Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM review: Sound that will leave bigger speakers whimpering

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM

The silver speakers can be seen when the light is just right adding a bit of a high priced look to the WAE.

The Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM Bluetooth speaker is an odd shaped little package of power. At first glance, the packaging and its small size are not impressive until you get everything all set up and let the tunes fly. The little WAE is full of sonic surprise sure to impress any set of ears and most defiantly the demographic that it is geared towards. The WAE is meant to be used outdoors in a sporting environment. It’s shockproof, water and dust resistant, won’t roll away due to its shape, and easily mountable to bicycles and other sporting vehicles or backpacks. The Bluetooth connectivity is fast and flawless while the auxiliary port just expands the possibilities. Read on for our full review of the Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM speaker.

Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM

Small but mighty

Specifications

The Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM has the following features and specifications:

  • RMS power: 2 x 2.5 W RMS
  • Peak power: 10 W
  • Frequency response: 130 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Speaker dimensions: 61 (H) / 151 (W) / 61 (D) mm
  • Weight: 280 g
  • Rechargeable 3.7 V 1500 mAh Li-ion (lithium-ion) battery
  • Magnetically-shielded system
  • IP67-certified
  • Shock resistant

What’s In The Box

  • Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus Bluetooth speaker
  • USB charging cable
  • Wrist strap
  • Warranty certificate
  • User manual

Design

The USB rubber cover rocks. It’s nice and thick with a strong tether. The triangular shape is going to keep it from rolling away. The buttons are easy to use and accessible. The USB and Audio port are easy to access and the fact that it is shock resistant makes its design all the better. The silver speakers can be seen when the light is just right adding a bit of a high priced look to the WAE. It’s made from good quality materials and is pretty rugged considering it is IP67-certifed as well as dust -proof and shock resistant. Overall the design is nice, it’s not anything to fawn over and show off to your friends but the sound is what counts anyway.

Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM

Many mounting options

Ease of Use

The volume buttons are on the sides at the top of the unit and are easy to spot and easy to use even with gloves on. The fact that the speaker is triangular in shape means that it will not roll away. You can also connect a device to it with a 3.5mm cable if your device is not Bluetooth.

The WAE comes with a free app whose most notable feature is the adjustability of the speakers Bass-Mid-High. You can also select some presets like rock and pop etc. The app also features speaker options, sleep mode, battery level, FM station selector, music player which lists the music in your library, and a users manual. There are also social media buttons, which I did not use.

The WAE also has a dual color indicator, which illuminates blue when in Bluetooth mode and green when in FM mode. The FM reception and playback was lackluster at best. Almost seems like a feature that isn’t up to par with the rest of the package. I wouldn’t buy the Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM for the FM feature.

When the speaker is standing on edge the bottom portion of the speaker has a white stripe allowing the user to know which way is up.

The included lanyard strap seems sturdy enough for those so included to use such an accessory. The camera-like mounting receptacle is a great way to firmly hold a speaker designed for use outdoors, on bicycles and other such activities. The mounting accessories come as an inexpensive package so that you can place the WAE on most any sports device like a bicycle or backpack.

Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM

Great for the shower or any wet conditions!

Sound

The Hercules WAE shines in this department. For weighing in at 280 grams it packs the volume and bass response of a much bigger speaker. The sound is plenty loud at 50% and really fills the room at 100%. Outdoors the WAE will not get lost in the wind or when moving on a bicycle. You can further dial in the sound with the included app and the Bass-Mid-High settings sliders.

Battery Life

Hercules states that the battery lasts 12 hours and while I did not time it, it has served me faithfully all week right out of the box, so it seems battery life is as advertised. Results will vary depending on the distance from the Bluetooth source as well as volume level of your music.

Price/Value

For $70 you’re going to get a small speaker with big speaker sound and bass response. With the included app and the many adjustments allowed by it, you can’t go wrong. Since the stereo speaker is shock proof, water resistant, dust resistant, rechargeable, and has the ability to use an auxiliary cord, how can one go wrong?

Wrap Up

I was pleasantly surprised by the little speaker with the odd shape and feather light chassis. The sound is great for a little speaker that can go anywhere with you and put up with plenty of abuse. If you’re the outdoor type you should consider this speaker. If you’re looking for a speaker to use in the garage, the kitchen, the kids room, the patio, or most anywhere in the house then this speaker will serve you well.

Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM
4.7 Out of 5
Nailed it
Compact design and light weight. Great sound for a speaker this size. It has an aesthetically pleasing look with the silver speakers slightly visible.
Needs Work
FM reception and sound. I would rather it not be present than to be there with such poor quality. It’s also confusing to navigate via the speaker controls as there is no display on the speaker. It is best to use the included app.
Bottom Line
Great sound even at full volume. The app is really only good for adjusting the Bass-Mid-High but that is an awesome feature. The weight is great at just a bit over half pound. The attachments were not included but the mounting system is like those found on SLR cameras. Seems rugged and worth the cost for all it does as an outdoor speaker for active people.
Design5.00
Ease of Use4.00
Sound5.00
Battery Life5.00
Price/Value4.50
*We were sent a sample of the Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM for the purposes of this review.
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