Q: Can you recommend a pair of outdoor Bluetooth speakers for a patio? The patio is 20 by 32 feet and has limited access to electrical outlets, so the speakers need to have an internal battery. They should be water-resistant. Of course, we would like good sound, but our budget isn’t limitless. What do you recommend for $200 or less per speaker?
A: I considered a few possibilities but kept coming back to the $99 Soundcore Rave Neo (soundcore.com), available exclusively at Walmart. Soundcore is the manufacturer of the Flare speaker series I have praised so highly in this column, and the Rave Neo continues the winning trend.
The Rave Neo is a sturdy, waterproof speaker that makes a colorful light show that pulses to the beat of the music, just like the Flare series. The light show can be turned off, which leaves you with an excellent speaker with solid, full sound that can fill a large outdoor area.
They also can be linked to the Soundcore Flare 2 speakers to provide even more flexibility, and the optional app allows you to adjust the sound quality and light show colors. At only $99, it is difficult to overstate what a great value the Rave Neo is, packing in a tremendous amount of quality and technology for comparatively little money.
ABCs of speakers
Q: I’m confused about all the Zvox options. Could you provide a short primer to explain the differences in the soundbase, soundbar and television speaker?
A: A soundbase is a home-theater-quality speaker that is broad and flat. It goes on a table or stand, and the television is placed on top of it. One of Zvox’s first products, they are not as common today as more television manufacturers put legs at the edges of the television, which makes them too wide to fit on the soundbase.
A soundbar is a home-theater-quality speaker that can be mounted on the wall or placed under the TV. Zvox soundbars have the subwoofers built in, so you get full-range sound from a single speaker.
A Zvox Television Speaker is designed with dialogue clarity in mind, making voices easier to understand. They are much smaller than the soundbase and soundbar, but not necessarily less expensive because they are a specialty product with a lot of technology baked into them.
If you are in the market for a TV speaker or headphones, Zvox’s AV203 Television Speaker is on sale for $199, reduced from $269. The coupon SAVE30 brings the price down to $169 for a total savings of $100. The $149 AV50 Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones are on sale for $99, and the SAVE30 coupon gets you some very nice headphones for only $69. The same headphone deal ran earlier this year and was extremely popular. They come with a case and can be used wired as well as wirelessly. The coupon is good through July 31 at zvox.com.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.