Gadgets: Innovative speakers look good, sound great

The UE Roll 2 provides about nine hours of use from the rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The UE Roll 2 provides about nine hours of use from the rechargeable lithium-ion battery. TNS

It’s that time of year to take the audio outside and there are lots of innovative portable speakers to choose from, each with a few different features.

Cyclists will like the rugged NYNE Edge speaker (7-by-3.5-by-2.25-inches) since it comes with an adjustable clip for instant on/off for most any handlebars.

It has a built-in multi-function LED light with emergency strobe settings inside the great sounding speaker.

When the speaker is mounted, the controls are easily reached on the top panel for power, volume and track choices.

Pairing is done with Bluetooth or near field communication and the sound is available on-the-go, whether rain or shine.

The speaker has double-injection rubber housing and an iPX5 weatherproof design to withstand splashes, a quick rain shower, dust and small drops.

It has a USB charging port, an internal 15-hour rechargeable battery and a waterproof microphone to use it as a speakerphone. $99.95

Waterproof Bluetooth

Ultimate ears has announced the UE Roll 2 waterproof Bluetooth speaker just in time for the summer.

It has a wireless range of 100-feet (up from 65 feet) and produces 15 percent more sound than its original version.

The sound is amazing from the 5.3-inch disc-shipped speaker, even when it’s floating around a pool with the included UE Floatie.

Inside are a pair of tweeters and a 2-inch driver. Its iPX7 rating allows it to be immersed in water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

You can use a pair of UE Roll 2’s simultaneously or even pair one of the new ones with an original UE Roll. You'll get about 9 hours of use from the rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

A built-in bungee cord loop can keep it attached to you while hiking, biking, surfing or just because you want it close by. $99.99, available in summer themes Habanero, Tropical Anime, Volcano, Atmosphere and Sugarplum

360-degree sound

The iHome iX360 delivers 360-degree sound from a six speaker system that even flashes alerts from your smartphone.

The tube-shaped speaker measures 7.01-by-2.81-by-2.81 inches and has Glanceable notification technology, which is color-coded and easy to set up in the free iHome app to receive notification from your phone. This includes calls, texts, email and social media alerts.

Producing the sound are two mid-range drivers, two passive sub-woofers and two tweeters. The lithium ion battery will last up to 10 hours; a USB port will charge your smartphone with your own charging cable.

A built-in microphone with digital voice echo cancellation lets you use the iX360 as a handsfree device.

Pairing is done via Bluetooth or NFC $99.99

Powerful wireless

Creative’s Sound Blaster Roar 2 wireless speaker is compact but powerful in sound and great in looks.

The speaker measures 2.0-by-7.4-by-4.3 inches but there’s nothing small in the sound from the five built-in drivers and subwoofer. The sound is enhanced with the instant Roar audio power boost, which gives it a room-filling sound for a larger audience at high volumes.

When the speaker is played at lower volume, a technology called TeraBass intelligently boosts the bass for a better low audio experience.

You can send your music to the speaker with Bluetooth or NFC or play it from a microSD memory card through the built-in card reader.

The rechargeable battery will last for about 8 hours of use before a charge is needed and will supply power to a smartphone when needed.

A reversible carry-bag dark grey/light grey ($39.99) with detachable wrist and shoulder straps is great for protection and portability. $169.99, available in black or white models

Contact Gregg Ellman at Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.