Pros: Very good sound quality, long battery life, versatile (handsfree calls, mic), BT4, NFC
Cons: heavy, large
J & L Real 85A Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
Disclaimer: J&L provided me with a free sample of the speaker in exchange for a review. I have no other financial or personal ties with J&L. This review is my honest opinion. The speaker can be bought at amazon: http://amzn.to/2lq5J4D for $59
The design of this speaker is rugged, military looking and rather utilitarian. It comes with lots of rubber housing and silicone coating to protect the device from the elements. All parts and buttons are covered and the texture on everything feels good and long-lasting. It certainly lives up to the outdoor speaker name. The device feels solid and well built. According to the many factor it is drug resistant I have tried this with a few drops from table hight onto the floor and it survived just fine without any scratches, it just bounced it off.
Standard Bluetooth speaker use experience which is a good thing. No surprises and no quirks. Voice commands are clear and understandable. Very welcome for an outdoor speaker is the additional use as a power bank, it can help a lot when out in the woods. Button presses are clearly defined and give good feedback. Using it as a handsfree calling device works quite well and thanks to the DSP everything is well understood and understandable.
Packaging & Accessories:
Packaging is small and tight, no fluff and no unnecessary space is wasted. This is a rugged speaker after all. There is not too much included, only the essentials, good job. Accessories provided are: a carry bag, a USB charging cable, an AUX cable 3.5mm male on both ends if you want to connect things wired and lastly a cord to attach to the speakers in case you carry it with you and want to hang the speakers somewhere.
Using the speakers is a joy, it is rugged you can toss it around without thinking much about it. It can withstand plenty of abuse. And since it is water resistant, shockproof and drop-resistant I also used it in the shower. The playing time of 22 hours it seems to be an accurate claim. The massive 5200mAh battery charges in 5 to 6 hours which is a lot, there seems to be no fast charging option.
NFC, BT 4.0, build in mic to use as a hands free device, 2x10 Watts output power. DSP enhanced sound, so it always sounds crips and full even at lower volumes. It packs quite a lot for a price under $60.
Sound & Conclusion:
Music is the primary job of the J &L 85A and like its little brother, it is very good at it. It easily roasts my way more expensive foxl "audiophile" bluetooth speaker, that cost me nearly 4 times as much. For this price, the sound quality is outstanding.
Here you can hear a comparison using my in-ear microphones: http://www.peppekus.de/JL85A_comparison.mp3
The sound pressure level is very good, details in the treble are there, mids are good and the bass is quite impressive for a small speaker that is battery powered. Of course you can't expect subwoofer like bass from a device that small and you won't get the sound of mains powered devices like the Opposite Sonica from this speaker, but hey, it's way more affordable and in its price range I would be hard pressed to even name one competitor. So for me this is a fantastic value for money product. Well don, J&L, well done. A fine device.
I already recommended this speaker for their trips dune bashing and camping.