I have seen my fair share of outdoor garden speakers disguised as rocks, but I can safely say that this is my first encounter with ones attempting to pass as frogs. To be honest, very few rock speakers actually look natural, so camouflaging your speakers as garden ornaments (let’s face it nobody is going to confuse them for real frogs) is actually a pretty good idea. These little fellas look just as at home next to the pool as they do in your garden and sound quite a bit better than a real member of the order Anura (that’s “frog” to the layman) making a racket in your backyard.
Considering that the speakers look like a pair of oversized, green frogs, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. The frogs are a tad less than 11 inches tall, but they produce a crisp, clear sound which I have to admit is a bit unusual to hear emanating from a decorative frog. Tucked away inside the frog is a 5 1/4″ injection molded PP cone with butyl rubber surround woofer and a 1/2″ coaxial polyamide dome tweeter. Audiophiles might not be too impressed by the drivers, but then again they are probably not the target market for these inexpensive green guys either. These are passive speakers, powered by standard speaker cable so you will need to hook them up to a stereo receiver or amplifier. If you have some extra money to spend you can also use them in conjunction with an outdoor subwoofer to give the bass some much needed boost. It really comes down to whether you want to spend a fortune on some high quality outdoor speakers from a well known brand or whether you want some wallet friendly speakers that get the job done without really blowing you away.
As far as the design of the speakers goes, the frog will look cute to everyone except those unfortunate enough to suffer from ranidaphobia. If it wasn’t for the speaker grilles on the chests of the frogs you could easily mistake them for common garden ornaments. The frogs are green with a type of bronze patina-effect going on and they are a natural fit for any garden. These are outdoor garden speakers, so unless you are a huge frogophile I don’t think they will look that great indoors. As these are passive speakers there are nothing on the casing for you to fiddle with apart from the wires that have to be connected. The frog mould has definitely got a bit more personality than your average rock speaker and is a better fit for gardens with pools, ponds and the like. The overall design is decent enough and the shape is clearly that of a frog, so if that is what you are looking for it is what you will get.
Like their real-life counterparts, these frog speakers are not that that durable. If you handle them carefully and place them in a secure spot you won’t have any problems, but if you drop one of them you can expect to see some damage. It is advertised as having a tough exterior that will look better as it ages, but in my experience the only thing that happens is that the paint starts to chip off after some time out in the elements. Some people might like this type of well worn look for their garden ornaments/outdoor speakers, but everyone else better have some green paint and a brush ready at all times. The speakers are pretty hefty so there isn’t really any risk of them blowing over in the wind and getting damaged, but you can’t exactly mount them somewhere secure either.
Apart from the novelty of having speakers shaped like giant green frogs, there are some other features about the FS525 speakers that I really like. They are wired so you have no hassles with interference, batteries, and buttons on the speakers or anything like that. Apart from the paint peeling off from the elements, the speakers are also quite at home in the outdoors and won’t need rescuing if you experience a sudden downpour in the middle of your party. I was also pleasantly surprised by the audio quality that these frogs are capable of. Considering that they look like novelty items, I wasn’t expecting too much, but they actually managed to impress me. They obviously can’t compare to the big name brands, but then again they are not really in the same price category either so for people on a tight budget you don’t have to bust open the piggy bank to afford them.
OSD Audio FS525D Decorative Frog Outdoor Garden Speaker Pair Pros
- Novel speaker casing design in the shape of frogs
- Surprisingly good sound for its size and price range
- No hassles with batteries or reception range
- Can be used outdoors and in wet conditions
- Blends in better than other outdoor speaker designs
OSD Audio FS25D Decorative Frog Outdoor Garden Speaker Pair Cons
- Requires wires and a stereo receiver or amplifier
- The green paint has a tendency to chip and fade very quickly
- Not durable enough to withstand harsh treatment without damage
- Bass is somewhat lacking without a decent subwoofer
If you are not into garden ornaments or frog-themed equipment you can give these speakers a miss. Everyone else will find them to be a pair of speakers that are far more competent than what their goofy looks will have you believe. They are not as durable as some outdoor speakers and mounting them somewhere is obviously impossible, but their price, sound quality and novelty factor alone make them a worthwhile purchase.