I’m currently hooked on controlling things via Bluetooth. It makes me feel like I have a superhero power and can make gadgets do things with my mind and let’s face it, who doesn’t want power like that? My superhero name would be something like TECHGIRL… oh, wait…
I digress. The Soulra Rugged Rukus is a portable Bluetooth enabled speaker device with a solar panel for solar charging (and AC if there’s no sun). Sounds rad. Since moving to Cape Town, I miss the radio stations of Jozi-town and still listen to them online on my laptop, so in reality the sole reason for testing this particular device for me was to be able to listen to online radio on a decent speaker wherever I please, via Bluetooth from my phone.
Price as at 7 August 2014 was R920 on the Orange Online Store.
What you need to know
- Solar, USB, AC or battery powered
About 8 hours of battery life
Bluetooth pairing and stereo streaming
2 full range speaker drivers
“Splash-proof” (I was too scared to test this)
Around 530g in weight
163 x 151 x 46 mm in size
What we think you should know
I really enjoyed playing with this gadget. It is light, easy to carry around and really easy to use. The sound quality is decent enough (you’re not going to be using this to feed tunes to the next H20 party, are you?) and the Bluetooth connectivity has great range.
It has a USB port for charging your phone, but I found that this took a bit longer than I am comfortable with and tends to drain the battery of the speaker, even if it is in sunlight while charging, so I ditched that idea. It won’t charge your iPad, just FYI.
You can plug a device straight in to the speaker if you’d like, just in case you’re having Bluetooth issues. I didn’t need to.
It has loops on two corners which you can use to attach it to a bag or tie it out of the way of kids.
It is perfect for carrying around on holidays, for some background tunes at a festival or for hanging out at the pool or beach.
- It is a great quality, light, portable music device and I loved that I could carry it around and plonk it wherever.
- Once fully charged, it just keeps going and going and going, particularly if it’s in the sun while you’re using it.
Makes us Sad
- Solar charging is slow, particularly if there isn’t full sun. (I also found myself in a situation where it was raining AND loadshedding, so I was particularly screwed! Still not sure how to get around this one for any device…)