Speakers are a very interesting product in that they come in all shapes and sizes, and pretty much everyone has them, but not everyone really give much thought to them.
Today I’ve got an unusual product for review it’s a speaker, but not in the traditional way, this thing can be set on fire and even run through a carwash and still work great. The product is the OutCast from SoundCast Systems and it’s a wireless portable speaker system that comes with a transmitter called the iCast with a built in iPod dock. One nice thing though is that is can accept most any audio source, at the transmitter or at the OutCast unit itself. It is a bit on the large side, in both price and weight, but overall it’s a very unique product that works perfectly, sounds excellent and is just really cool…
Read on to learn more..
There’s no unboxing today for you, I tried it, but the OutCast is a bit too unwieldy and large to maneuver around, and for most of it I was in the video, or at least part of me, so I decided not to go with the video this time around…
The box for the OutCast is huge, I put a DVD in with the picture for scale
The OutCast and it’s accessories are packaged very well.
Included with the OutCast is the iCast Transmitter, battery pack, user manual, power cord, double sides 3.5" jack cord, RCA audio to 3.5mm cord and power supply for the iCast.
The OutCast itself is rather large, weighing in at about 40lbs and it’s 33.5 inches tall. On the top is a control panel with buttons for power, volume, forward, back, play, pause and a light. The actual controls for functions only work while an iPod is hooked up to the iCast, but volume still works of course and the light. There’s also an LED as well that indicates power and connection to transmitter.
On the side of the OutCast is a small door that swivels open to reveal a channel selector switch and a 3.5mm input jack.
Near the bottom is another small door that open to the power connection, on the very bottom is the battery compartment.
The iCast transmitter is what you use to transmit your music to the OutCast, it has a built in iPod dock, but there’s also a 3.5mm jack as well so you can use most any audio source as well like you computer, TV or any other music device. There’s also a channel selector on the back and a power connector to connect the power supply to. There’s two LEDs on the top as well to indicate power and signal.
Unleash Your Audio with the award winning OutCast speaker. The OutCast weather-resistant, wireless speaker lets you enjoy rich multi-directional stereo sound throughout your house, in your yard, on your patio and even on your boat. With a 350-foot broadcast range, this powerful wireless speaker receives transmissions through walls, floors, and ceilings without the hassle of running wires.
* Delivers unmatched premium audio quality
* Connect your MP3 player, IPod, computer and even your TV to the OutCast
* Conveniently located controls
* Portable – ready to take anywhere
* Blue lighting illuminates the wireless outdoor speaker for extra ambiance at night
* Setup is simple and straightforward
OutCast comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, 2 year warranty and free shipping. Includes iCast Transmitter
FEATURES & SPECS:
* All-weather, outdoor speaker system
* Includes iCast transmitter for use with the Apple iPod
* Allows connection of other audio devices – MP3 players and computers – using the auxiliary input/output jack
* Transmits signals up to 350 feet outdoors
* Features buttons for pause/play and track forward/track back for remote iPod operation
* Easy set-up
* One 8” downward firing woofer
* Four 3” high frequency drivers in an omni-directional array
* 100 watt digital amplifier
* Made of water resistant plastic
* Operates for up to 10 hours on the built-in, rechargeable battery pack
* Internal AC power supply that can recharge the NiMH battery pack and operate the system at the same time
* Transmitters search for open channels in the 2.4GHz band, and instantaneously jump to them – ultimately avoiding interference and allowing for unprecedented sound quality
* Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 16 x 33.5 inches ; 40 pounds
Since I’ve got a 4th Gen iPod nano it won’t charge in the iCast transmitter, other than that it worked perfectly, I could control the iPod with the OutCast with no problems.
I also played around and hooked up my Zune to the iCast with the supplied cable and it worked fine also. I hooked up my TV to the OutCast itself with the supplied RCA to 3.5mm cable and that was very cool as well, it really adds quite a bit to the experience especially with the added bass. Of course though for TV viewing you’ve got to have the OutCast in front of the TV, or you have to have two of them, one on each side for even sounds. A pair of these could make for a nice small home theater setup! Pairing the iCast and OutCast is very easy, you just have to make sure they’re both set to the same channel, turn them both on and they connect automatically, very easy to do, no problems at all.
I’m amazed by the sound of the OutCast, honestly I wasn’t expecting much from this product, I was thinking it was more gimmicky than anything, but it truly does sound very good. I like to listen to music while I work, so everyday instead of using my PC for music I hooked up the iPod or the Zune to the iCast and went about my business and I have to say I’m truly impressed. Of course when no one was home I had to crank it up and it gets loud, very loud, also I threw some Crystal Method on with some heavy bass, and the floors were vibrating, you could easily feel the bass, even with the volume down low. I played all sorts of music from metal to classical and everything was perfectly clear and sounded great with little or no distortion and the distortion was at very high volume levels.
Battery life seems excellent as well, I’ve only charged it once, and I’ve used it for well over 10 hours so far.
Since it’s been very cold here, I wasn’t outside with the OutCast, (I don’t like the cold!) but from everything I’ve read and seen the OutCast is very durable and weatherproof, so I should see no problem with having it outside in any types of weather. The OutCast seems very well made, like a rough and tough product. My 3 yr old son saw it and immediately was checking it out and of course knocked it over a few times as well, it’s no worse for wear. I did check the range by taking the iCast to my attic and leaving the OutCast on the first floor, it worked fine with no problems at all, and since you can control the iPod from the OutCast I could have just left it up there really. Shawn over at SoundCast did send me a link to their YouTube account where you can see the videos of the OutCast on fire and even being run through an automatic car wash and still working, you can check all of the video out HERE.
The handle on the top comes in very handy for moving it around easily, it is 40 lbs but most people should be able to handle it.
The are only two real problems or cons I could find with this product, coming in at $800 and weighing 40lbs it’s both hefty in price and weight. If I wanted to be real picky I could say it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing product, it’s cold and technological looking, my wife actually said it looks like garbage can, and my kids thought it was a robot at first, but it should fit well in any game room, poolside, an office even and of course anywhere really outdoors.
On the bottom is also ambient lighting, it’s a light blue, that can be set to low or high, it does add a bit it’s appearance and make it look rather cool.
The OutCast is just simply an amazing product that you’ve got to see and hear to believe, I can’t really convey to you in words just how great this product really is.
SoundCast Systems has created something that is truly exceptional in the OutCast, the sound quality is just excellent, and the build quality is superb as well. It’s easy to use and the fact that you can use it with most any audio devices makes it all the more useful.
Great battery life
Easy to use
Very well made
Large and heavy