By Ned Perry
As an overnight raft guide on the Grand Canyon and a sweep boat driver on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, I like having music to jam out with on the water. The market for waterproof speakers is booming right now and I’ve been using the Polk Audio Swimmer Duo to get me through the slack water.
The Swimmer Duo ($60; Polk Audio) stands out for its small size and solid sound quality. Weighing in at just less than half a pound, this speaker is portable and I can take it on any adventure, even on self-support kayak trips. (When weight isn’t an issue, two Swimmer Duos will pair via Bluetooth with your device and become true right and left speakers.)
I can always find a place to hook, stand, or hang this speaker right near the action with its “attachment tail.” The tail can strap down to just about anything—from raft frames to bike handle bars—and can be also be suctioned to smooth surfaces with the included suction cup backing.
When wrapped around a life jacket or the grab loop of a kayak, the speaker adds quality music to get me through the longer mellow stretches of a river, but it’s not quite loud enough for me to hear during the rapids.
The durable, rubberized shell has kept my speakers jamming despite some bumps and drops. The battery lasts up to eight hours, which allows me to use it several times between charging. It can also be charged on the fly via a USB attachment.
The Swimmer Duo’s buoyancy is especially useful on the water. These puppies float in case your adventure gets out of hand.
The only improvement the Swimmer Duo needs is an additional back with a locking attachment system so that you can rest assured it will stay with you when the going gets rough. For the adventurous music lover, this is the speaker for you.