The Altec Lansing Mini Life Jacket three is a rugged, water-resistant, shockproof Bluetooth speaker that may be without problems stowed in a carry-on or tote bag. At $99.99, it has a few stable greater features, just like the cappotential for use in pairs as left and proper channels for a much broader stereo image. It also can fee cell gadgets, and ships with motormotorcycle mounting accessories. From an audio perspective, it’d unreasonable to count on too many fireworks from a speaker this length and charge, however sound fine is basically agreeable, mainly for outside use. So if a completely water-resistant, floating layout is your first priority, the Mini Life Jacket three is really well worth a look.
Measuring 2.five with the aid of using 6.five with the aid of using 2.2 inches (HWD) and weighing in at 1 pound, the Mini Life Jacket three ($59.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) is a rugged, rubber-magnificence speaker to be had in black, blue and black, or crimson and black models. The speaker’s IP67 score way it’s far blanketed from dust, snow, and may be submerged in water up to at least one meter with out issue. It additionally floats, which makes it perfect for poolside scenarios. Behind the black speaker grille, 1.five-inch neodymium drivers paintings with a lower back-firing passive bass radiator to supply the audio.
The pinnacle panel homes a strength button and plus/minus quantity controls (which paintings along side your cell device’s grasp quantity stages). The quantity buttons additionally double as tune navigation controls if held in, that could on occasion bring about an by chance skipped tune. The strength button doubles for play/pause (you maintain it to strength down, faucet it to play), in addition to name control for the integrated speakerphone.
On the lower back panel, a snap-close compartment homes a micro USB port for charging (a micro USB cable is included), a three.5mm aux enter for stressed out listening (a quick audio cable is likewise included), and a USB port for charging outside cell gadgets the use of the speaker’s battery. Altec Lansing additionally consists of a wall socket strength adapter (the USB cable plugs into it). Battery existence is expected to be as much as sixteen hours, however your outcomes will range together along with your quantity stages and your blend of stressed out and wi-fi usage.
Altec Lansing makes no bones approximately the Mini Life Jacket three using virtual sign processing (DSP)—it is referred to as a promoting factor at the company’s website. That way you may count on a few tamping down of effective bass frequencies whilst the quantity is excessive, some thing in an effort to irk purists. On tracks with extreme sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Mini Life Jacket three can distort at pinnacle volumes. Dialing it lower back a chunk removes maximum of the distortion issues. The DSP can regularly make the quantity appear to be it is dipping on tracks with effective deep bass whilst the stages are almost maxed out—that is virtually the dynamics of the combinationture being managed so they do not distort, which would not usually paintings. Even whilst it does, the dipping remains, that could end up annoying. It’s applicable to say overall performance at pinnacle volumes due to the fact in outside scenarios, it is absolutely workable that you’ll blast the quantity—that is a small speaker that, at slight volumes, won’t provide a noisy sufficient audio experience.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a tune with some distance much less deep bass withinside the blend, offers a higher feel of the general sound signature. On this tune, the drums can sound thunderous on bass ahead speakers, however awaiting some thing equivalent to a rumble could be counterintuitive thinking about the Mini Life Jacket three’s length. The drums are decreased to a tapping withinside the background, and the maximum major low frequency presence is Callahan’s baritone vocal overall performance. The vocals, guitar strumming, and percussive assaults all get snappy, shiny treble presence—perfect for outside listening, because the better frequencies can regularly get a touch misplaced in an open, wall-loose setting.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church withinside the Wild,” the kick drum loop’s assault receives masses of excessive-mid presence to preserve it sharp and withinside the leading edge of the combinationture, however at better volumes, the assault additionally reasons the DSP dips to occur. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are greater implied than brought—you pay attention a number of their lows, however generally, it is the pinnacle raspy notes you notice. All 3 vocal performances in this tune are brought cleanly and clearly, with out an excessive amount of excessive frequency presence that could every now and then purpose an overload of sibilance. Basically, you’ve got got a mids- and highs-centered sound signature, with a few respectable low-mid presence, however not anything withinside the deep lows in an effort to fulfill severe bass fiends.
The Mini Life Jacket three’s DSP isn’t always diffused on deep bass tracks, dipping and diving in a manner in an effort to irk greater listeners than simply audiophiles. The positives of this speaker are undeniable, however exist generally in its rugged, water-resistant layout, and much less so in its common audio overall performance. If you need a higher-sounding Bluetooth speaker on this charge range, we are fanatics of the Nyne Edge ( at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) and the Sony SRS-XB3 ( at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) . For a touch bit greater, the Altec Lansing Life Jacket three has all of the rugged, water-resistant layout perks of the Mini, however promises a barely fuller audio overall performance from its large frame. The JBL Charge three ($89.ninety five at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) , meanwhile, promises great audio overall performance for the equal charge because the vast Life Jacket, and earns our Editors’ Choice.