Turtlebox Gen 2 Bluetooth Speaker Review

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Turtlebox Gen 2 Bluetooth Speaker Review 1

Turtlebox Gen 2

turtlebox gen 2 water

The Bottom Line

Rugged, loud, and eye-catching, the Turtlebox Gen 2 is the ideal companion speaker for outdoor enthusiasts. It provides thorough weather protection, easy portability, and impressive sound with loads of bass and clarity.


Playtime:50 Hours
Water Resistance:IP67
Wireless Stereo Pairing:Yes
LED Light Effects:No
Charging Type:Co-ax/Round Barrel
Mobile App:No
Output:120dB
Size:11.5 x 8.75 x 6.5″
Weight:10.0 lbs.

Initially funded through a Kickstarter project, the success of Turtlebox is an inspiring story that stands as a testament to what’s possible when you have a community that believes in your ideas. The goal was simple: create a powerful Bluetooth speaker that’s easy to carry and durable enough for an outdoor lifestyle that even most humans would find challenging. The Turtlebox Gen 2 is the successor to the initial crowd-funded release and improves on what was already an impressive speaker.

Having used the Turtlebox 2 for over a year now, this is my experience with the speaker.

Turtlebox Gen 2 Rugged Speaker

Design, Portability & Durability

Built to last in outdoor conditions, the Turtlebox Gen 2 features a compact, lightweight design that is extremely durable. The improved grip makes it easier than ever to carry across longer distances, and the strong plastics mean you don’t need to treat it with the same soft touch as traditional Bluetooth speakers.

Durability: 9.2/10
Portability: 8.8/10
Design: 8.6/10

The Turtlebox Gen 2 has a lunchbox-like design with a compact rectangular shape and a built-in rubber carry handle. Because it weighs just 10 lbs, it’s extremely easy to carry around, even for long distances. Its compact nature also makes the carrying process more convenient, and you won’t need to worry about the speaker hitting against your leg every few steps, just as wider speakers tend to do.

This speaker was conceptualized around an outdoor lifestyle, and the Turtlebox Gen 2’s design superbly retains that focus. The shell is made from durable plastic that doesn’t need the same careful pampering other Bluetooth speakers do. The metal accents along the body are also all made from stainless steel, so you don’t need to worry about rust build-up if your speaker gets wet.

The front of the speaker features a large grille around the main driver and a tighter mesh grille over the tweeter. You may be concerned about dust, sand, or water intrusion behind the grille, but there’s no need to worry, as the Turtlebox Gen 2 is IP67-rated, meaning it’s protected from water and dust. If sand or dust does enter the driver area, you can use a light stream of water to easily clear it out. If you need to access other areas of the speaker for cleaning, there are four Allen key screws, two on each side, which can be used to access the inside of the speaker.

Four large rubber stabilizers along the speaker’s base ensure the Turtlebox Gen 2 doesn’t move around at higher volumes where significant bass causes the speaker to vibrate. There are also four smaller rubber stands on the rear of the speaker, which also help to prevent the speaker from sliding around during transit.

The two metal strap-holders on either side of the speaker allow you to strap the Turtlebox to whatever you want. If you’re out on the ocean and want it stabilized in your boat or making your way through the offroad terrain in your dune buggy and want the Turtlebox stabilized. This speaker is made to take just about whatever you can throw at it and is built to withstand the same harsh conditions you’re enduring.

The controls are located along the top of the speaker and are made from rubber with an LED backdrop for use in the dark. I’ll cover these controls in more detail below.

With over 60 different color variations between the body and handle, you can possess a speaker that stands out from the crowd and carries your own unique flare.

Turtlebox 2 buttons

Controls, Inputs and Outputs

Its simple yet effective controls make the Turtlebox easy to control. The microphone input works even with music playing, and the USB-C output lets you charge your phone wherever you are.

Ease of Use: 8.9/10
Wireless Connection: 8.1/10
Inputs/Outputs: 7.8/10

The Turtlebox 2’s controls are located at the top next to the handle and consist of a power button, volume up and down, track skip in both directions, and two Bluetooth pairing buttons. Holding the power button down for 2 seconds turns the speaker on. When powered on, a blue LED light illuminates the back of the buttons, making it easier to control the speaker at night.

The connection ports are located on the top rear of the speaker, under a sealed compartment to protect them from water and dust damage. Under the hatch is a 3.5mm aux input for playing your favorite tracks from a wired source. There’s also a 3.5mm microphone input, which can be used while playing music, effectively turning the Turtlebox into a karaoke speaker, while a USB-C output allows you to charge your phone. Finally, the main charging port lies in the center. Keep in mind that you should be more careful around water when this rear port is open.

Bluetooth 5.0 ensures a low-latency wireless connection and retains a reliable connection over impressive distances.

turtlebox gen 2 drivers

Sound Quality

The Turtlebox Gen 2 has a bass-heavy sound that retains clarity, making it easy to fall in love with. It produces a surprisingly high volume output for its size. The bass is powerful enough to drive a party and provides a solid punchy with a booming deep bass presence. Pair it up with another Turtlebox for true wireless stereo sound and broader sound coverage.

