Does all our technology really need to be smart? Sometimes it seems bizarre to add connectivity to a product, but there are other times it makes sense. Recently hydration solutions company Aquio and gadget purveyor iHome teamed up to bring the first smart speaker-water bottle to the market, dubbed IBTB2, or Aquio. Does this collaboration seem like a good idea? We’re going to take a look at how it works, and whether it’s worth getting.
What is Aquio IBTB2?
The IBTB2 Aquio Bottle is a 16-ounce double-walled stainless-steel water bottle that also houses a removable Bluetooth speaker. The speaker threads into the bottom of the bottle so it’s more easily portable. The bottle promises to keep drinks hot up to 14 hours, or cold for 24 hours.
The speaker has a rechargeable battery that should supply about six hours of battery life, and it’s got a chic fabric wrap on it.
When it comes to the bottle, it’s got a twist-off lid with a rope loop, and has a wide mouth, making it easy to add ice or easy to clean. It’s also perfectly sized to fit into your car’s cup holder. The Aquio IBTB2 Bottle is IP67-rated, meaning it’s waterproof, and sand-proof and generally weather-resistant.
Setting up & Using IBTB2 Aquio Water Bottle-Speaker
With just three buttons, the speaker is simple to use. There’s a play/pause button on the front, and power and Bluetooth pairing buttons are found on the back.
Once you connect it to your device via Bluetooth (push the button to pair it, then look for it to show up in the Bluetooth menu on your phone) you can use the Play/Pause button to perform different tasks. When using it as a speakerphone: press once to answer or end a phone call, or long press to decline a call.
When listening to music, tap once to play or pause your music. Double press to skip to the next track. Triple press to go back to the previous track or start of the current track.
How much power does Aquio have?
How powerful is the IBTB2 Aquio? It’s got a 5-watt Bluetooth speaker featuring “digital echo cancellation.” Digital Echo cancellation isn’t really described so I didn’t know what I was supposed to be hearing from it.
How does IBTB2 Aquio Sound?
The Aquio speaker sounds pretty good and is reasonably powerful for its size. Perhaps not surprisingly there’s not a whole lot of bass power in this speaker, and the overall sound can lean towards the high end. Audiophiles will probably find fault with this speaker, but for most of the rest of us, who just need simple portable sound, it does the job well. Check out the review video to hear sound quality for yourself.
Overall review of Aquio IBTB2 bottle & speaker
This bottle is a cool idea—handy for going on a bike ride, or while on a hike. The design is definitely chic, it looks good, and it’s quite handy.
In terms of sound quality, I’d say Aquio is generally unremarkable, so if you’re looking for top quality sound and bass, it’s not the speaker that will rock your world.
If there are any downsides to this speaker its the lack of on-device volume buttons. While you can play/pause on the speaker, there’s no volume control, meaning you’ll need to keep your phone handy and use that to adjust sound volume.
In my opinion, the size of the bottle, once it’s off the speaker base, is actually pretty small. It only holds about 16 ounces or two cups. That might be enough for a short stroll, but it’s not nearly enough for a big hike.
Even so, this is a handy speaker that works great for the price … though if you’re getting it mainly for the water bottle aspect, you’ll probably find it expensive!