Outdoor Tech has long been known for making, well…outdoor technology. We’ve played with several of their Bluetooth speakers over the years, and they always prove to be rugged with a great sound. This holds true with the Turtle Shell 3.0 Bluetooth speaker.
It checks every box for the adventure-minded traveler, while still looking stylish and working well at home. It’s IPX7 waterproof and shock proof, so it’s submersible up to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes. We contacted the company and were provided with two speakers to test for free, and there are affiliate links contained in this article, so we may receive a commission if you click them.
We spent a month putting them through testing to see how it holds up, and here’s what we found.
Under the Hood of the Turtle Shell 3.0
Like its predecessors, the OT2800-B Turtle Shell 3.0 is a high-fidelity Bluetooth 4.2 speaker that’s shock-proof and dust-proof. Besides that, this new model has been upgraded to IPX7 waterproof protection. This means you can submerse it as described above, but you’ll need to do it manually, because this speaker floats.
It increases the battery life of the OT1800 Turtle Shell 2.0 from 16 to 20 hours via its internal 3600mAh lithium-ion battery, giving you 25% more time to jam out on your favorite tunes. It can also be used as a USB battery bank to charge your smartphone or tablet.
The Turtle Shell 3.0 contains two full-range drivers and a bass radiator. Two speakers can be daisy-chained up to 15 feet away to create a stereo sound effect, and you can hardwire it to your device via the included 3.5mm cable. Otherwise, your phone can connect via Bluetooth up to 45 feet away.
What this speaker is missing at this point is smart assistant capability, which most portable speakers have at this point.
Turtle Shell Design and Sound Quality
The Turtle Shell 3.0 looks very similar to its predecessors with a unique polygonal design featuring several sides and edges. It can easily be compared to the Tesla Cybertruck, although one may debate whether that’s a good thing. The buttons have been moved from the 2.0 model to be more centered, and the device has an overall great aesthetic.
It’s available in seven colors: Black, Electric Blue, Gray, Red, Chili Oil, Sailor Blue, and Mossy Oak. Both speakers we were given to review were black, and we’re giving away one through to one of our lucky Facebook or Instagram followers this month.
As for sound quality, it largely depends on whether you’re using a hardwired connection or Bluetooth. WIth the wire plugged in, sound quality is exquisite, with deep bass and wailing treble. Sound quality suffered a bit via wireless connection, but pairing two Turtle Shells together provided an ideal stereo sound on par with the latest sound bars.
Final Thoughts on the Turtle Shell 3.0
Like previous incarnations, the Turtle Shell 3.0 is a rugged speaker with a unique design that provides quality sound. It’s the perfect speaker for adventurous travelers looking to push the limits of their technology in the open environment. It doesn’t have the sound quality of a house speaker like the Klipsch 3, however. It also lacks smart assistant support, which takes it down a notch from perfection.
Overall, Turtle Shell 3.0 is a quality speaker that can easily handle the worst beating you can hand it. Check it out at Outdoor Technology or Amazon for ~$100.
Final Grade: A-