Portability and wireless freedom are listed near the top of the list consumer desires in their gadgets. There are hundreds of wireless and portable speakers to choose from, but a very limited selection are actually small enough to take wherever you go. I came across the Altec Lansing Mini H2O Bluetooth speaker on a recent snowboarding trip. Two guys were listening to music out of a little speaker worn on their jackets. It was annoying to listen to their music, but I was impressed at how much sound was coming from the H2O Mini and I needed to get one of my own.
It measures a paltry 2.25″ x 4.25″ x 1″ and is featherweight at just four ounces. It’s smaller than an iPhone 7 in length and width, but comes in about three to four times as thick. At this size it makes the H2O Mini very portable. It manages to squeeze in two 1″ drivers and a microphone into the silicon and waterproof body (IP67). The speaker can connect to any device that streams over Bluetooth, up to 33′ away, and can also connect through the 3.5mm audio jack located next to the microUSB slot for charging the battery.
At a suggested retail price of $39.99, the Altec Lansing Mini H2O is very affordable considering what you get in such a small and durable package. Audio quality is nothing short of impressive for a wireless speaker so small, but don’t expect Bose quality sound reproduction. It truly shines between 50-80% of maximum volume, but tends to sound crackly with bass intense songs at its highest setting. I’ve used the Mini H2O at the beach, on hikes, and on bike rides with battery life typically lasting me at just over five hours. Even though it doesn’t sound as good as other wireless speakers I own, I tend to find myself grabbing the H2O as my outdoor speaker of choice. It never weighs me down and keeps me entertained when I’m outside and that’s what matters most. The speaker has a power button which is also used to connect/end calls and to pair to devices over Bluetooth. There are volume buttons that can also fast forward/rewind tracks with long presses. This is a nice feature to have when my phone is packed away in a bag or pocket.
Overall the true value of the Altec Lansing comes in its portability. There are countless wireless speakers that sound great, but cost and weigh more making them limited to usage around the home. If you’d like to learn more about the Altec Lansing Mini H2O, check it out at Best Buy, Amazon, or Altec Lansing.