Poolside audio has become something of its own market recently, as Bluetooth speakers have increasingly been made water-resistant, water-proof, or even buoyant. Ion Audio is taking a slightly different approach by making something that blends into the scenery — but as the name suggests, the best part is that you’ll never need to worry about power.
The Ion Audio Solar Stone is a wireless speaker made to look like a rock, although I guess the speaker grille is still a dead giveaway. You can be content to go hide it away with the other outdoor decorations, then almost completely forget about it. The top of the Solar Stone is lined with solar panels, so the battery should stay continuously charged as long as you just leave it outside all summer. According to Ion Audio, the battery should last for 48 hours and be charged completely using solar energy within 55 hours, so I imagine it’ll be more than possible to never need to manually charge the speaker.
Audio should be great, too. Ion Audio isn’t concerned with making the Solar Stone portable, so they’ve made it nice and big, with a booming 6.5″ 20-watt speaker. It might not be the clearest audio around, but you won’t need to worry about it not being loud enough. On top of that, two Solar Stones can be paired up for stereo sound, just in case you need the whole block to hear. The Solar Stone connects to mobile devices using a Bluetooth connection, and the 100-foot range should be good enough for just about any pool party. The speaker is also IPX4 splash-resistant, so an ill-advised cannonball won’t constitute a party foul.
Because this thing will have the sun constantly beating down on it, and because solar cells still have a problem with degradation, we’re not so sure the Solar Stone is something that will last you many summers. Fortunately, Ion Audio didn’t go nuts with the pricing — the Solar Stone is a pretty reasonable $106.33 (normally $120) on Amazon, with a two-pack selling for $207.48. Looks like it’s not in stock right now, but chances are you can find the Solar Stone in a handful of electronics and home furnishings retailers, too.