ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ review: Massive outdoor-centric multi-use speaker

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews

Throw the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ in the pool at a pool party, the company claims it will float and is completely waterproof.

TA-ratings-87It’s sort of normal fare around here to review Bluetooth speakers. Small, medium, and large, we’ve had them all pass through here. Now we’re taking a look at an extra large offering from ECOXGEAR. The ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ is the largest audio product to date that we have reviewed. While it’s ginormous exterior may seem overkill, the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ does have a purpose. But does its hefty exterior give it a hefty sound? Find out in our full review of the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+.

Specifications

The ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ has the following features and specifications:

  • IP67 100% waterproof and dustproof
  • Drop the EcoBoulder+ in the pool and it floats
  • 100-watts dynamic power amplifier for massive sound
  • User adjustable EQ (Treble and Bass)
  • 3-way speaker system w/ 8” full range main driver + 3” Tweeter + 8” rear facing subwoofer
  • Includes 1/8” (3.5mm) auxiliary audio input jack
  • Digital AM/FM radio with 5 preset equalizer sound profiles
  • 5V, 2.1A USB port for fast portable device charging
  • Back-lit buttons and large LED display for night viewing
  • Oversized rugged wheels and a telescoping handle
  • Integrated Velcro pouch for easy transport and storage of accessories
  • Removable IP67 waterproof phone case included
  • Play on standard AC wall power for continuous play
  • Bluetooth 4.1 streams audio wirelessly from up to 100 feet away
  • ECOTALK: Microphone built in for Siri & Google
  • ECOCONNECT: Pair 2 EcoBoulder Plus’s together at a distance up to 30 feet between the two speakers and be completely immersed in sound.
    • You can pair 1 EcoBoulder Plus to any other ECOXGEAR speaker that supports the ECOCONNECT feature, including the original EcoBoulder..(Note: ECOCONNECT only supports Bluetooth Audio. You cannot stream AM/FM or Aux in audio between the two speakers).
  • Power: SLA rechargeable battery with up to 50-hours playtime at normal levels – recharges in 7-8 hours
  • Length: 12″
  • Width: 15″
  • Height: 20″
  • Weight: 27lbs

What’s In The Box

  • ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+
  • Power cable
  • Documentation and manuals
  • Waterproof cell phone bag
ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder

A suitcase with speakers in it.

Design

There are no two ways about it, the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ is BIG! It weighs 27 lbs and has a built-in handle and wheels so you don’t need to break your back carrying it. The peculiar thing is, even with its hefty weight, the company says this thing will float. That is something we didn’t test as it is the middle of winter in Chicago and we don’t have a pool.

The design reminds me of a large piece of luggage only with buttons and speaker grilles all over it. Aesthetically it’s not the most visually pleasing design, it’s very rugged looking and ruggedly built. Which is fine since this is supposed to tag along with you on your outdoor adventures.

Let’s start walking around the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+. On the back of the unit, you’ll find the subwoofer along with the handle that tucks away like rolling luggage. The handle is sturdy and feels pretty solid, again, not unlike your luggage. On the bottom of the speaker are two really well-made casters and two feet to offset the casters and keep the speaker level. There are also two holes for water drainage should the unit get wet.

ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder

Cup holders, phone slot, and control panel.

Around the front is the rest of the speaker array along with bold ECOXGEAR branding. Along the right side of the speaker is a bottle opener, a nice touch I thought, along with a canvas pouch. The speaker also comes with a waterproof carrying bag for your smartphone. It’s ridiculous looking but it could come in handy.

Over on the left, you have two very large twist caps. These cover up all of your ports and also protect the ports underneath should you want to take the speaker on a water adventure. Opening up the top cap reveals a USB port, AUX, and microphone in. You can use a dynamic microphone with this unit in case karaoke is your thing. The bottom cap reveals the power port for plugging in the power cord.

ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder

Ports covered by waterproof twist locks.

