Outdoor Tech Buckshot: Big Sound, Small Package

When I came across the Outdoor Tech booth at Interbike, a new product  called the Buckshot caught my eye and I had to take a closer look.  The Buckshot is a compact, rugged, water-resistant Bluetooth speaker that can be mounted to your handlebars or any other similar profile.

It wirelessly connects to your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device and has a range of 33'.  Outdoor Tech states that it meets the IPX5 Dust and Waterproof Standard making it splash resistant and able to take on those rides in the rain.  If it becomes dirty, simply rinse it off.  The rubberized coating and shock-resistant properties of this little speaker protect it from drops, bumps and the occasional mishap.  The Buckshot is powered by a USB-rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that provides up to 9 hours of music or talk time.  With a built in microphone, it allows hands-free calling on your ride.

Out of the box, the Buckshot comes with a USB recharging cable, handlebar mount accessory and easy to follow User Guide.  The instructions made it simple to power up, pair my phone and quickly learn how to handle calls and music functions.  After a 3 hour charge, it was ready to join me on a ride.

At first I was skeptical of it's sound and volume performance until I took it out on a long gravel road ride.  Riding gravel is much noisier than riding on a paved surface, so I thought this would be a good way to see if the Buckshot would be loud enough to be heard.  After just a short time riding I was pleasantly surprised.  Even with the sound of crushing gravel beneath my tires, I could still hear my favorite podcasts and music loud and clear.  Music played on the Buckshot had crisp treble without sounding "tinny" and supplied a decent amount of bass for such a small speaker.

Battery life on a single charge with the volume up about ¾ of the way (to compensate for the noisy gravel) was enough to keep me listening on a couple of 3½ rides and for about an hour off the bike around the house.  After this, about 15 minutes into a third ride the battery went dead and was in need of a charge.  In my opinion, it lived up the the manufacturer's battery life claim.

Taking calls on the Buckshot was easy and the person on the other end of the line came through loud and clear.  I didn't have to shout to be heard, either.  It allowed me to carry on a conversation while keeping my hands on the bars.

The silicone mounting accessory could be better.  Rough roads/terrain caused the Buckshot to slip until it pointed upward (usually stops at this position) requiring frequent repositioning to get the sound aimed more towards me.  While riding on smooth paved surfaces, the mount held more securely.  Other than sliding slightly into the upward position, it didn't bounce around or move horizontally.

In conclusion, I like the portability, size and convenience of the Buckshot.  It provides nice sound at a volume that can be heard even on windy days or gravel roads.  I prefer using the Buckshot to earbuds for the simple fact that it allows me to hear approaching cars and be more aware of my surroundings.

The Buckshot can be purchased from Outdoor Tech or Amazon for $49.95.

Disclosure:  Outdoor Tech provided the review sample for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

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