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May 04 2018 03:25

My name is Gary Kerness!

I am 67 years old, wheelchair-bound Gravely disabled with many physical disabilities! I was shopping at Costco last week, looking for the strange and unusual, the Ecoxgear EcoDrift waterproof Bluetooth speaker caught my eye, it was on sale for slightly less then $45!

I am an electrical engineer, I know quite a bit about sound having once worked for a company that manufactured modules such as noiseless faders for use in large professional mixing boards used by media artists and other professionals!!

I thought I might be able to use it when I am traveling on the road in my wheelchair, I was using an on ear Bluetooth headphone, thought this speaker might work as a substitute, as long as at high volume levels the speaker was loud enough to be heard over the usual din one experiences when traveling in a wheelchair on the streets! I don't have Windows to roll up to reduce the noise! LOL!

What struck me visually, it appeared to be very well-built, it would likely survive a fall to the floor rub my wheelchair or beds, without showing evidence of physical damage, as there were rubber like bumpers on all four corners!

It was waterproof, submersibles rated IP67 the second highest rating a waterproof product could receive! It would float in a pool or submersed in water, the speaker would not be any worse for the wear!

Because of my physical disabilities, my hands are not very useful for doing much of anything, Murphy's law is a constant companion I tend to drop things far to frequently!

I pressed the button to play the pre-programmed music! Surprisingly there was not much noticeable distortion when played at high volumes! Might be due to the passive subwoofer, 15 watt amplifier! For those who do not know what a passive subwoofer is it is a radiator that contains no voice coil or magnets! The mass of the subwoofer, the enclosure dimensions is designed to enhance the bass by a phenomenon known as residence! Example, when you strike a tuning fork you hear a surprisingly loud tone, the tuning fork is vibrating at its natural frequency, called resonance! A tuning fork with more mass, called weight when in the Earth's gravity would result in a loud tone at a lower frequency! Less mass would result in in a loud tone at a a higher frequency!
A passive subwoofer (radiator) does not contain a voice coil or magnets like a regular speaker and is not connected to an amplifier! It increases the volume level near the resonant frequency, resonance produces a situation where a little input, the Sounds in the cabinet produces a lot of output, louder sounds depending upon the mass of the radiator and the volume of the enclosure! The Main Speaker contains a voice coil magnets driven by an amplifier producing sound in the enclosure! The Sound by the subwoofer enhances the bass as a result of resonance!

That explains why the speaker dimensions are larger than they otherwise might be! The size and weight where nowhere near being a deal- breaker! The weight would stabilize the speaker while it was on my lap while traveling in my wheelchair!

The bass response was not impressive at first, however, upon applying an equalizer to increase the lower frequencies by a few decibels, the sound quality became impressive for such a speaker of its size and weight! The sound was well balanced, not tinny, what one might expect to hear on a 1960s era transistor radio!

Others who have heard it are of the same opinion, asked me where I purchased it, inquired about the Price!

The pairing and connection to bluetooth was simple, did not cause any stress, unlike other Bluetooth devices which caused problems!

The speakerphone works very well I have have received compliments from the other side of how clear and natural my voice sounded!

When in my wheelchair I secure the speaker to a small seat belt secured utility bag laying on my lap, face the speaker towards me! I can now enjoy the music without worrying about the speaker winding up in the street!

The only complaint, the carabina supplied with the speaker is of poor quality, it failed on the first use, would not trust it, would recommend purchasing a good quality Carabiner for a buck or two!

The speaker can be located above my blankets in any kind of weather as it is waterproof and dust-resistant! The Google Assistant access button on the speaker also works with Siri! What a relief not to worry about a phone breaking, a phone which is essential for my survival!

The Google Assistant Via the speaker mic allows me to do things by voice, such as making and receiving phone calls without having to remove the phone from the small bag attached to my seatbelt, eliminating the risk of dropping and damaging the phone!

Someone put a lot of sweat time and love into designing and Manufacturing this product, and it shows! Good user interface, waterproof, durable, one could not ask for a better do as it says, well performing, quality product!

There were no reviews at the time I can find, I took a chance anyway since it could be returned to Costco with no hassle!

Before buying the speaker at Costco I checked out the price on eBay, I could have purchased the phone for $5 less than I paid at Costco, which is located 2 miles away from my home, by motorized wheelchair if need be, not worth the hassle, or risk!

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