 does, but every single one of them will outperform the AQ10 from a sound quality perspective. What this means is the durability of the device is far more important from a marketing perspective than the sound is. I think a big competitor for this device is the UE Wonderboom, which is half the price and offers better sound quality and most of the durability features that the AQ10 offers (no dry box, though). The AQ10 is a little louder than the Wonderboom, but that additional volume doesn’t do much good for the audio quality. Maybe the most ideal use case for this speaker is someone who spends a lot of time on the water canoeing or kayaking. You can leave a few important items in the dry box without fear of anything getting wet, but still have your tunes out on the water. A larger boat would be too loud and would drown out the audio, with the exception of a fishing boat that sits more quietly. The sound is adequate enough for a small area provided you are looking for some background noise, but won’t provide much entertainment at a pool party. It’s maybe not a bad choice for a small patio gathering in your back yard, and works just fine indoors for a single-room deployment. I like any waterproof speaker for use in the bathroom, since you can be close to your sound without fear of damaging the speaker. In general, I’m not totally sold on this one—at its price point, I’d expect the audio performance to be a little bit better. Right now you can only really find this device at Best Buy, who has a 10% sale on it right now, but even at $179 I’m not convinced this is a good purchase decision. At higher discounts—maybe 25% or higher—this might be a good purchase purely for it’s durability. Otherwise, I think it might be wise to pass on this one.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Rugged Case + Superior Audio = Great BT Speaker

    Posted
    gadgetguy11
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
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    PREVIEW: The LifeProof AQUAPHONICS AQ10 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is designed with special appeal to the rugged outdoor enthusiast. In a nutshell, this Bluetooth Speaker differentiates itself by offering extreme shock & water resistance, more power (hence it plays louder) & longer battery life than competitive offerings. The recyclable packaging is aqua, suggesting the speaker is at home near water. At $200, there are BT Speakers that offer slightly superior sound, but NONE that are ready to play outdoors like the AQ10. TOP 10 LIKES: 1- Water Resistance (rated to be waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes), 2- Drop Resistance (Rated to survive drops from 1.2 meters) 3- Extended Battery Life (Rated 13-Hour). The 12 Volt 2.0 Amp charger is required to charge this beast of a battery. This battery / power source is the secret to achieving premium quality sound at high volume for 13 hours. 4- Buoyancy (It floats!) 5- Hidden Storage (Dry box built-in) 6- 2 Color Options: Obsidian Sand or Laguna Clay (as shown in my photos) 7- Clear Audio (Extra high clarity mid frequencies produce easy-to-understand voice; surprisingly strong bass response; well balanced high frequencies). Output is 94 Decibels!! Easily heard over the shower. It plays LOUD! 8- Easy Connect Bluetooth (Just press & hold the BT button & connects up to 8 devices) 9- Make & Receive phone calls with the built-in mic 10- Solid Look & Feel (Rugged, yet Attractive Design that Commands Respect). Sealed construction (protects from snow, water, dust & dirt) DISLIKE: (This turned out to be a LIKE!): Use of a dedicated charger is unfortunate for convenience (because it is something else to take with you on vacation, for example), but is REQUIRED because it delivers 12 Volt at 2.0 Amp to charge the built-in hefty battery (12V X 2.0A = 24 Watt). A USB charging jack would have been more convenient, but USB delivers 5 Volt, so the same power (24 Watt) / 5 Volt would require 4.8 Amp output. That is IMPOSSIBLE because 4.8 Amp exceeds the power available via USB. A large tablet charges at 5 Volt / 2.0 Amp (10 watt), for example. To achieve the sound output & battery life described in Benefit #3 listed above, this dedicated charger is not only appropriate, but is ESSENTIAL. LifeProof could have designed a BT Speaker with a smaller power amplifier & smaller battery that could be charged on a 5 Volt USB plug. But they chose to prioritize PERFORMANCE, thus requiring an external 24 Watt power supply. This design choice elevates the AQ10 to a High Performance Class by itself & the "dislike" for inconvenience is surpassed by "WOW!" sound quality, extended battery life & extreme design integrity. VERY IMPRESSIVE!! CONCLUSION: AQUAPHONICS AQ10 is the hands down, Industry Leading Bluetooth Speaker for Rugged Applications. I Love it & HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Perfect for summer activities

    Posted
    nickcal
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
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    With summer fast approaching, it’s natural to start thinking of items that are needed throughout the season. Most people consider things like beach towels and swimsuits, while I look at what electronics I need. I can rarely be found without some method of listening to my music and during the summer, you really need something that is going to be durable and withstand even the harshest environments. I have worked with waterproof speakers before, but never one like the Lifeproof Aquaphonics AQ10 speaker. The AQ10 speaker is not only waterproof, but it’s also submersible up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. It’s sealed from dirt, dust, snow, and rain plus it pairs with up to 8 devices. The speaker also acts as a speakerphone with the aid of its built-in microphone. Because it’s built and designed by Lifeproof, the AQ10 is tough. It can withstand falls up to 1.2 meters and it’s buoyant. This is perhaps one of my favorite features of the AQ10. It’s nice to know that you can keep the speaker with you no matter where you go. There are two more features that I want to touch on – the battery life and the dry box. These two options are stand-out features in my opinion. The battery provides 13 hours of non-stop music entertainment. While I haven’t really tested this out yet, I’ve been very impressed with the continuous power I have noted. In addition to the exceptional battery life, the AQ10 gives you two standard USB ports to be able to charge your phone or tablet from. One is on the side where you plug the speaker into power and the other is located in the dry box. These ports are 5V/0.5A so they aren’t fast-charging at all, but they will provide you power in an emergency. The dry box is a special feature that I’ve not seen on a Bluetooth speaker before. It’s located on the bottom of the speaker and is completely sealed off from all the elements. You unlock it with a switch and are presented with a silicone lined box where you can store cards, keys or other small items. As I mentioned above, there is also a USB port enclosed inside along with an Aux port. One thing that’s important to note – the dry box on the AQ10 measures 2” x 4.75” and it’s only one-quarter inch deep. This isn’t large enough for my phone, but if you have a smaller form phone, you could easily store it inside the box. The larger AQ11 speaker also has a dry box, but I’m not sure how much larger it is. So how does it sound? It’s honestly got a really nice, rich, deep sound. As far as bass goes, it’s not like a subwoofer is hooked up to it, but it doesn’t sound hollow either. The volume control is directly connected to the phone (it’s not independent of the phone’s volume), but it amplifies it nicely. For example, let’s say I have the phone set to volume level 3. I would say that same volume level on the speaker is about 30% louder than the phone itself. I love that the speaker has advanced controls on it and that they aren’t difficult to press. Some waterproof speakers have ‘sticky’ controls that I’m not a fan of. All in all, this is a really nice option for an outdoor speaker. It’s large enough to produce a powerful sound, but it’s easy enough to handle that you can take it with you anywhere.

    I would recommend this to a friend





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