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THE GREAT OUTDOORS — There are lots of portable speakers to choose from out there. Some are inexpensive and others, like the Bose SoundLink, offer premium features at a higher price. The FUGOO XL is definitely on the pricey side, but it can nearly hang with the SoundLink's sound quality, while adding some key features that are hard to come by in any price range.
For starters, the FUGOO XL gives you more than 35 hours of battery life. That's the best of any comparable speaker on the market. It's actually better than a lot of smaller and less powerful speakers, as well. With this much battery life, the designers at FUGOO started giving it away — simply plug a phone or tablet into the USB port and the speaker will charge it for you.
The next way the FUGOO XL distinguishes itself from the competition is that it's completely waterproof. Of the three available body styles for the FUGOO XL, two of them also float. So you can fearlessly take this speaker with you in the boat, on the raft or by the pool. And while some of the other speakers on the market are waterproof, they often aren't dust-proof like the FUGOO XL is.
As for sound quality, the FUGOO XL projects solid audio with well-balanced bass and treble tones. It delivers 38 watts of audio power via eight acoustic drivers: four neodymium tweeters, two neodymium aluminum domed mid-woofers and two passive radiators. The drivers are positioned on all four sides of the speaker, at an upward angle to provide 360-degree audio. Because of this, the FUGOO XL easily fills an outdoor space with full-bodied sound.
Chasing waterfalls in Ohio 🍁 | pic: @lauren_krieger#Fugoo#FugooSport#FugooMovement#Fall#TakeItAnywherepic.twitter.com/9T70cOc0hH— FUGOO (@FUGOOlife) November 10, 2015
The only drawback of the FUGOO XL is the result of packing so much technology into it. These speakers are heavy, tipping the scales at about 4 pounds so it's harder to simply toss into a fanny pack and head for the hills. To put it another way, if you dropped it on your toe, you'd probably limp for the rest of the day.
If you're looking for a stripped-down version of the FUGOO XL, you can check out the FUGOO Style. It only weighs 1 pound and produces excellent sound quality despite its smaller size.
As for the FUGOO XL, its designers have done their best to minimize the inconvenience of a 4-pound speaker that is more than a foot long. For example, it's compatible with a wide range of mount and carrying straps. These accessories definitely help make it easier to heft, but potential buyers should note that this is more of a sophisticated sound system than a traditional portable speaker. So if you don't mind the extra bulk, you'll certainly be thrilled by the results.
PRICE: Varies by body style
Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com contributor team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.