Grace Digital Audio ECO Extreme All Terrain Speaker Case Review

What we've got here today is an oddity indeed, a product we don't often see around these parts, one made for the crossbreed citizen of our beloved modern world, the hardcore outdoors tech nerd. Better yet, it's a piece of equipment that's made for a mountain climber, but will make your everyday sunfish catching a whole lot louder. This is the Grade Digital Audio ECO Extreme All Terrain Speaker Case – it's waterproof, it's bright blue, and it's made to make sure your handset doesn't get trashed while you're listening to Lady Gaga while you're jumping out of an airplane. Actually you probably still wouldn't be able to hear the music over the air even if you had it – but your device would be fine!

This piece of equipment is what amounts to a coffin for your device, though the only way your device would be dead inside is if you don't charge it up every couple o' days as you normally would. One of the desirable aspects we'd like to see with a piece of gear such as this is the ability to use the battery power we're working with here to also charge the device inside as it outputs audio, but as it turns out, the fact that this device uses all of its battery power on the amplifier is a positive element as it provides a much longer day of listening to tunes that sucking all that energy up into a device that doesn't need it (because it's just playing music, after all.) The device I'm speaking of is the HTC Sensation, a brand new device currently being carried by T-Mobile here in the states, outputting audio via the stock Music app working with Google's Music Beta.

For a full guide on Music Beta, head over to Android Community and get you some education!


Now what we demonstrate the device as doing here in the video first is playing some music. This the case does very well. In fact this case has such a nice amplifier I was surprised at the sound of it, and that's saying something. Have a look at how well it handles Outkast's B.O.B., right out of the box. You'll notice some less-than-amazing sounds until the case is closed, at which point it acts just like a speakerbox should, bass and all.

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Protection in Practice

Next there's some less than awesome news. Sort of. Depends on how you look at it. The following has a couple of clips that show off how the device fares in water and tossed down a flight of cement stairs. I'm sure you'll be thrilled to know that the case is, indeed, waterproof, as waterproof as you're going to want it to be, and that's 100%. Not that we've taken this case down extremely deep into the ocean or anything, but a pot of water certainly didn't harm it. Whether or not the water seeps in was a test we had to do, but because of the obvious cues seen in the rubber around the case, the plastic which pushes it in, and the fact that there's no cracks anywhere in the construction, its obvious that this case is safe.

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Next video you'll find the slightly bad news. While the device we place inside the case is pretty hardcore – an LG text and voice phone from around a year ago or so on Verizon, you'll see that it's not protection that you'll be having to worry about. On the contrary, all the items in the case are kept relatively safe. Instead what you're going to see is a rather concerning re-arrangement of the items inside due to the fact that there's nothing stopping the batteries from popping out of their sockets other than an ill-prepared battery cover. Would this sort of situation bum you out? Worst thing that's going to happen to a device I'm carrying is the music will stop – and that's something I cannot abide.

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What you've got here, again, is a rather odd device. I'd never before considered such a thing, instead relying on plastic bags and complete forgoing of carrying my devices whilst anywhere near water. Now all that's changed, or it would be if this case wasn't so gol-darn bulky. I imaging a mountain climber might have the need for such a thing, but until I start climbing mountains, this little winner's just going to have to stay in the closet. On the other hand, I may go fishing this summer at some point, during which I may have to bust out the tunes for a little bit of fishy dance action.

*Yes I know music scares away the fish, and will therefor do no such thing. Delicious, delicious sunfish will have to wait until they're in my belly to hear the Bad Brains.

ALSO note that you can purchase this case at Grace Digital Audio's site for $49.99 today.