Whether you like to bike, kayak, camp, hike, or frankly do anything outdoors, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of music. For outdoor adventures you’re going to need something a bit more durable than your standard portable wireless speaker, something that can not only take a beating, but also the occasional rainstorm or few pounds of sweat.
Though there are many options out there, House of Marley’s Chant Sport joined in the competition with the Chant Sport portable audio system, and is without a doubt a prime contender. To put it to the test we threw the speaker off a roof, took it kayaking, introduced it to some local turtles, and jammed out while barbecuing.
Functionality and Features
For House of Marley’s Chant Sport there are two primary features we looked at for this review: sound quality and durability. Not only did we kick its ass, we wanted to have some good tunes in the process, and oh did we ever. During a kayaking adventure I threw it overboard, only to find it floating next to the boat, while feeding my turtles it “accidentally” decided to meet them, and I pumped some music through the bottle holder of my bike on a rainy day.
With each test it constantly played quality music with a solid bass. The caveat here is that the sound could be a bit more crisp as the bass actually overpowered the treble a bit. But really, only just a bit. This speaker sounds great, and it can take a beating in the process.
The Chant Sport features 8 hours of play time, and takes about 2-3 hours to fully charge back up. It uses Bluetooth 4.0, which gives for some distance, but this thing is designed to go with you. There is a built-in microphone for speakerphone use, and an aux input for your devices without bluetooth. There are two passive radiator, and though the bass is solid for what it is, don’t expect to watch Jurassic Park and get the full experience (isn’t that what everyone does a bass test with?).
Like many of House of Marley’s audio systems, the Chant Sport also features an eco-friendly designed. Built with a combination of recyclable aluminum and bio-plastic, the speaker has a rustic, almost metallic look. Though House of Marley really has a knack for design and style, the Chant Sport went more for functionality and durability. It fit perfectly in my kayak and bike bottle holder, the carabiner kept it from flying out of the boat, and above all it’s made to be banged around.
It’s also listed as having IPX7 Liquid ingress protection which makes it water-resistant and is designed to float. Because I have no idea (does anyone?) what that really meant, I threw it in my pond with fresh water, then into the Ashley River with salt water. Both times it came up playing music just fine. You should probably avoid salt water though as electronics really are not a fan, I just wanted to stress test this thing.
As for as the user interface, this is nitpicky, but the rubber control pad is a tiny bit hard to see under direct sunlight. It all sort of looks like a blob of rubber when it’s bright out.
Pros and Cons
- Very durable;
- Made from recycled material;
- Able to be submerged under water;
- Good bass for a portable speaker; and
- High quality sound.
- Clarity of sound; and
- Control pad is hard to see.
Should you buy House of Marley’s Chant Sport portable audio system? Yes! Notice the exclamation mark on this one. There are dozens and dozens of portable speakers on the market, but few truly focus on durability.
We terrorized this little thing and it came out like a champ. The sound quality could be a bit more crisp, but the bass is good for a portable speaker, it can last most of your daytime adventures, and is not afraid of water. We give the Chant Sport a 4 out of 5 due to it's sound clarity, portability, and durability, but it needs more bass and a slightly better price point.
Price: $120 ($100 on Amazon)
Where to buy: The House of Marley, Amazon