It can sometimes feel as if manufacturers are piling features onto their products that bear little relation to each other, such as a coffee cup with a tape measure attachment, or a trash can with temperature display. These items can be individually useful, but they often seem like shallow marketing gimmicks. So when we heard about the new Eco Carbon speaker from EcoXGear, I couldn’t help thinking it might be in the same category: Who really needs a speaker that’s waterproof down to 6.6 ft, floats, charges mobile devices, is Bluetooth connectable, has a flashlight, operates as a handsfree speakerphone with a built-in microphone, has rugged construction and a universal mounting point?

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To be honest, as you go through the list you realize this device could actually be very useful for an active lifestyle, especially when this is one of the better-sounding loudspeakers we’ve heard in a while. Each feature seems to spark an occasion where it could be used, and before long the EcoXGear Eco Carbon speaker seems like a great idea.

Sturdy rubberized handle means you always have a good grip on the Eco Carbon, even when wet. And it allows you to operate the flashlight very easily.

For the adventure rider who wants music at the campsite or poolside, the Eco Carbon makes a compelling argument for itself. Being waterproof alone is enough to swing the decision once you consider getting caught in the rain or accidental splashing, but the ability to float could also be a lifesaver. The unit is actually certified with a IP68 rating, allowing it to safely drop to 6.6 ft underwater. That’s not something we’d necessarily recommend, but it certainly means it could survive a rain shower or being packed with wet clothes.

Travel Compatible

Along with its rubberized finish, stainless steel grilles and sturdy handle, the Eco Carbon is one less thing to worry about when traveling. You can throw it in your saddlebags and not worry about it coming into any harm. And measuring just 4.2x9.1x3.1,” it won’t occupy much room. It only weighs 1.9 lbs, so it also won’t be a burden to carry.

The rechargeable lithium battery requires three hours to charge and allows up to 12 hours of Bluetooth-connected play time. Unscrew the waterproof cover to access the connection ports and you can use that battery to recharge a phone if you’re off-grid for the night. You can also use the auxiliary socket for other music sources.

Whether camping or adventure riding, the Eco Carbon Bluetooth speaker is a great companion that will quickly become an indispensible part of your kit.

What seems like a gimmick at first, but has proved useful on a number of occasions, is the built-in flashlight. Positioned at the front of the unit, the operating button is near the handle, allowing you to easily turn on and direct the light while keeping a tight grip on the unit.

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Bluetooth pairing is very simple, with just the press of one button. Your music player then controls track selection and volume, although separate volume controls on the speaker allow independent adjustment.

Other Features Worth Mentioning

If you should receive a call during playback, it can be played through the Eco Carbon, with your responses picked up by the built-in speaker. Again, this seemed unnecessary until I had the opportunity to use it while working on a bike. With oily hands, it was easy to quickly accept the call and hold a conversation while I continued to work.

Perhaps the only feature I didn’t try was the universal mount. It has a screw thread in the base, allowing it to be secured by GoPro-style mounts. While I wouldn’t want to do this while riding, it does give the adventure rider yet another way to integrate the Eco Carbon into their travel gear.

EcoXGear Eco Carbon Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker - Review

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Color and Pricing

To help meet its IP68 rating, the power and aux ports are located behind a sealed cover. Turn it to access for charging.

The speaker is available in the attractive orange you see here (my choice for easy visibility when packing in a hurry), as well as all-black, blue and even a camo finish. It's competitively priced at $129.99. but unlike the confusing array of speakers out there, I’ve actually listened to this unit over a prolonged period and enjoyed its crisp sound with surprising bass quality thanks to a pair of 8W loudspeakers housed within its casing. When played at high volume, it doesn’t vibrate and lacks the “tinny” quality of many speakers in the category.

On sound alone, I would recommend the EcoXGear Eco Carbon Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, but all the added features make it a great choice for anybody pursuing an active lifestyle.

EcoXGear Eco Carbon Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: $129.99

Get it here: EcoCarbon Speaker


EcoXGear Eco Carbon Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker - Review
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