The Hydro Beat Illumination Bluetooth speaker is a portable speaker with an ace up its sleeve. That ace is its IPX7 rating, which means it has been tested submerged in water with a depth of no more than 1 meter for 30 minutes and come out still working. This waterproofing means it can be used for various activities such as swimming or having a shower.
Being a portable speaker, the Hydro Beat Illumination Bluetooth speaker isn’t very big. With dimensions of 9.9 x 7.1 x 9.9 cm it’s the perfect size for a bag and just manages to sit in my pocket, although keeping it in a bag is the much better option as it’s not very comfortable carrying it around in a pocket. it weighs around 270g so it’s not heavy in the slightest.
The body of the speaker is made with a combination of rubber and plastic for a more robust finish. The speaker itself is a circular shape from top to bottom. Running around the top side are five rubber buttons, which are used to do things such as adjust the volume, change tracks, power the speaker on or off, switch the mode and play/pause the audio. A speaker grill consisting of several small holes coming from the center outwards is present.
At the bottom of the speaker is a large suction cup, which is placed here to enable you to stick the speaker to a tiled surface such as the one you may have in your shower. This suction cup does a wonderful job of securing the speaker to the surface. I have not once had it fall down whilst having a shower. Just underneath the suction cup is another speaker grill, with fewer holes than the top one.
Whilst, for the most part, the mid-section of the speaker is just a series of protruding rubber lines, it is home to a microUSB port for charging the built-in battery. This port is protected by a thick rubber flap, which is in place to ensure a complete waterproof experience with no compromise to the port itself.
The reason for the word ‘Illumination’ in the product title is quite obvious. The Hydro Beat Illumination Bluetooth speaker lights up. There’s a light ring running around the top and there’s also one around the microUSB port. This multi-colored LED system creates an ambiance that is certainly welcome when having a nice relaxing bath or shower.
Powering the Hydro Beat Illumination Bluetooth speaker is a built-in rechargeable battery capable of giving the user up to 8 hours from a single charge. Charging the speaker is actually surprisingly quick, with it taking about 3 hours to fully charge the battery from 0%.
Connecting the speaker to my phone via Bluetooth was as quick and easy as it is with any other speaker. The process is straightforward, but if you’ve never done it before, the included instructions give a clear guide on how to successfully pair both the speaker and your phone. Once the initial pairing is done, your phone and the speaker will remember each other and automatically connect to each other when both are turned on together.
As well as Bluetooth connectivity, the Hydro Beat Illumination Bluetooth speaker also features a built-in FM radio. I have to say I’m quite impressed with just how well the radio works, especially in the shower. It tunes quite well and as long as it’s in a good signal area it picks up channels with ease while playing them back as smoothly as possible.
Audio quality isn’t too bad, although there is noticeable distortion on certain songs when the volume is quite loud. That said the bass is packing quite well for such a small speaker and at modest levels, there is a great level of clarity. I have noticed that in my bathroom the bass seems stronger, but this is given the surroundings and actually isn’t a bad thing, especially if you want to hear your music as you sing in the shower (if you do that).
Overall the Hydro Beat Illumination Bluetooth speaker is a fantastic little gadget that enables you to take your audio outside and more importantly beyond into the depths of your swimming pool. The design is good with a focus on the speaker’s waterproof capabilities, while the audio is pretty good for the most part.
- IPX7 rating for protection from water
- Small portable design
- Easy to use
- FM radio
- Distortion at higher volumes
- Not comfortable to keep in a pocket