Review: DemerBox DB2 Ultimate Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

Originally the brainchild of audio recording professional James Demer, the DemerBox is now a collaborative venture between Demer and Grammy Award-Winning artist Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band. The DemerBox is hand-produced in the USA, and is what Demer and Brown “believe is the best sounding, most durable portable speaker available.” DemerBox sent me one of their DB2 speakers to let me see if that’s true.

The DemerBox DB2 is available in multiple colors and designs on the DemerBox website, and ranges in price between $299-$399. The version I received was the USO Pesaro Green speaker, a special edition created to benefit the USO with a $50 donation from each purchase. You can also purchase from the DemerBox store on Amazon.

Shipping box. Image by Paul Benson.

What’s In the Box?

When you open the box, the first things that you find are a Quickstart Guide and the DemerBox itself.

DemerBox. Image by Paul Benson.

Opening the box, you’ll see an insert containing the accessories:

Interior of the DemerBox. Image by Paul Benson.

The DemerBox DB2 comes with 2 accessories: a charger, and a 3.5mm audio cord.

DemerBox charger. Image by Paul Benson.
3.5mm audio cable. Image by Paul Benson.

How Does It Work?

Following the Quickstart instructions, the first thing I did was fully charge the DemerBox. The charger lights up to indicate when the battery is charging and when it is fully charged. Once that was done, I powered it on and paired my iPhone with the DB2. Pairing was quick and easy. The front panel has five green LED lights which indicate the charge level of the speaker.

The DemerBox is fully charged. Image by Paul Benson.

Once paired, playing audio is as simple as launching an audio app on your phone and pressing play. You can also use the included 3.5mm cord to connect an audio device to the DemerBox if that device isn’t Bluetooth-capable. You can adjust the volume either on your device, or on the front panel of the DemerBox itself.

USB, power and audio ports. Image by Paul Benson.

DemerBox DB2 Features

Besides just playing music, there are several features of the DB2 that make it a rugged outdoor speaker for almost any weather. The most prominent feature is the ability to make the DemerBox DB2 waterproof. To do so, you take the port plug from its storage space inside the speaker, and seal it into the port in the front of the case. That makes the case not only waterproof but able to float…which is great should your speaker fall into a swimming pool or the lake.

Inserting the port plug. Image by Paul Benson.

One great feature is the ability to charge a device like a phone or tablet while you are playing music by using the USB charging port inside the DemerBox. As you’ll have to run your USB cord through the port opening, you obviously won’t be able to keep your DB2 waterproof while you do this. The DemerBox DB2 battery is rated to play music for approximately 40 hours at full volume, so under normal circumstances you shouldn’t have any trouble charging a device or two off of your speaker.

The DemerBox is also…a box! When you unsnap the heavy-duty clasps and open it up, there’s room to store several smaller items, such as your wallet, phone, sunscreen, and soft Frisbee.

Another feature of the DemerBox DB2 is the ability to multi-cast. If you have two or more DemerBox speakers, you can connect them via Bluetooth. I obviously wasn’t able to test this feature as I only had the one DB2.

How to multi-cast. Image by Paul Benson.

Performance

Of course, the single most important feature for a portable speaker is the sound. I’m happy to announce that the DemerBox DB2 has a full, rich sound for a portable speaker, with a surprising amount of bass in such a small package. Stereo separation isn’t fantastic thanks to the size of the DB2, but it’s still audible. And while you’re not going to be blowing out your windows, you can crank up the volume plenty for a small party, whether indoors or out. If you need more area coverage for your music, you can always go the multi-cast route, adding more speakers.

Final Thoughts

The DemerBox DB2 is on the pricey side for a portable Bluetooth speaker, starting at $299 depending on the graphic design you choose. There is also a DB1 version available, which is smaller, has only one speaker, and starts at $199.

Of course, this isn’t just any Bluetooth speaker. It’s billed as “the ultimate outdoor Bluetooth speaker,” and at least so far as the time I’ve spent with it, the DemerBox DB2 lives up to that statement. One of the things that’s hard to convey in photos is just how solidly built the DB2 is. The box itself is made out of thick, high-impact plastic. The heavy clasps, along with a rubber seal inside the lid, close the DemerBox up securely. When the port plug is inserted into the front, you’ve got a speaker that’s secure from the elements.

Back of DemerBox and purge valve. Image by Paul Benson.

One of the things not covered in the Quickstart guide was the curious black valve on the top of the case. Wondering what it was, I went to the DemerBox website, and found out that it’s a pressure equalization valve, designed to protect electronics at high altitudes. So apparently you can hike to the top of a mountain and still enjoy your tunes! Note- I did not hike to the top of any mountains for this review. Nor am I likely to any time soon. Just thought I should mention that.

The 40+ hours of being able to play music means this waterproof speaker isn’t just good for taking to the beach or the pool, but would be a great companion on camping trips. It doesn’t hurt either that it can charge other devices, so on short trips you don’t have to bring along a separate power bank to keep your phone charged. It’s heavier than a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers (around 5lbs), but this speaker is a beast. If you want a rugged, waterproof speaker that sounds great, take a look at the DemerBox DB2.

Disclosure: DemerBox sent me a DB2 unit for evaluation, but had no input into this review.

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