Kicker Makes a Splash at CES

Sometimes the headlines write themselves. Nevertheless, I have a certain fondness for wireless waterproof speakers. I take them out in the back forty. When it starts to rain, I don't care.

Kicker is well known for its extensive family of vehicle audio products. But it also markets a strong lineup of what it calls "lifestyle" products. These include in-ear monitors and headphones. The lineup also includes the Bullfrog series of portable speakers. These are Bluetooth speakers that are ruggedized; they will easily survive a water balloon fight, however, nothing can prevent them from being washed out to sea. Until then, they offer a guarantee of boundless outdoor fun, or at least the possibility of hearing background music on the patio.

There are three Bullfrogs: BF100, BF200, and BF400 (pictured). The BF100 features 12-hour battery life, a 100-foot Bluetooth range, Two units can be paired together. The speaker has an IP67 rating which means it is completely dustproof, is waterproof at a depth of up to 3 feet, and will even float. A phone app (iOS and Android) lets you dial in a 5-band equalizer, control volume, check battery status, etc. The BF100 also has a USB charge output, auxiliary audio input, and a hands free speakerphone. It has two 1.65-inch drivers and two 1.4 x 2.8 inch passive radiators. It measures 9 x 3.3 x 3.3 inches (HxWxD) and weighs 1.8 pounds. Battery charge time is about 2.5 hours.

The BF200 and BF400 are similar, with these differences: The BF200 and BF400 have an IP66 rating which makes them waterproof with strong water jets (but not submersion), a battery life of 20 hours, FM tuner with presets, but there is no speakerphone. The BF200 measures 9 x 5.5 x 6.7 inches and weighs 5.4 pounds. It has two 2-3/4 inch drivers and two 2-3/4 inch passive radiators. The BF400 measures 10.6 x 6 x 7.7 inches and weighs 8.6 pounds. It has two 3-inch drivers and two 3 x 4 inch passive radiators.

Prices are: BF100: $200; BF200: $300; BF400: $400 and they are available now.