Moving past the audio testing I wanted to touch on some of the other aspects of each of the speakers. What I found after spending a lot of time with the four different speakers is that each one has its own use that it stood out in. I obviously went in looking for a speaker to take out and use by the pool and all four did that job, some did it better than others. The one that did the job the best for that specific situation was the Megablast. It was obviously the loudest speaker so that gave me the best chance, especially when paired with the mostly 360-degree directionality to fill our yard with music, including the pool. It was waterproof so that wasn’t a concern as well. But two things really stood out. For starters, it was always charged because of the optional charging base. The other big one was having Alexa built in. I normally use Pandora out at the pool, but I didn’t mind just telling Alexa to put on a specific type of music and just playing it off of our Prime account. You could also turn the volume up or down without getting out of the pool or keeping it close to the edge. That also meant you could set alarms, check the time, and use any other Alexa function as well.
Now the Wonderboom that I thought was going to be perfect for the pool because it could float and listen to music. Well, that turned out to not be the case as I already talked about. But the floating aspect already makes it my top pick if I were to be going out somewhere with deeper water just so I don’t have to worry about losing it. Mostly though, this little speaker has found a perfect home in our shower. The hook on the top made it easy to hang up out of the way and man does it sound amazing in that small space. The boom really comes back when it turns my entire shower into a concert, even my horrible singing started to sound good!
Now the Stryde XL, this was my go too in the office when I wanted some bass. Well specifically when away from my desk speakers taking photos. It doesn’t have a neutral sound but bass heads will like it. Because of that, I can completely see how this would be popular with the crowd that they are marketing towards. The dust and waterproof ratings make it awesome for hiking though personally, I might look at a smaller model for that unless you have a lot of room in your backpack.
Then there is the iRoarGo. Even with a name that is a mix of an Apple product, Katy Perry song, and a trendy mobile phone game it still ends up looking like the most boring speaker out of the four. I’m not saying that aesthetics are everything, but no one is going to say wow that is cool when you pull this one out. But it is a hidden gem. For starters, its size is perfect for taking it with you places. Sadly it only has an umbrella not a wetsuit for water ratings so you do have to keep that in mind. But this was the best sounding of the group, especially at high volume. It also has multiple functions like being able to be hooked up to your PC/Mac or PS4 and used as a speaker. Audio recording and even a built-in MP3 player that plays off the built-in micro-SD card slot. But it was the PA function that I thought was crazy. It's simple and maybe not useful that often, but no one else has that included. This is what I would be most likely to pack for trips due to its size, performance, and versatility but I didn’t end up using it as much compared to the Megablast and Wonderboom as they both fit the two uses I have for a portable speaker around the house. If it had Google Assistant or Alexa built in and was IPX7 or IP67 rated this would have been my pick for pool use without a doubt.
So how does pricing figure in with all of these? Well for starts I have to mention that there are hundreds or thousands of portable speaker options out there and most of them aren’t that great. They will be cheap, but I haven’t been a fan of most of them. With these four being tested, I wasn’t really looking for the best value, I just wanted something that would be perfect for us by the pool for the next year or two until I get a proper sound system setup. So the current Amazon prices are below and the Wonderboom obviously stands out. You can actually get one even cheaper if you don’t go with the bright orange color that I went with, same goes for the Megablast. Overall though I think the iRoarGo is the most interesting at its price. Audio quality was the best and it has a lot of functionality and is portable. The pricing of the Megablast is a little high but you do get Alexa and it is waterproof but adding in the charging base that would be a requirement for me makes it really hit the pocketbook. I wish I could have tested out the regular Blast as well to see how it fits into all of this considering its price is half as much. Then you have the Stryde XL, it has great style and bass but it up there with the Megablast in price without Alexa.
I hate not giving a definitive answer when it comes to what speaker should you get. But the reality is the iRoarGo is the best performing if audio or just number of features is your goal. The Wonderboom is a nice little speaker that is priced closer to what most people would be willing to spend and it also has a few great color options where you could get different colors for each of your kids. Then you have the Megablast that when paired with the charging base can function as a high quality in-house speaker with Alexa on all of the time and just be picked up and taken outside whenever you need it. So while I don’t have anyone answer, I hope that by describing my problem, going through my experience trying to find speakers that fit what I needed, and then all of my testing can help you pick out a speaker that fits you.
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