by Gregg Ellman
A water bottle is certainly nothing new, nor is a Bluetooth speaker. But combine the two, just as iHome parent company SDI Technologies did with the new Aquio, and you have a cool, innovative product.
The device is well made on both ends. A 16 ounce water bottle is double-walled stainless-steel, designed to keep your beverage hot for 14 hours or cold for 24 hours.
A 5-watt speaker on the bottom is covered by a black grill with premium woven fabric. Inside is a USB rechargeable battery, good for about 6 hours of playtime.
The speaker screws off easily so you can hand wash the bottle. It’s sized cup holder friendly and has a carry loop on the air tight cap for attaching it to a backpack or wherever you want.
And if you feel like talking to your bottle, go right ahead. It has digital echo cancellation to use it as speakerphone for handsfree calls along with audio caller ID. This ensures you’ll know who you’re talking to on the other end of your bottle conversation.
The Aquio is iP67 rated, which makes it water and sand proof.
Aquio said it the first time ever a premium-quality BPA-free water bottle has been designed with a removable high-quality iHome music system in a recent press release and I think they hit a home run with this one.
aquiobottles.com $69.99, available in color choice of seafoam, merlot, midnight and blush
The charger is truly cable-free for charging anywhere, anytime for devices needing a power boost. Just put the charger against your smartphone and the charging begins. You can talk on the phone, use any app or just have the two sitting paired on a countertop while charging.
There’s also a pair of standard USB ports on the bottom for connecting cables to charge non-wireless charging devices. The USB ports and with the wireless charging will all work simultaneously for charging up to three devices.
The new power banks are available in four sizes of mAh power: 10,000 ($69.99), 8,000 ($59.99) , 5,000 ($49.99) and 3,000 ($29.99).
Among the features built into the UnPlugged batteries is smart-sense technology to ensure complete device compatibility, hyper-charge for ultra-fast charging, rapid-recharge and pass-through charging so you can charge up the UnPlugged battery while devices are connected for charging.
With the varying amount of power, each charger is good for a different amount of charges, with the 10k model at the top for up to 5 times your existing battery. Obviously charging times and the amount of portable power can vary depending on the size of the device(s) battery being charged.
The battery’s exterior has a white soft touch finish, which is kind of unusual and helps it stay fingerprint- and scratch-free. A small power button turns it on and off and charges itself through the microUSB port.
The 10k model measures 2.8-by-0.8-by-5.8-inches with a weight of just 0.4 pounds.
The stylish case (2.9-by-2.1-by-.98-inches) is made to protect the true wireless earbuds and has a swiveling carabiner style metal clip to attach it your belt or backpack for keeping them secure and easy accessible. A metal snap closes the case and there’s a cutout in the bottom so they can be charged while in the AirSnap.
www.twelvesouth.com $29.99 available in choices of black, deep teal and chocolate