Outdoor audiobook listening may not be the first item on your mental shortlist of e-reading priorities, but with summer here it actually makes some sense. Hikes, camping expeditions, days on the beach, or even long road trips are all scenarios where you might welcome some e-book input. The iClever IC-BTS03 IP65 waterproof Bluetooth speaker exists for situations like that, and should survive most of your outdoor adventures and still stream your Audible titles for a claimed 8-10 hours of battery life.
A portable outdoor speaker should look and feel robust, and the iClever IC-BTS03 fits the bill in that regard. Build quality is solid, with no evident fragile points, and some useful touches like a screw tripod mount on the base that should allow you to fix it to a camera tripod if the mood takes you. At 286g (10.1 ounces), it’s not the lightest such speaker around, but many will be fine with that, especially if you like its chunky Caterpillar-style looks. The IP65 (International Protection Marking) waterproof rating means that the device is certified as totally protected against dust and protected against low pressure water jets. This doesn’t appear to equal protection against total immersion, so I wouldn’t go dropping the thing in your bath or swimming pool – I certainly didn’t try. That said, the iClever IC-BTS03 has a robust enough construction to probably stand up to brief periods of total immersion. Its micro SD charging/power socket and Aux-In port (the latter very useful) are both recessed under a flap on the side, which gives a tight seal when closed, and all operating buttons along the upper side are covered under the same rubbery plastic.
So how does it sound? Good enough for it to take pride of place among my Bluetooth streaming speakers. The iClever IC-BTS03 syncs easily with most devices I tested it with, from Chromebook to tablet. Its sound is strong and bass-rich, perhaps owing to the front-and-back speaker construction. I have been happily listening to it for long periods indoors without any wish to change to a bigger device. And if you’re looking for an outdoor solution, it could be a serious contender, especially with its micro SD socket making it rechargeable just about anywhere.
There looks to be an odd discrepancy in pricing for the iClever IC-BTS03. The manufacturer advertises it at $29.99. On Amazon, one supplier offers it at $23.99 – reduced from$49.99. Either way, at those lower prices it’s well worth a look.