CRDC Life CR-DCS203A Outdoor Wireless Speaker review: A rugged speaker with great sound quality

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
CRDC-Life-S203A-FI

The CRDC Life S203A is a great outdoor and indoor speaker with a great design and wonderful sound.

We recently review the CRDC Life waterproof wireless speaker and while it was a good speaker, it might not be at the top of your list to purchase. Next up, we have the CRDC Life CR-S203A outdoor wireless speaker that I would say is the older brother of the CRDC Life S100C speaker. It keeps the same rugged design to protect against drops along with being resistant to water and dust with an IP65 rating. Read the full review below to find out what you think about this second CRDC speaker.

Specifications

  • Operation range: 33ft/10mm
  • Charge time: 6 hours
  • Aux: 3.5mm audio in jack
  • Output: 5W + 5W
  • Power input: Micro-USB 5V, 1A
  • Battery: 2600mAh (30-hour playback)
  • Connection: Bluetooth 4.0, HSP, HFP A2DP, AVRCP, APTX
  • Waterproof rating: IP65 water resistant, dust and shock proof
  • Dimensions: 8.23 x 3.27 x 2.87in / 20.9 x 8.3 x 7.3cm
  • Weight: lbs

What’s in the Box

  • S203A Speaker
  • USB charging cable
  • 3.5mm aux cable
  • 18-month warranty card
  • Manual

Design

Rugged designs are one thing that some Bluetooth speakers should come with by default instead of some that try to look flashy to get you to purchase. The S203A definitely has the rugged design going for it and I love it. From top to bottom to even the sides it’s all rubber material to help you keep the speaker safe from some drastic drops. The speaker grills are on the front and the back of the wireless speaker, but the sound only plays from the front and not the back which may cause some confusion to some folks given the design. The control buttons are on top and include the power on/off, volume rocker, mode, and phone button to answer phone calls. The left side is home to a flat rubber plug that protects the Micro-USB port (used for charging) and 3.5mm audio port. The plug itself is extremely hard to open, so you know water and dust will not get into the ports.

CRDC-S203A-Front

The CRDC Life CR-S203A outdoor wireless speaker front view.

Ease of Use

Like the CRDC S100C, the ease of use is going to be pretty much the same. Hold down the power button to turn on the speaker and in order to pair, press the power button again and you’ll hear a sound and see a blue and red flashing light letting you know it’s ready to pair with a device. For volume control, you will hold down either the up (+) or down (-) button to set the volume to where you’d like it. Pressing the phone button will play/pause the media or answer/end a phone call. Overall, using the CRDC S203A is easy to understand.

Speakers

The S203A has a dual channel 5W output and sounds wonderful. I didn’t need to have the volume high enough to get some kind of sound. Just leaving the volume level at three or four was enough for me to know that every song I tested was clear with no distortion. Even when having the volume at max, it kept its clarity. When I did try some EQ like Rock, Hip Hop, or keeping it on Normal, the sound quality was still really good. That being said, for the most part, I enjoyed the sound just fine with the equalizer off. One odd issue that I did notice was that the volume would randomly turn down a notch by itself.

CRDC-S203A-Top

The CRDC Life CR-S203A outdoor wireless speaker top view.

Call Quality

When making some phone calls to people or vice versa for testing this feature, absolutely no one was able to hear me. Even if I put my face right in front of the speaker or yelling no one could hear me and just hung up. I don’t recommend trying to hold a conversation with anyone while using this speaker.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We reached out to CRDC, as we always do when we encounter an odd issue with a review item, and were told that they haven’t heard of anyone else with this issue but is looking into it further.

Battery Life

CRDC Life states that the S203A will receive up to 30 hours of music playback which seems like overkill, but honestly, it’s great that it can last that long. I didn’t hit 30 hours on it as I only tested about 10, but the battery had no notification or a red light to let me know that the speaker was low on battery life. If you’re looking for a long lasting battery life, this is definitely up your alley.

Price/Value

The S203A is originally priced at $79.99USD but is being sold for $39.99 on Amazon at the moment, but CRDC Life has provided us with a 25% off code bringing the price down to $29.99 which is a much better price than spending $80. Use the code CRDC203A before February 28th to take advantage of this offer. While it does have a couple issues, you can’t really go wrong for $30.

Wrap Up

I enjoyed using this speaker, but there were drawbacks that may make you not purchase this unit. Don’t take it as a bad thing since this is my opinion, but there were a couple of small things that got me like not being able to have anyone hear me when they call or I call someone. Not everyone will use that feature, but there are people out there that may look into this speaker and not buy it for that reason. Also, the fact that the volume kept changing on its own was odd. It didn’t matter what phone I used, the volume kept going down when it felt like it. The plus side to all this is that the design is nice, the sound is great, and the price is on point for those folks that don’t want to spend a fortune on a new Bluetooth speaker.

CRDC Life Outdoor Wireless Speaker
4 Out of 5
Nailed it
The rugged design will help protect against any kind of accidental drops, the sound quality is great even at a low volume and it's clear with no distortion, and the price is worth looking into.
Needs Work
The volume kept turning down one notch on its own. Don't bother with talking to anyone while using this speaker.
Bottom Line
The CRDC Life S203A is a great outdoor and indoor speaker with a great design and wonderful sound. It's portable enough that if you're out hiking or camping and needs some music, this will easily fit in your backpack.
Design5.00
Ease of Use4.50
Sound5.00
Reception/Call Quality0.00
Battery Life5.00
Price/Value4.50

*We were sent a demo unit of the CRDCsmart Outdoor Wireless Speaker for the purposes of this review.
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