Skullcandy Barricade Bluetooth speaker review

skullcandy-barricade-speaker-reviewThe Skullcandy Barricade Bluetooth speaker promises to differentiate itself in two main ways. With the amount of Bluetooth speakers out there, these are quite important. The Barricade is not only rugged, but it’s buoyant.

To be honest, buoyancy has never been the top of the list when I’ve been looking at speakers. Although, this attribute does bring along waterproofing as a handy side-effect.

Coming from Skullcandy the sound quality should also be pretty decent too.

Let’s have a look.

Skullcandy Barricade design

The Barricade measures 15.4cm x 8.3 x 22.5cm (HxWxD) and so is quite compact. The Barricade sits between its siblings, the Barricade Mini and Barricade XL.

It certainly looks like it’s ready for adventure. The one I have here is grey with a lime green backplate.

barricade-bluetooth-speaker-frontThe front is equipped with a steel mesh grille in a gunmetal colour.

barricade-topAlong the top sits minus and plus symbol buttons either side a round multifunction one. The latter also features the skull logo.

barricade-endFollowing on from the buttons there is a mic hole and indication light. Finally, literally on the edge, is the power button.

All of the buttons are underneath the outer skin so as not to let any dust or liquid in.

barricade-portsBeneath the power button is a pale grey flap. Here you’ll find an aux in and aux out port, a mini USB port and then a full-sized USB for charging your other devices.

Yup, this speaker is also an emergency charger.

Rounding things off is a webbing carry strap/loop. Handy for hanging the Barricade off of tree branches, door handles or handlebars.

It all looks and feels really well put together.

Barricade performance

Sound Quality

It is rare, very rare, that Bluetooth speakers are able to wow me. Most are OK or decent.

The Barricade is loaded with a 10W speaker with dual passive radiators. These all work in concert to create a powerful, dynamic sound. The bass is very impressive, but Skullcandy has form here.

barricade-backThis speaker loves party music. Rock, Metal, Hip Hop, House and Electronica all pump merrily out of this compact speaker. It handles classical reasonably well but singer/songwriter, acoustic numbers do lose a little bit of character and emotion.

Functionality

This is a go anyway speaker. It is rugged and portable. The fabric strap makes it easy to carry around.

Its rubberised outer skin not only protects it from the wet stuff but it also shirks off any bumps or knocks.

I really like the grille. It looks like it means business and can walk the walk too.

barricade-wetThen there is the water resistance. Many portable speakers lack this feature. The thing is, especially in the UK, what’s the point of having a portable speaker if have to hide it away when the rain clouds start to loom?

If water isn’t your problem then you probably have friends like mine. With that I mean spilled booze is probably more of a worry. So, water resistance is definitely a selling point for any serious party speaker. Being waterproof is even better!

Barricade is rated at IPX7 and so can actually be submerged up to 3-feet. Thanks to its buoyant design, if you dropped it overboard, it pops up and will bob around until you grab it. More domestically, you can have it float in the bath or pool with you.

Bluetooth range is around 30 feet of wireless freedom. Once paired you can hide your non-water resistant phone away and use the Barricade’s on-board controls. Play, pause and skip tracks whilst your phone or iPod are safe.

Finally, the Barricade has a full 8 hours of battery life when fully charged. Naturally, this is diminished if you’re recharging your phone or other devices from it. I’ve had it running for a couple of hours each night so far this week and it is still going strong.

Skullcandy Barricade review conclusion

If you’re clumsy or one of those outdoorsy types, the Skullcandy Barricade certainly gives you plenty of bang for your buck.

It’s loud, looks good and seems virtually indestructible.

In fact, I could see the Barricade living in a tradesman’s toolbox just as easily as chilling by the pool. The waterproof and highly durable case, along with device charging skills, adds up to the perfect portable party speaker.

Skullcandy Barricade price and availability

The Skullcandy Barricade is available now direct from their website for €69,99.

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