ZAAP Technologies recently launched its Hydra Xtreme Bluetooth speaker in India at a price of Rs 3,299. There are already a number of good affordable speakers available that will be giving the new offering a tough competition. So, is ZAAP’s new waterproof speaker worth considering for music lovers? We spent a few days with the gadget, and here’s our review of the ZAAP Hydra Xtreme speaker:
When it comes to design, the look and feel of the ZAAP Hydra Xtreme Bluetooth speaker. To begin with, the speaker is not for you if you are looking for a sleek looking music gadget for yourself. It is a rugged Bluetooth speaker and it looks exactly like that. It has a sturdy built and a compact design, and both these factors add on to ZAAP Hydra Xtreme’s portability. The Bluetooth speaker is only available in one colour – Black.
On the front of the speaker, a blue-coloured light is placed that indicates the connection status and on top left, there is a carabiner that enables you to connect it to your bag.
On the top of the speaker, you will find four square buttons, among which, one is the power, two-volume rocker and a play/pause keys. All the buttons are made of rubber, but were very responsive throughout our time with the speaker. Besides this, there is a microUSB port on ZAAP Hydra Xtreme that can be used for charging the device and a 3.5mm jack, in case you wish to play music via an AUX cable. Both of these ports are hidden under a rubber flap, so they don’t spoil the look of the speaker and at the same time, they stay protected if you are using the device in an area close to water.
In a nutshell, we found the design of ZAAP Hydra Xtreme to be reasonably good, especially considering the price range. Like we said earlier, it is not an elegant or sleek looking gadget, but instead is rugged and sturdy and its design shows that. But then, we would rather pick this than going for a Bluetooth speaker that is very impressive to look at but isn’t waterproof and is easily breakable.
Let’s talk about the specifications of the ZAAP Hydra Xtreme Bluetooth speaker first. The device has an IP65 rating, which means it is water, shock, dust and snow resistant. It has a 2,000mAh battery and its connectivity options include Bluetooth 3.0, a 3.5mm aux port, a micro USB charging port. The company is also offering a one-year warranty on the speaker.
ZAAP Hydra Xtreme was extremely good when it came to performance. The Bluetooth speaker has 12+ Watt drivers and a subwoofer two 50mm drivers. We should point out, that the sound is unidirectional. Considering the design of the device, the speakers are placed only in the front. We personally have a preference for a round device, because they distribute the sound equally in all directions, making them more suitable for parties. However, considering that ZAAP Hydra Xtreme has some very good aspects, we could ignore it as it anyway wasn’t too big a problem for us.
Coming back to the performance of the speaker, we should mention that it was very easy to connect the speaker with our smartphone via Bluetooth. The moment we switched on Bluetooth on our smartphone, we could see the ZAAP Hydra Xtreme in the device list and ready for pairing. It took few seconds for the two devices to connect with each other. After this, we actually couldn’t stop using the speaker at all as we were completely hooked. We played some music that was heavy on bass, and ZAAP Hydra Xtreme could handle that enormously well.
The treble and mids were good too. However, we should point out one thing. Don’t listen to music at the highest possible volume on the Bluetooth speaker as the quality distorts a bit. A little less than the highest volume is just perfect. We also tried to talk to our contacts while our smartphone was connected to ZAAP Hydra Xtreme, and we encountered no problem with it. We could hear the person we were talking to, and we were also heard well at all times.
Coming to its water-resistance, the ZAAP Hydra Xtreme is said to be splash-proof. So, while you can take it with yourself to a pool party, we recommend keeping it outside the pool to make sure it doesn’t get damaged. Most water-proof speakers can handle heavy moisture in the air and can survive some splashes. So is the case with ZAAP Hydra Xtreme.
Coming to the 2,000mAh battery, it survived 6 hours of playback time in the entire week, which we think is pretty decent.
Verdict and Final Thoughts
At a price of Rs 3,299, ZAAP Hydra Xtreme is a good buy for anyone who likes to carry their Bluetooth speaker with themselves when they are travelling or going to pool and beach parties. It has an extremely good built, is portable, and is splash resistant. It may not be the best speaker to look at, but it has a reasonably good design. Besides, the sound quality of the ZAAP Hydra Xtreme speaker is extremely good and that, we feel, is the most important factor.
- Sturdy built
- Great battery
- Good sound quality
- Cannot handle very high volumes
- unidirectional sound