Finally, on the top, you have a place to hold two beverages. They are kind of shallow so take care with taller beverages here. There is also a slot for placing your smartphone, which is actually very handy to have. Last but not least, the control panel. Here’s a rundown of all the buttons you’ll find on the top of the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+:

  • Power Button: Power on/off the unit
  • Bluetooth Button: Used for pairing to the unit
  • Source Button: Cycles through all modes
  • Play/Pause: Play and pause music coming from Bluetooth
  • Track Buttons: FFW or REV music coming from Bluetooth
  • Microphone Volume Control: Adjusts the mic volume 0-30
  • EcoConnect Button: Pairs two EcoBoulder+ speakers together
  • Master Volume: Adjusts the main speaker volume 0-30
  • Backlight Button: Turns the lights on and off on the control panel
  • Tune Buttons: Used to tune radio stations on the included AM/FM tuner
  • EcoTalk: Use Siri or Google Assistant via Bluetooth from your device
  • AM/FM Presets and EQ: Store 5 radio stations and use equalizer controls

Overall, this is a very rugged device. It looks like it can take a beating better than a tank. I wouldn’t say it’s the prettiest thing on two wheels but I think most people will be just fine with its looks given its versatility and function.

ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder

Back houses the sub-woofer.

Sound

In a word, LOUD! The company isn’t lying when they say the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ is LOUD. It seriously will shake your floors when you have it in the house. Loud is a good thing when you’re outside. That is what this speaker is built for, outdoor activities. Take this tailgating, camping, on picnics, to the pool, and other outdoor festivities. These are the places you need a speaker to project volume.

You should not be disappointed if you’re looking for loud and if you buy two of these, you can pair them together. That all being said. Being loud doesn’t translate to having the best sound.

I found the louder you went, the more the actual sound suffered. The soundstage on the EcoBoulder+ isn’t as balanced as I would have liked. To my surprise, the bass response was rather thin for such a large speaker. Especially when you get to the higher volumes and I never did take this thing to the max volume, it’s that loud. I also only tested this indoors, again, it is winter in Chicago.

ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder

27 lbs of loud!

The EcoBoulder+ also offers various ways to listen to it and use it.

  • You can Use it as a regular Bluetooth speaker
  • Or use it wired through the AUX port
  • It even has a built-in AM/FM tuner to listen to radio
  • Maybe use it as a karaoke speaker with a dynamic mic
  • Use it as an MC or loudspeaker with a dynamic mic
  • Access Siri and Google Assistant
  • Throw it in the pool at a pool party, it floats

Overall, while it’s super loud, I didn’t feel the balance was very good. But that may not even matter if you’re outdoors. a Great sounding speaker with good balance and bass response can sound awfully thin in an outdoor environment. So I suspect you may give up a little sound quality for the ability to project and fill an outdoor space with this speaker.

ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder

The handle makes moving it around a whole lot easier.

Reception/Call Quality

Bluetooth reception stays within the industry standard of 30-40 feet. Given that the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ has a smartphone tray and a waterproof smartphone pouch. Most people will probably leave their phones fairly close to the device. Call quality is just okay. I mean, it’s loud… but seriously, no one wants to hear you talk on the phone on this thing.

Battery Life

Battery life is a monstrous 50-hours, something we didn’t get to really truly test. I went weeks without ever recharging the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ but I also didn’t use it for hours on end. I’m fairly confident that ECOXGEAR isn’t lying about battery life here. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on how you use the speaker so just be aware of that. You can also charge other devices with the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ USB port. Overall, I don’t think anyone should be disappointed with battery life.

ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder

Crack open your beer with ease and store stuff in the pouch below.

Price/Value

The EcoBoulder+ is priced at $249.99USD. That may seem like a lot of dough but given the multi-use aspect of this device and how loud it is, there is value here for some. There are other, smaller, yet less versatile speakers out there that sound better but don’t get as loud and aren’t as multi-faceted that cost more. Value is going to be extremely subjective in this case.

Wrap Up

The ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ is a massive multi-function speaker that could very well serve you well on your next outdoor excursion. While the soundstage isn’t exactly the best it does get loud and that may be exactly what one needs outside. This could be the perfect speaker for many who just want to blast some tunes at their next tailgate party.

*We received a review unit of the ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ for the purposes of this review.

ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+

$249.99USD
ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+
8.7

Design

9.0 /10

Ease of Use

9.0 /10

Sound

7.5 /10

Reception/Call Quality

8.5 /10

Battery Life

9.5 /10

Price/Value

8.5 /10

Nailed it

  • Rugged design for outdoor use
  • Nice addition of wheels and handle
  • Loud, very loud
  • Cup holders and bottle opener
  • AM/FM radio
  • Long battery life

Needs work

  • It's really loud but sound quality isn't the best
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