HomeTactical & SurvivalBluetooth Speaker Built Like a Tank: Turtlebox Gen 2 Review

Bluetooth Speaker Built Like a Tank: Turtlebox Gen 2 Review

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As an owner of a plethora of outdoor speakers, I was eager to test the burly-looking Turtlebox Gen 2. It’s marketed as the “toughest” and “loudest” outdoor speaker ever made. It’s supposed to be dunkable and droppable and allegedly produces such thunderous bass it can cut through the boom of a boat engine, the raucous rev of an ATV, or a clamorous crowd of campers.

I got ahold of a sample of the Turtlebox to see for myself. This speaker came with me fly fishing on the outer banks, swimming and sunning on Lake Michigan, and to backyard barbeques with friends and family. I even fully submerged the Turtlebox in a water cooler for 1 month to see how it would withstand a lengthy soak. (Spoiler: It worked totally fine afterward.)

Despite being drenched, tossed around, and covered in dirt and sand, the Turtlebox exceeded my expectations in nearly every category. From battery power and sound quality to strength and waterproofness, this is easily the toughest, loudest Bluetooth speaker in my collection.

In short: Turtlebox Gen 2 ($399) is a built-tough Bluetooth speaker for rugged outdoor adventures — from open water fishing to offroading and remote camping. It boasts 25 hours of battery life and a 120-decibel waterproof speaker that produces a loud and crisp sound. You can dunk it underwater (and leave it there). Or slather the Turtlebox with sand and drop it without fear of breaking it. You can even customize the design with your choice of body and handle color online.

  • Weight
    10 lbs.
  • Power output
  • Bluetooth version
  • Weatherproof rating
    IP67 and fully submersible up to 2 feet
  • Battery life
    25 hrs.
  • Battery type
    85Wh lithium-ion battery
  • Multi-sync connection
    Up to 2

  • 100% waterproof even when fully submerged

  • Crisp, clear sound quality that carries outdoors

  • Extremely rugged and durable

  • Anti-slip rubber feet

  • Heavy and bulky

  • Slightly muted sound if speaker is not completely dry

  • Multi-sync connectivity can be finicky, especially for new users

Turtlebox Gen 2 Bluetooth Speaker Review

First Impressions: Big Sound

When I first got my hands on this speaker, I instantly noticed the amp’s power. The sound was bold, bright, and booming. Turn up the volume full blast, and you’ll have difficulty hearing others around you. Boat engines, revving engines, roaring waterfalls, and claps of thunder are no match for the music spilling out of this speaker.

I tested the Turtlebox Gen 2 speaker for the first time, cruising the salt flats in Charleston, S.C. I was on a fly fishing trip with Free Fly and cranked up the volume to a full 120 decibels, the wind whipping full force over the bow. Nothing was audible except my favorite song (“Not Strong Enough” by Boygenius) blasting crystal clear. It was a vibe.

Sound nerds will love that this speaker has a 1-inch Titanium tweeter and a 6 x 9 sub-woofer driver. For us non-music-savvy humans, that means you can expect clear and crisp sound, powerful mids, and deep bass at all volume levels.

You can also connect two Turtlebox Gen 2 speakers to play together — creating a surround sound experience. This could come in handy with large groups at the beach or campground.

Battery Life, External Charging

At full volume, you’ll get 6 hours of playtime. This is good to know since the max runtime is over a full day (25 hours). If you tend to crank the volume up high, be aware your battery may run down faster than you might expect.

You can charge the Turtlebox from 0% to 100% in 3 hours using a coaxial 14V charger that comes with it. I found it slightly annoying that you can’t charge the speaker with a more standard USB-C charger.

Important note: Make sure you don’t lose the Turtlebox charger, or you’ll have to buy a new one (the brand recommends not using off-brand chargers, as they may mess with the internal electronics).

A built-in USB-C output lets you charge other electronics using the Turtlebox’s power, like your phone or external battery pack. These charging ports are underneath the port cover on the speaker’s top. 

Custom Colors

The Turtlebox comes in five base speaker colors (orange, white, gray, tan, and black). You can also pay a little more ($29) to customize the handle color.

