It’s not often we’re taken aback by the design of a product. This speaker definitely doesn’t follow conventional norms, but that’s a good thing… I think? The Skullcandy Air Raid Bluetooth speaker looks as if it’s just come from a 50s industrial power plant. To be honest with you, it looks great.

Skullcandy are traditionally known to manufacture headphones that would appeal to the ‘cool kids.’ They’re fashionable – think Beats by Dre with a much smaller price tag. However, recently they seemed to have upped their game with their new range of audio products such as the Uproar Wireless headphones.

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The Air Raid speaker is tough with its rubberised top and bottom. The actual shell is made from a chunky plastic giving this speaker an all round menacing feel to it. It’s heavy too which is a good sign. Inside covered by a plastic mesh are two 5mm drivers which perform quite well depending on the volume.

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We threw a number of audio tracks at the speaker, and most sounded good at medium volumes. However, when playing more bassy EDM music, we noticed the Air Raid speaker started to distort at higher volumes. Knock the volume down a bit and a warm thump appears again. Acoustic tracks and even classical music sounded really clean and crisp. Low frequencies in the more generic rap songs also sounded rich underneath very audible vocal tracks.

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There are only a couple of inputs on the rear of the speaker. The first is a microUSB charging port with a cable included. Charge time takes a few hours, and we managed to get around 11 hours out of our speaker at a mid volume. High volumes mean less battery life. In our case me managed to get between four and six hours through testing. The second port is a 3.5mm aux input for those of you who prefer a hard-wired connection or if Bluetooth just isn’t available on your music device.

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Skullcandy have done a good job with this speaker. It looks absolutely fantastic and for the most part sounds great. The battery life will be enough to get you through a day at the beach and will not be damaged through splashes or drops. What more do you want from a portable speaker? You can find out more from the Skullcandy website. There are two speakers to choose from. The first is an all black model, the second has blue accented buttons and side panels.

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Stef Murphy

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