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Grace Eco Extreme review - rugged waterproof speaker case
The Grace Eco Extreme is an all terrain battery powered speaker case. At 7.5" tall and 2.5" deep, it isn't the most compact product, but it makes up for its chubby dimensions with its crazy rugged design. The first signs that this is not your ordinary case comes from the 2 latches on the side - not only do they provide a very tight seal, they also lock, ensuring you don't accidentally open them and fill your iPhone with sand.
On the front of the Eco Extreme is a single power/volume dial, and a pressure relief valve/filter. On the inside is a battery compartment and 3.5mm headphone jack for connecting to your device.
The inside is nicely padded, and a mesh pocket holds your player in place. There is also enough room for smaller items like cash or credit cards, allowing you to safeguard more than just your player.
On the inside is also the back of the main speaker - and once you seal the Eco Extreme, the whole cavity turns into a very decent subwoofer.
Even though the device is designed to be waterproof, it isn't made to go swimming with you underwater. It'll be fine with a lot of splashed water, but Grace recommends you don't submerge it. The unit has been tested in 3ft of water for30 minutes without any leaks - so if it does hit a big wave, your player will be just fine. In addition to being waterproof, the Eco Extreme also floats, which is perfect if you accidentally drop it overboard.
I kept the unit under a garden sprinkler for an hour, and the inside compartment was still bone dry, so the seals and locks obviously are reliable enough to handle the elements.
The bottom of the unit has rubber feet, allowing it to stand upright, and a sturdy carabiner clip on the rear lets you hang it from a bag or other object.
Audio from the Grace Eco Extreme really surprised me - despite the rugged looks, it actually produces some good sounding audio. Things start to distort a little once you turn it up to "max", but a decent group of people at the beach will get some very good musical entertainment from it (provided your playlist isn't filled with too much crap).
Of course, with just a headphone jack, the Eco Extreme will not charge your player, but there is plenty of room inside to include a USB battery pack. Also, since the player is sealed inside, there is no easy way to control your tunes.
At medium volume the Grace Eco Extreme is rated for 30 hours of playback off a set of AA batteries (which are not included). With batteries installed, the unit weighs 1 lb. 3.2 oz.
The Grace Eco Extreme is available today for $49.95 directly from Grace Digital Audio - best of all, there is a 60 day no questions asked return policy, free UPS ground shipping and no sales tax.
Filed under: Gadling Gear Review