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even monogram the speaker’s backside for an extra cost ($29).

Seriously Waterproof

Someone told me a Turtlebox speaker once survived an entire month in the ocean after a fisherman accidentally dropped it in open water. A diver found it, brought it to the surface, connected his phone, and started playing some jams.

Was it an old wives’ tale? I had to test for myself.

So I grabbed my trusty, 70-quart Coleman cooler, filled it with water, and tossed my Turtlebox Gen 2 speaker in — bidding it farewell for a month. I retrieved it after 31 days, and it was finally time to pat it dry and power it on.

Sure enough, the speaker powered up at full battery. I turned on the Bluetooth and threw on a banger, eager to hear the sound. Mostly crisp and clear music spilled out of the speaker. It had only a slight muffle that went away after several hours of drying. I was shocked.

My partner and I also took the speaker to Lake Michigan for a swim. We dunked it underwater and filled the front of the speaker with lake water. The speaker worked as good as new, even when soaking wet.

Once again, the advertised function depends on proper user care. The charging ports on the Turtlebox Gen 2 lay under a hinged lid near the top handle. This handle double-clicks to lock tight. If you leave the door open or don’t fully lock it tightly closed, the speaker could be susceptible to water damage.

It’s Portable … Kinda

At 10 pounds, this waterproof speaker is a beast. Sure, it’s portable in that you can carry it with an easy-to-grab rubber handle. But you won’t want to put this waterproof speaker on your bike or carry it into the backcountry.

The Turtlebox is best used when you only have to carry it short distances, like to the campground, beach, or pontoon. It’d be great if the brand debuted a smaller, more portable version of the Turtlebox in the future. 

Some Room for Improvement

As mentioned, I noticed a very slight muffled sound quality after submerging the speaker underwater for a long time (this was after my 31-day test). The muffling went away after 24 hours after the speaker fully dried. I didn’t notice this issue when submerging the speaker in water briefly at the beach, though.

I also had trouble syncing two Turtlebox speakers together the first few times I tried. Eventually, I discovered the trick to getting them to connect is fully disconnecting your phone from the first speaker before adding a second. Disable Bluetooth fully on your phone so that the two Turtleboxes have time to pair together before one syncs with your phone.

From there, you can hit the “2 Bluetooth” button on either box, allow them to connect, and then pair your phone via Bluetooth. 

Lastly, $400 is steep for a waterproof speaker. However, it comes with a 1-year warranty and offers repairs if you need a quick fix. Just make sure you register the product after buying it. 

Caring for Your Turtlebox Gen 2 Speaker

The beauty of this speaker is that it doesn’t require much maintenance. Thanks to its waterproofing and durability against dust, sand, and dirt, it’s pretty worry-free.

You can let the speaker air dry after submerging it underwater or leaving it out in the rain. Honestly, there’s no need to pat it dry unless you don’t want to risk getting your car or boat wet by transporting a sopping-wet speaker. 

If you do put the speaker fully underwater, simply tip it and dump the water out. If your speaker gets covered in dirt or sand, you can dunk it underwater to give it a rinse. Or, you can spray it with a hose. 

Again, it’s very important to keep the charging port cover closed when the speaker is likely to get wet or dirty. Any water that gets into the charging, aux, or mic port will damage the electrical components inside the speaker. The port cover latch is snug and secure, and I didn’t run into any problems with it popping open or leaking in bumpy or super-wet conditions. 

In Conclusion: Turtlebox Gen 2 Speaker

If you’re looking for a 100% waterproof speaker that will withstand all of the elements you face on an outdoor adventure, the Turtlebox Gen2 Bluetooth Speaker is a solid option. It beats out other outdoor speakers I’ve used with its rugged design and powerful sound.

You’ll need to spend a pretty penny ($400) to call a Turtlebox Gen 2 your own. Ultralight backpackers, long-distance bikers, and minimalist campers probably won’t be inclined to spend that kind of cash on a heavy speaker.

However, home gym rats, open-water fishermen, overlanders, car campers, river rats, and others willing to pay for it will love this little boombox. Toss it in the water, drench it in dirt, and strap it down wherever your adventures take you. All you need to worry about is what song’s next in the queue.

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