The ION Sound Splash is a lightweight, small, bluetooth waterproof speaker that allows you take your music and your calls into areas that are wet without putting your bluetooth device in serious danger of getting wet. This device allows you to listen to music in the shower and take a call should one come in. Just be sure to turn the shower off before you accept the call so it doesn’t get awkward:) The ION Sound Splash is available from ION’s Amazon Store for $69.99. Let’s see if this waterproof speaker is right for you.
One thing that I noticed about this speaker right away was how small it was. This speaker is meant to be portable. You could put it in some bigger pockets, although I would recommend putting it in a bag. There is a reason it is like this… so you can take it around with you! It can go in boats, near the lake, near the pool, near the water or really anywhere. This speaker is not made cheap either. It is a pretty solid device despite it being lightweight. The device is well-designed since everything is easy to use and it actually looks nice. The buttons on the device are easy to see and use. Access to volume, play/pause, power button and the take the call button are within reach at all times. You may be wondering that if this device is truly waterproof and wireless, how does it protect the charger? Well, the speaker has a small locking flap on the bottom of the device that you can open and put the charger in. Just be sure to close it before you enter the shower. I would have liked to have seen addtional colors in the lineup other than white to make it more fun but it is not important. All in all, the Sound Splash has made a splash in the Form category, let’s see how it does in it’s function.
The first thing I noticed when using this speaker was how powerful it was. When you first see it’s small size, you think to yourself “No way this will sound good at all” but when you actually hear it, you will be shocked to hear it’s quality. Even the bass on the speakers was surprisingly great. Another thing I noticed is that I could leave my iPhone in the other room and it will still pick up it’s bluetooth signal well. I have, as of yet, heard the device drop the sound when using the bluetooth functionality. The device can also attach anywhere in your shower. The suction cups that come with it are firm yet easy to take off. I have had problems with wet suction cups before and the inability to take them off the wall or glass but these suction cups do not have that same problem. In addition, if you’re not a fan of suction cups, you can use the attached hook to hook it onto your shower head (that is what I do). Both ways provide for easy on and off. When taking a call, the device will fade out the music and the blue light on the device will blink and you can take the call just by pressing the phone button. When you end the call, the music starts up again. In addition, other controls are within reach. You can pause or play music, turn up and down the volume, take a call or turn the speaker off. There is only one problem I have in the functionality of this device. You better have a good selection of music because if you come across a song you don’t like, you can not skip it. The beloved forward and backward buttons that we have come to know and love on MP3 players is not featured on the device. This is a big misstep in functionality. It’s one of the main buttons on an iPod, how can you miss it? On the bright side, it has forced me to get rid of songs I truly don’t like but even then there are sometimes songs I don’t want to listen to at that particular time of day. However, considering songs on people’s iPods typically is music they like, it shouldn’t be a huge deal but it is something I miss. All in all, its great sound, ease of use and great bluetooth quality among other things more than compensates for the lack of a few buttons.
-Great bluetooth quality
-Great call quality
-Easy to set up in the shower and with your device
-Looks great aesthetically
-No forward/backward buttons, need these to change the song
-Needs more color options
Ways to Improve
There are a few ways to solve the playback problem. First, ION could add buttons to the device that allow the user to go forward or backward on the music. Second, and I feel this is more of a unique way, is to add Siri/Voice Control functionality. Pressing a button (or holding a button) would activate Siri or voice control and the person can tell the device to call Steve or Play Coldplay or skip this song. The possibilities are great with Siri/Voice control. As more and more devices get Siri, the need for Siri functionality in products increases and I believe that it can be a HUGE selling point in the next rendition of the Sound Splash to include Siri/Voice Control functionality, and if they can’t use Siri with the product due to some Apple restrictions that may or may not exist, they should develop their own app that will allow the user to give simple commands. Since the Siri/Voice Control platform already exists, attempts should be made first to integrate them into the device, perhaps a button that simulates the pressing of the home button (voice control and Siri are both prompted by default by the short hold of the home button).
This is a great device. It’s sound, portability, wide bluetooth capabilities, ease of use earn it 4 and a half stars. The addition of forward/backward buttons would have made it 5 stars easily but such an important function can not be disregarded.
Thanks for reading,
Images Courtesy: ION