I get my hands and ears on an endless number of portable sound systems. Some look better than they sound and others sound better than they look.
With the SoundScene 20w portable speaker from Bayan Audio, I'm at a loss to decide which it is since it looks great and sounds flat-out amazing.
The crystal-clear sounding portable Bluetooth speakers have lots of bass and an IPX5 weatherproof design with silicone rubber caps. The multi-use speaker makes a great addition to any backyard or living room -- or use it in both simultaneously.
They are powered by an internal USB rechargeable battery for up to eight hours of sound, or with the included AC adapter. You can control the volume on each speaker individually.
The speakers can be built into a system without any hardware. Inside is a radio frequency that links up to eight speakers with the press of a button.
The sound is delivered in a 270-degree range from the contemporary-looking silver/gray speaker. There's also a 3.5mm auxiliary port for a direct connection.
Available at bayanaudiousa.com for $199 per speaker.
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The Brave BRV-PRO is another powerful-sounding portable speaker that is built for indoor and outdoor use. Before seeing the speaker, it was described to me as having a tank-like design, which got me curious. After seeing (and hearing) it I can say that's a very accurate description.
This one has an IPX7 waterproof rating for a little more protection from water, dust, dirt and bumps. Its rugged design allows it to withstand accidental drops.
An internal microphone lets you use it (1.5 by 2.8 by 6.4 inches in size) as a desktop speakerphone.
Inside is a 2800mAh battery for up to 15 hours of portable power, and it doubles as a portable battery to charge a smartphone, tablet or almost any other portable electronic gadget.
Other features include an LED pad, which can be used as a mini lantern, and there's a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad.
Other accessories such as a solar charging panel compatible and GoPro action mounts can be purchased separately.
From Braven.com for $149.99.
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Pelican is never short on innovative products, so it was no surprise when I got my hands on the Pelican 3310 ELS light.
As described by the company, this is a self-contained glowing beacon and flashlight. What makes it unique is how it glows in the dark with its built-in photoluminescent technology. This technology lets you easily find it when it's needed.
The portable glowing light is packaged with a hanging protective case.
Three AA batteries are included to keep it shining for up to 190 hours; that's almost eight days worth of light. It's built with an IPX7 waterproof rating, which will help you in a downpour. Inside the flashlight is a bulb with 234 lumens of light output, which means it shines brightly.
From Pelican.com for $48.95.
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The Ventev Global Charginghub 300 is advertised to work in more than 150 countries, so the odds are it will work where you are or wherever you are going.
It's designed with four different AC prong configurations to keep you connected around the globe, but what makes it a must-have for traveling is the pair of USB ports. The design allows it to go in most any AC wall outlet around the world and then charge your portable electronic gadgets with your own USB cables.
From Tessco.com for $34.99.
Gregg Ellman, gadget guru, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @greggellman.