Usually, portable Bluetooth speakers are like pizza by the slice — always a good idea, but also always a little underwhelming.  Not so with the Big Turtle Shell from Outdoor Tech! Consider us fully whelmed.IMG_8294

It sounds great. Period. Well-balanced sound, bass response and all — and it’s loud!

The Turtle Shell also has an aesthetic that would be just at home in a rustic lakefront log cabin, perched on top of a reclaimed wood coffee table, as it would in an archvillian’s ultra-modern and geometric lair (all villains love monochromatic, angular plastic, duh). So great job, Outdoor Tech, appealing to both target demographics.IMG_8277

It scores points for practicality as well — user-friendly controls, long battery life (still on the first charge, somehow?), and “power bank” capabilities to charge other devices. It’s a lil heavy for a backpack trip, but a car camp, a beach trip, a picnic, a bike trip (cage + bungees), a tennis match, a skate sesh, a front porch, back deck, or living room — works beautifully.

Having tried out this bigger system and their smaller Buckshot Pro, I have to conclude that Outdoor Tech knows more than a thing or two about making durable speakers that won’t leave you in the lurch, no matter where you are. Apparently they can even get a little wet and all’s good. IMG_8293

Since the Big Turtle Shell is, well, big, it’s their most expensive option. It’s $199.95 and comes in red, black, or gray (go ahead and get the red — why not?). Though the price is a bit daunting, let it be known that this little droid has already replaced several of my home systems (the speakers in the living room, the radio in the kitchen). It’s in Outdoor Tech’s description; this thing is for a “party,” and I have to say that’s true — even if the party is just you, making pancakes.

All in all, very impressive. This would make a very nice gift (for a wedding, perhaps? ‘Tis the season).