|Ease of Use|
Over the past few years, Ryobi has really stepped up to the plate and delivered unique choices in tools and other devices to make life a little easier and more fun. They have taken a chance with a technology called SKAA that not many know about. In doing this, they have delivered a music system that is pretty incredible, but not cheap.
Ryobi has developed a reputation for creating unique tool related items for the homeowners. Over a year ago, they introduced the Ryobi 18 Volt Score Wireless Speaker system. When they first came out, I wasn't sure what to think of them. With Home Depot not having any on display, it didn't help my confusion. My biggest question was “What makes these speakers worth $100 each”. I have owned and played with three of these speakers for about the last 6 months and now I understand. Curious? Read on in the Ryobi Score Wireless Speakers Review.
Ryobi Score Wireless Speakers Review Overview
When I think of music and tool companies, I typically think of hybrid job site radios which have been a big thing for over 10 years now. It seems like every tool company has a large and small version of job site speaker/radio to offer fans of their brand. All of them can be powered by that brand's battery platform, run off AC power and charge your phone. Most of the recent offerings will connect wirelessly with cell phones via Bluetooth. Additionally, nearly half of them will charge the brand's batteries as well.
What Ryobi has delivered with the Score Wireless Speaker system is completely different than your typical job site speakers on the market right now and probably won't be copied in the near future.
To understand what is different about these speakers, we will need to touch on a technology (SKAA) Ryobi licensed for these speakers. It is the reason why these speakers are so unique and quite possibly the downfall of these speakers in the future.
In order to really appreciate and understand these speakers, they need to be heard. To be more accurate, you will need to hear at least two or three of them working together. I'll do my best to describe the experience I have noticed with the sound produced by my set.
Ryobi Score Wireless Speakers Review Features
Let me try to tackle the most unique and confusing feature with the Ryobi 18 Volt Score Wireless Speakers. As you can tell by their name, they are wireless. Seems pretty simple, right? Well, this is achieved in a very different way than what you might expect. There is a primary unit that acts as the receiver. This receiver is capable of playing your favorite radio stations, hooking up to a phone or mp3 player via an auxiliary cable, or receiving signals with Bluetooth.
The other speakers act like satellites. What I mean is they receive their signals wirelessly from the primary unit through this technology called SKAA. With this technology, you can have up to 5 secondary speakers connected to the primary unit. Because these units only receive a signal from the primary base, the only buttons on these speakers are for power and volume control.
I've mentioned wireless a few times in this article already and I am betting you assume these speakers need to connect to a wifi network in order to work. Well, you would be wrong. With the SKAA technology, no wifi network is used. The primary unit will send the signal to the satellite units independent of any wifi network and has a range of up to 150 feet.
One more thing on the SKAA technology before we move on, by having the SKAA technology built into these speakers, they are completely compatible with other SKAA devices which will allow you to connect wirelessly to other items. If you want to learn more about the SKAA technology and how it works, check out the SKAA website.
Since this is part of Ryobi's ONE+ 18 Volt cordless system, each speaker can be powered off the 18-volt battery platform. They have also included a separate 110-volt cord and plug in case you don't want to dedicate a battery to it.
Ryobi Score Wireless Speakers Review Performance
Connecting the primary unit to Bluetooth is extremely simple to do. The secondary speakers automatically link up to the primary unit wirelessly. There is nothing to do there. Each speaker has its own power button, so powering up and shutting down when you have several speakers connected isn't hard, but will require giving attention to each speaker.
Sound quality is the biggest performance question I can answer here. When I first powered up the primary speaker and listened to it, I was not impressed at all. There isn't much bass and the volume was just okay. I didn't realize the whole potential of this system until I connected them and spread them out. The key here is spacing them out evenly in the space you will be working in.
I have taken these speakers to our travel fastpitch softball team practices and tournaments and they completely blew me away. Since I was able to spread the speakers out, the volume was evenly spaced. This allows everyone to hear the same thing at the same volume level. The sound didn't have to be blaring from one central source making it unbearable for people near it. The setup and sound are so good, I had quite a few parents come up to me and ask about the speakers.
I have seen very similar results with these speakers in my shop and garage. I am able to set them up in the corners of any room I am working in and have an even, consistent sound.
Ryobi Score Wireless Speakers Review Value
A starter set of speakers which consists of a primary speaker and a secondary speaker is priced at $149 currently at The Home Depot which is a drop from the original $199 price. If you want to add more speakers to link up, they can be bought for $99 apiece.
This, in my opinion, is a pretty steep price to pay for some mobile speakers. I think these speakers would be much more affordable if Ryobi didn't have to pay for the SKAA technology license. I hate to say it, but the high price of these speakers is the only thing not to like with this system.
Ryobi Score Wireless Speakers Review Final Thoughts
I am in absolute love with these speakers. The sound is much better than your typical job site speaker and can be set up just about anywhere.
If Ryobi could find a way to cut the original prices in about half, I think they would have an absolute winner here. That being said, I love these speakers so much I think I am going to pick up another speaker shortly to expand my system to four.