Have a splash of a time with the Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth speaker
Aukey offers a wide range of Windows 10 PC and Mobile accessories ranging from USB hubs to chargers to Bluetooth headsets. The company's Outdoor Bluetooth speaker is a water-resistant option for listening to music and audio files poolside or at the beach.
Officially the Aukey SK-M12 Speaker, this boom box sports dual 5W speakers, up to 30 hours of playtime and support for hands-free calling. Sound quality is respectable and priced at just under $50 at Amazon, the Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker is also budget-friendly.
The Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker comes in measuring 8 x 3.25 x 3 inches and weighs just shy of two pounds. The metal mesh facing and backing is accentuated by the black rubber framing. Control buttons line the top of the speaker with ports and a lanyard loop positioned on either end of the speaker. On the bottom of the speaker is a 1/4 inch screw to allow the speaker to be mounted on a tripod or pole.
Ports are protected by a rubber flap that keeps the speaker water tight and includes a micro-USB port, 3.5mm audio jack and a reset button.
The rubber surface of the Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker offers a bit of cushion to protect the speaker from minor falls. The rubber can also be a dust magnet at first but with a little use, that static attraction begins to fade.
While weighing 1.9 pounds, the Aukey speaker feels lighter than reported and is not burdensome to carry around in a backpack, tote or by a carry strap. The fit and feel of the Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker comes across as solid and while not shock or impact resistant, it should hold its own against day to day use.
The speaker is listed as water resistant and it survived getting doused by the water hose without skipping a beat. Aukey does not offer any ratings on the level of water resistance, but I suspect splashing is okay, but submersion ends the party.
The Aukey SK-M12 Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker comes packaged with a USB charging cable, 3.5mm audio cable, the owner's manual and a reset pin.
While the design and build quality of the Aukey offers no concerns, the audio performance is critical to the speaker's appeal. Under the hood of the Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker are two 5-watt speakers that are powered by a 2,600mAh battery. The feature set is somewhat modest with controls that include volume/track management buttons, a call button, a power button and a menu button.
Pairing is initiated when the Aukey speaker is first powered up, otherwise you need to (with the speaker turned off) press and hold the power button for two seconds. There is a small LED light on the face of the speaker that flashes blue to confirm the speaker is in pairing mode. Once paired, this light shines a steady blue.
Playback is controlled through the + and – buttons to navigate through the tracks, with long presses of these buttons controlling the volume. The call button is used to answer or end calls or pause playback. The menu button was a bit of a mystery. With no reference to this button in the owner's manual, we reached out to Aukey for clarification and learned that the menu button controls an enhanced bass option. Press and hold the "M" button until you hear a garbled chirp and your music has a bit more bass to the sound. The increase in bass is slight, noticeable but not overwhelming.
Speaking of phone calls, the Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker does have support for hands-free calling. The feature set is minimal with hands-free controls only including answering, ending and rejecting calls from the speaker. Each controlled by the call button.
The controls aren't overly complicated but too many of these buttons pull double duty. I can see it being frustrating to press the + button to advance the music tracks, only to see the volume increase. There is enough real estate on the top of the speaker to accommodate track and volume keys, a play/pause button, a call button and the power button.
With regards to speaker performance, the sound quality from the two 5-watt speakers is good. As you would expect, the Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker belts out the tunes twice as loud as the single speaker Bluetooth units. In using the speaker on the back porch or the dock at the lake, I had no issues enjoying my music files. Battery life is rated at 30 hours of playback and in using the speaker over the past few days, I won't disagree with the factory rating.
The Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker (SK-M12) is an attractive option for those looking for an external speaker for use around the pool, on the back porch, on the lake or at the beach. The water resistance can give you a little peace of mind should the speaker get wet. The rubber exterior does offer limited protection from minor bumps and bruises. Just keep in mind that the Aukey is not rated as shockproof the way the Mpow Armor Plus is rated.
Even indoors, the Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker can be a great audio accessory for listening to videos, audio files and your music files. The appearance is discrete enough to blend into your office décor or propped up in the living room.
Audio quality is good and belts out the tunes with a little gusto. I did not experience any distortions in testing the speaker and sound performance had a nice balance of bass and treble. The hands-free calling support is limited, but a nice touch. I would like to see the button selection expanded to eliminate the current double-duty most of these buttons have.
Currently priced at $47.99 at Amazon, the Aukey Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker is modestly priced. The audio accessory may not have many bells and whistles but produces quality sound at a budget price.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.