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A solar-powered speaker that can charge your phone and play music! What more could you want?

The Soulra is splashproof, has a large sun-sucking panel and all manner of connectivity. These include simple carabiner loops on the side of the unit to hang the speaker from your rucksack or tent, a USB plug to charge your device and a 3.5mm input should you not wish to use the bluetooth connectivity.

The device, while solid and extremely useful, does have some drawbacks. Unfortunately the reality of playing music while charging your phone isn’t going to last long. Despite fairly solid sun we found the battery depleting whilst in use. That said it does have a solid battery that can deliver around eight hours of playback in the dark and much longer in the sun, plus according to Soulra if unused and in direct sunlight it can recharge fully in around five hours.

Also if you have access to some extra power, be it your car cigarette lighter socket or some proper 240v mainline action, the speaker can quickly and effectively be topped up ready to go again. So as long as you aren’t relying on the sun 100% you should be fine.

Soulra rugged rukas

The solar panel will extend your speaker life but plug your phone in too and the battery will drain

The sound quality of the speaker is good but it is not best in class. The sound lacks bass given the size of the unit, this though is fine in the campsite or around the pool.  There are other similarly sized speakers which will offer a better sound range but will not carry the bonus of the solar charger (although this may not always live up to expectations).

What we liked…

  • The solar panel to extend life is great
  • The device works well as a backup battery charger and speaker
  • It is well designed and ergonomic. It feels and looks great

What we didn’t…

  • Using the speaker and battery charger while expecting the sun to keep the unit topped up isn’t going to happen
  • The speaker could sound better

Conclusion

If you plan on using this at a festival as your music source then this could be the ticket for you. The solar panel offers extended battery life and will keep the tunes pumping into the small hours and beyond. If you would like the added bonus of charging your equipment while you groove (which would be like having your cake and eating it) then I’m afraid you will be disappointed. If you have the opportunity to recharge elsewhere then the rugged splashproof Rugged Rukas could fit the bill.

 

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