Why it matters to you
Built for use in the outdoors, Kicker’s new portable Bluetooth speakers are waterproof and rugged, while offering excellent 360-degree sound and good battery life.
At last week’s Outdoor Retailer gear convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, car and home audio manufacturer Kicker took the wraps off a pair of new Bluetooth speakers designed specifically for use in the outdoors. The two new devices join the company’s existing Bullfrog BF400 speaker, delivering smaller, more portable versions of that rugged product, while still managing to offer the same level of high-quality sound and impressive performance.
The two new speakers include the BF100 — the smallest in the Bullfrog line — and the BF200, which fits squarely between its two siblings in terms of size and features. Both units are rugged enough to earn an IP67 rating, which means they are dust, sand, and mud resistant and waterproof. In fact, Kicker says the speakers can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes and still continue to work just fine. The BF100 will even float in a pool, lake, or stream, making it easy to retrieve should it fall into the water.
Both of the speakers are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that provide 12 hours of playback for the BF100 and up to 20 hours on the BF200. The two models also feature AUX inputs and USB ports that allow them to double as portable power stations, charging smartphones and other devices in a pinch. Both units also feature four speakers (two drivers and two passive radiators) to provide 360 degrees of sound. On top of that, they can also be wirelessly paired with any other Bullfrog speaker within a 60 foot range to increase performance even further. The BF100 even includes a built-in mic that turns it into a hands-free speakerphone, while the BF200 features an onboard FM radio.
As you would expect with a Bluetooth device these days, pairing a smartphone with either of these speakers is quick and painless. A special Kicker app — available for iOS and Android — allows users to adjust the bass and treble on each speaker, as well as monitor battery life, adjust volume, and more. The app features a five-band equalizer as well, and provides access to the built-in FM radio on the BF200, too.
Here at Digital Trends we’ve managed to get our hands on a BF100 speaker ahead of its official launch in October. After spending some time listening to the device, we’ve come away impressed with its clear sound, solid bass, and great battery life. It is also built incredibly well, making us confident that it will survive in the outdoors. The speaker makes a great addition to Kicker’s Bullfrog lineup and carves out a nice space for itself in the increasingly crowded and competitive portable Bluetooth speaker market.
The BF100 and BF200 will go on sale in October for $200 and $300, respectively.