Volume: 9.1/10
Bass: 8.6/10
Midrange: 7.6/10
Treble: 7.8/10
Soundstage: 6.5/10
Dynamics: 7.4/10

Volume

The Turtlebox Gen 2 is the loudest Bluetooth speaker of its size, producing a whopping 104 dB SPL at 1 meter in our metered tests using the battery. Turtlebox states that it can produce up to 120 dB, which is technically correct, but it required us to measure at a distance of 15” to reproduce those readings. Still, the Turtlebox 2 is an extremely loud speaker that performs at a similar sound pressure level to much larger party speakers, and all with a single 6×9 woofer and 1” tweeter.

Compared with the Soundboks Go, both speakers have similar volume levels, but the Turtlebox is smaller and weighs half that of the Soundboks.

Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, the volume capabilities of this speaker are unlikely to disappoint. It can fill a medium-sized room with sound and cater to gatherings of up to 30 to 50 people indoors.

Bass

At volume levels under 30%, the Turtlebox Gen 2 has a relatively balanced sound, and while the bass is still deep at this volume when cranked up above 50%, the bass truly comes to life with additional depth and prominence. What makes the bass frequencies sound so good with the Turtlebox is the width it can reproduce with such a small driver. There is a distinct punchy mid and upper bass that any bass head will appreciate. The bass extends quite deep, providing a low rumble at higher volume levels.

Midrange

The midrange clarity is good but not outstanding, depending on the track. That’s because this is inherently a bassy speaker built for a fun sound rather than a reference speaker. Most of the midrange is still clear and defined, with a warm sound signature. Some bass dominance comes across in the lower midrange that competes with some vocal frequencies. Songs with higher-frequency vocals sound more defined and clear.

Treble

Treble frequencies are sharp and clear, balancing the strong bass, especially when pushing the volume up. Again, it’s not excessively bright, but the treble is well-controlled on the Turtlebox Gen 2 without the harsh, grating sound that many loud Bluetooth speakers succumb to. The treble is particularly good-sounding when listening to EDM, where the detailed highs and deep, rumbling bass work in synergy to provide a lively sound.

Soundstage & Dynamics

If I had to pinpoint a weakness of the Turtlebox, it’s in the soundstage. This isn’t surprising when we consider how the speaker is built. It utilized a single woofer and tweeter, both positioned in the speaker’s center. When compared to larger speakers with larger arrays of drivers, there is, therefore, less nuance in the sound than some popular larger Bluetooth speakers.

If you want to improve the Turtlebox’s soundstage, you can always use the TWS support to connect a second Turtlebox for true wireless stereo. Doing so affords you broader sound coverage and enhanced soundstage, albeit at an additional cost.

One of its biggest strengths is the dynamic range. The Turtlebox retains detail and clarity, even at higher volumes. The way the speaker’s sound signature changes as the volume is pushed up is a notable feature. At low volume levels, it provides a soft and clear sound that is more balanced and subdued. When the volume is cranked, it comes to life with subtle details coming to the forefront. It produces a powerful, deep bass with great detail in the highs.

Turtlebox Gen 2 Bluetooth Speaker Review 4

Features

The Turtlebox Gen 2 doesn’t have many features or functions and is relatively stripped back in its design. While this is understandable, given the focus on durability and simplicity, a companion app with graphic EQ would be a welcome addition. Here’s to hoping that the Turtlebox 3 introduces a companion app for further sound control.

Battery Performance

Battery Life: 7.2/10
Charging Time: 8/10

Rated for up to 25 hours of playtime at casual volume levels or around 6 hours at max volume, the Turtlebox provides competitive performance but falls short of the larger Soundboks Go. During our testing, we found that at moderate to high volume levels, one can expect between 10 and 12 hours of playtime. Charging will take around 3 to 3 and a half hours.

You can keep track of your battery usage with the series of LED indicator lights on the control panel. There are five lights, each displaying a 20% battery range.

Improvements Over The Original Turtlebox 

While the original Turtlebox has been discontinued for several years now if you have one and are considering upgrading to the Gen 2 – here’s what’s changed:

  • Easy stereo pairing control
  • Upgraded Bluetooth for lower latency and better stability
  • Wider handle for easier transport
  • Addition of tie-down anchors
  • Improved grille design
  • Larger rubber stands for improved stability
  • Introduction of rubber stands to the back of the speaker
  • Microphone input that can be used while playing music

Conclusion

Overall, the Turtlebox Gen 2 is a speaker that stands alone. Its combination of compact form factor and durable build separate it from other options on the market. The Soundboks Go is the next closest speaker, but at twice the weight, it doesn’t have the same easy portability as the Turtlebox. If you want a speaker to include in your outdoor lifestyle, it makes the ideal companion. Toss it in the back of your truck, strap it to your boat, or carry it with you on camping trips – it is suitable for just about every outdoor activity.

Turtlebox Gen 2
Turtlebox Gen 2 Bluetooth Speaker Review 5

Loud, rugged, and eye-catching, the Turtlebox is a seriously unique Bluetooth speaker that lives up to its promises with a whopping 120dB of volume.

Product Brand: Turtlebox

Editor's Rating:
4.1

Pros

  • IP67 water and dust resistance makes for incredible durability
  • Astonishingly loud for its size
  • Phenomenal overall sound quality

Cons

  • Stereo imaging could be a bit better
  • Lower midrange can sound recessed

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Author: Bryn De Kocks

Bryn has worked in the field for several years, writing in-depth speaker reviews for various audio publications. His work has historically focused on headphones and Bluetooth speakers, while incorporating his understanding of the Bluetooth speaker market to help educate potential buyers.

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