Review: CRDC Life Bluetooth Speakers
Do you listen to music in the shower? How about host sizeable get-togethers, particularly outdoors? What have you been using to play music? Your phone? A computer? If you don't have Bluetooth speakers for these exact situations, you're missing out. You shouldn't have to compromise on entertainment when there are tons of great options out there!

Take CRDC Life, for example. CRDC makes affordable Bluetooth speakers for all different uses. The two models we're looking at in this review are S100C and CR-DCS203A—both unique and ideal for different situations.
Size is a clear advantage for this pocket speaker, but don't let that fool you. It packs some serious sound punch! While it's never assumed that a speaker of this size is particularly loud, the 5W speaker can fill a room with sound at a moderate volume. As long as there isn't a lot of ambient noise, it would make for decent background sound or light music.

Add to this the IP65 rating, meaning the speaker is dustproof and water resistant (not waterproof, so avoid submerging it in water - but it will be able to withstand splashes and spills), and you've got quite the little speaker. It's lightweight and lined with a rubber material that appears to absorb the shock of drops and falls, living up to its "rugged" nature. After 5 drops to hardwood floor, the speaker still works just fine.
CRDC Life Outdoor Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
When tested, it took about 5 hours to charge in full off of a computer. If you used a wall adapter, it would likely charge within the manufacturer-reported 4-hour time period. The package does not come with its own wall adapter. From full charge, the speaker played for nearly 14 hours (off and on) at varying volumes!

These advantages aside, sound quality is average and only plays out of one side, which likely indicates it's a mono speaker. The bass isn't particularly powerful and music sounds a bit like it's echoing down a hallway. If you consider yourself a sophisticated listener, you might not be happy with it. However, this speaker clearly isn't meant for high-end listening. For basic use, the sound is clear enough and perfectly understandable.

Perhaps the most frustrating part about this speaker is the strap, which is impossible to slide through the loop on the corner of the speaker. It would be great to hang this speaker from a shower head to listen to music while in the bathroom, but without the strap, that can't be done. This is a big limitation of use, especially if you want to hang it from something while you move, climb, drive, or perform some other activity.

However, at this price point, you can't beat what you get. It comes with the latest Bluetooth version and an auxiliary jack and cord for alternate ways to listen. Pairing is simple—just hold down the power button for 2 seconds and waiting for the red and blue flashing lights. And if you're not a huge audiophile, the sound is good enough. All in all, for an inexpensive, semi-rugged, compact speaker, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck with this CRDC speaker.
Just by looking at it, you can tell this model is meant to serve a completely different purpose than its compact counterpart. This version—S203A we'll call it—is huge, both in comparison to the S100C and to Bluetooth speakers in general. It's not particularly heavy, but it's a pretty big brick. It comes with an auxiliary cable and a charging cable.

As such, it has a lot more power. Two 5W speakers with stereo sound, to be exact. And it's loud! When tested outdoors against the noise of a big city, the music still played loud and clear without any distortion. Perfect for gatherings and parties, even if there are quite a few people around. You'll still be able to hear the music. And since it also has an IP65 rating (dustproof, water resistant), you can use it at your outdoor parties, too.
Sound quality is above average. Still not a huge amount of bass, but the range was great for many different kinds of music tested. Also, even at the loudest setting, the speaker kept its sound integrity. That's another great benefit for parties and entertainment.

Bluetooth range is what you would expect—about 30 feet, depending on any obstructions, such as walls or furniture. Unfortunately, I did notice occasional skips in the music when using Bluetooth from my Android phone that I haven't experienced with any other speaker, including the other CRDC product. It would happen once every few songs.

The one aspect of this speaker that threw me for a loop was the volume buttons on the speaker have dual functionality. A "short press" of the plus or minus sign goes to the next or previous track; a "long press" actually changes the volume. I wasn't familiar with this feature, so it took me a while master the "long press" to get the volume just right.

That side, a major plus of this speaker is its battery life. While I was only able to test up to 12 hours, and the manufacturer reports 30 hours, that's an impressive amount of time.

So, if you're willing to invest in a more powerful speaker, and don't need something that's super compact, the S203A might be the perfect fit!
Conclusion
Based on the design, build, and sound power of these two speakers, they both clearly have different uses. The first S100C is compact and durable. It'd be great for listening to music in the shower or while on-the-go… as long as it's not particularly loud around you. While it does have decent volume, would fit easily in a purse or bag, and is very lightweight, it's sound is not quite strong enough to drown out a lot of background noise. For example, it'd be great for climbing, maybe even biking, but not for riding around on ATVs. Plus, you can't beat the price!

The S203A is clearly more of a tabletop speaker, perfect for outdoor parties or home listening. The strong volume could easily overpower the ambient noise of a city, beach, or gathering. Based on its size and weight, it's less portable than the other option, but that's not a huge barrier. The battery life and clear sound integrity at the loudest volumes far outweigh its downsides.

So whatever your need may be, CRDC might have a speaker for you.
Article by Bre

Bre is a Chicago-native, avid writer, travel enthusiast, and untamed soul who helps build comprehensive content marketing strategies that span every channel, including blogs, articles, emails, social media, digital marketing, and even traditional ads. On her off days, you'll find her planning her next international vacation, reading on her Kindle, or binge watching Netflix.
Article published on 13 Feb 2017

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