The Buckshot Pro from Outdoor Tech is a wireless speaker, flashlight, strobe light, camp-light, and powerbank. It pretty much has all of the bells and whistles except for a drinking cup. Don’t laugh we saw a phone speaker/cup/phone charger combo a few weeks ago.
When the Buckshot Pro rolled across my desk, I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. Do I play music, charge my phone or use it at night to walk the dog. I’ve actually had the chance to let it serve all three of these purposes over the last few weeks. When I’m done, it goes back onto the USB port with every other device. Although, it also has found a second home plugged into the car USB port as well.
“Internally referred to as the “Mullet” of the Outdoor Tech® line because of its split personality – safety in the front, party in the back” – Tara, Hayter Comm”
The Buckshot Pro is pretty simple to use. First plug in your USB charging cable and you’ll see a red indicator light comes on to show that it’s charging. When the red light goes out, the unit is fully charged and ready for use.
You simply plug the USB flashlight port right into the USB output port on the Buckshot Pro. Once the USB plug is secure, screw the orange lock ring counter clockwise so the piece moves upwards and it’s snug tight against the flashlight.
The flashlight accessory has four different settings. To turn it on you have to hold down the power button on the flashlight accessory for three seconds and it will start off in a bright torch mode, pictured below. It is quite incredible how bright this little LED shines and was able to light up the surrounding area. It could definitely be used as a camping lantern in a pinch. WOW!
Push the button again and it dims down the torch mode a notch, perfect for reading a map or a book without bothering your camp mates. Push the button again and it goes into lamp mode or normal flashlight mode.
Rock out with the speaker
The speaker measures just under an 1.5″ in diameter, so I was not expecting home theater quality sound. I was, however, pleasantly surprised at the volume and good range of music that it was able to produce. With the volume at 85% or under, the speaker had no problem handling any song that I could throw at it. The high, mid and low bass tones all came over the speaker with a nice and clear crispness, and the volume was respectable enough to be heard around a campfire gathering of ten people. When I pushed the volume up over 85% some of the music would become distorted, I didn’t really seem to gain anything volume wise, so there wasn’t much of a point to crank it all the way up.
Outdoor Tech gives the bluetooth speaker an operating range of 32 feet, that might be a bit on the generous side. If I was in a clear field with no other electronic signals or interference – then maybe. In reality, with buildings, trees, people, and all kinds of electronic interference we are probably closer to a 20 foot range. They also give the Buckshot Pro a play time of 10 hours, this is pretty comparable to what I came up with. I left the speaker playing at room temperature and at a very low volume and managed to squeak out 10 hours 22 minutes. Keep in mind your environment affects all of these readings – some good and some bad.
There were no real specs giving on the charging ability of the battery pack, again this all has to be taken with a grain of salt. Here is what I was able to squeeze out of the pack from a full charge. I could charge an iPhone 4s to just shy of full at 98% and a Galaxy Note 4 to 74%. Again, the age of the battery, size and different charging systems all determine different times. Generally speaking a 2600 mAh battery pack will charge the average phone to full one time.
The Buckshot Pro also manages to incorporate a speaker phone into itself. I did a couple of test calls with it and it is about what you would expect with most speakerphones. If you have a lot of background noise, the caller has to listen very carefully to hear you – as do you, to hear the caller. In a quiet room with no background noise, it is a nice little feature to have and the call clarity was good on both ends.
Overall a pretty cool piece of equipment. The major downside is on a 3 or 4 day trip where it might run out of juice. Perhaps version 2.0 will have a little solar panel on it.
Cost: $79.95 – Learn more about the Buckshot Pro at http://www.outdoortechnology.com/