By Barry Rudolph
It’s not often that the words “solar” and “Bluetooth” collide in the same sentence. The Rukus Solar Bluetooth sound system receives a signal from any Bluetooth cellphone or iOS device and provides amplified music to go with your sunny days—it uses a 40-sq. inch mono-crystal solar panel to keep its internal lithiumion battery charged. The solar panel faces upward and the two speakers fire away toward the party.
In addition to keeping the two full-range drivers pumping music at poolside, the Rukus Solar will also charge its own battery and keep any cell phone alive all day long via a USB charge port—I was wondering about that? It takes about six hours in direct sunlight for a full charge or use the included AC adapter on cloudy days.
The Rukus Solar uses a super thin E Ink Surf segmented display to provide status of the Bluetooth connectivity/setup, solar charge indicator and battery strength. This new technology does not require constant battery drain to display information and is viewable in direct sunlight with a wide viewing angle—a perfect fit for a battery/solar powered device.
Complete with an elastic pocket on the back to hold and cushion your cell phone while charging or pushing music to the unit, this is a very well thought out product. This system almost configures itself—if you can “pair” your cell phone for Bluetooth connectivity then you will be rockin’ Rukus in the same amount of time.
The Rukus also comes in a non-solar version with a 14-watt stereo amp and the ability to be powered via wall outlet or AA batteries. Rukus Solar sells for $150. Rukus is $100. Both include a three-month subscription to on-demand music service MOG. For more information about Etón and its products, visit http://etoncorp.com.
miniBIO: Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer with over 30 gold and platinum RIAA awards to his credit. He has recorded and/or mixed: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and Robbie Nevil. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and also teaches recording engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. http://www.barryrudolph.com