Nov 07 2013

Wireless speaker for Camp Decadence


Wireless Audio Experience. WAE cool.

Wireless Audio Experience. WAE cool.

Got me one of them newfangled wireless speakers sent last week, made by Hercules called the WAE, which stands for Wireless Audio Experience. Their BTP04 model is a relatively small package, a bit smaller than a one liter bottle. Small enough that you wouldn’t mind taking on it an overnight backpack, especially if you were planning on adding a dash of decadence to the camp scene. If you’re going to be really remote, be sure your smart phone has the music you want to hear in memory already. Otherwise, why bother?

Which is where this portable speaker excels. Simply toggle the On button, beneath a durable, water-resistant black rubber cover on one end, and then have your stupid phone, the one that is sold as being smart but really just has great memory, search for a local Bluetooth® and it will pretty much automatically connect. Now “that” bit of magic seems pretty smart, until you realize it’s just a dumb, but well-trained robot. Then have that ‘bot play some music, or whatever it is you want to hear as long as it isn’t something from the presstitute media.

Sound Quality

Wireless for sound, but you still need to be wired to charge the battery.

Wireless for sound, but you still need to be wired to charge the battery.

Certainly no one is claiming this is any substitute for a McIntosh quality sound system, but compared to most speakers I’ve heard in this size range, there is remarkable sound quality with a hint of real bass notes and crisp but not harsh high notes. Oddly, or so it seems to this senior citizen, the sound is rather embarrassing when you connect the WAE speaker directly to a computer with old-fashioned wires. A six-year-old iMac out classed it without even trying. However, with a wireless signal via Bluetooth®, the tonal quality was downright pleasant, if not delightful.

It is somewhat water-resistant, IP64, so it should be able to handle some spilled milk, but that feature was never really tested. Charging is done with a V-configured cable that connects to a USB voltage source with a micro D-connector on the other end that plugs in next to the On switch of the speaker. Volume controls are at the other end of the triangular-shaped speaker tube. On one side panel there is a threaded female insert for mounting to a camera tripod or whatever compatible device you dream up.

Bottom Line

This is the sort of widget that might become more useful than just for overnight backpacking. From there to full on camp decadence, with lounge chairs and Coleman stoves under the porch of a Winnebago, this is a great way to make whatever you listen to easy to hear wherever you go.

Outdoor BTP04
MSRP: $100
14 hrs listening time
10 meter range
Water resistance: IP64
Compatible w/mobile phones, dumbphones (see reference above), tablets, iPad, PC equipped with Bluetooth ® functionality

  • musicologist

    I just unboxed it, connected it to my computer but NOTHING is happening. Tried other cables but IT’S NOT CHARGING. I read the instructions like a million times but i’m still wondering, WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM?!?!
    It was a gift so I don’t have the receipt. What can i do?

  • Dostie

    It’s been awhile, but I recall a similar problem. It really wants to connect to an iPhone or other similar device via bluetooth, NOT via the wired connection. When I tried the bluetooth connection it worked like magic.