review

Outdoor Tech Buckshot 2.0 Review Handlebar Bluetooth Speaker

Monday, November 16, 2020

One of the many benefits of driving a car is being able to play music from the comfort of the car seat. On the bike though, your options for listening to music are limited to headphones, which is not the safest for situational awareness. Luckily, there are other options for listening to music while on a bike including using bone conduction headphones or a handlebar Bluetooth speaker such as the Outdoor Tech Buckshot 2.0.
The Buckshot 2.0 comes with an Outdoor Tech-branded silicone rubber strap for mounting the Buckshot 2.0 to the handlebar of a bike. The rubber band is thick and strong but flexible enough to loop both ends around the speaker. The Buckshot 2.0 rubber strap has two ridges in the center of the band to keep the speaker secure in place and prevent the Buckshot 2.0 speaker from swiveling around the handlebar.
Aside from looping the rubber band around a handlebar, you can also loop it around anything else like a backpack grab handle or tree branch. The Buckshot 2.0 has the same diamond texture pattern found on the original Buckshot Pro, which came out 4 years and has now discontinued and replaced with the Buckshot Pro Ultra, which has a single 5-watt speaker, as well as a nifty flashlight at one end and a powerbank function to recharge external devices. 
The Buckshot 2.0 doesn't integrate a powerbank function nor a flashlight but, it can be charged via a powerbank when streaming audio, allowing you to extend the runtime. It's good to know that not all bluetooth speakers have audio pass-through while charging.
The Buckshot 2.0 also has a single speaker driver but with slightly less power output (3-watts) than the Buckshot Pro Ultra. Buckshot's speaker driver is also positioned at one of end of the unit and, it's covered by a recessed anodized perforated metal grille. 
The Buckshot 2.0 rugged speaker has Outdoor Tech raised embossed branding on both sides, as well as three button controls, which are also raised. The volume buttons are triangularly shaped and have raised "plus" and "minus" symbols. The middle button is diamond shaped and handles the play/pause function, as well as calls (answer/reject/end) and voice assistant.
There is good spacing between the three control buttons, making them easy to operate while on a bike. The buttons use physical switches that make a subtle click when pressed and require some force (not a lot) to activate, which is a good thing since it prevents the speaker from accidentally powering on during transportation.
Next to the volume minus button, there are two tiny pinholes, containing a status led indicator and a microphone, which works well at close distance (within 20cm distance) when the speaker is attached to a backpack strap. From a handlebar, the microphone doesn't have enough amp for a long distance range voice call.
The Buckshot 2.0 has a 1400mAh lithium ion rechargeable battery with a charging time of 4.5 hours. At the opposite end of the unit, there is a micro USB charging port covered by a rubber grommet. 
The Buckshot 2.0 uses an old version of Bluetooth (v3.0) since Buckshot 2.0 was released 2 years ago. Bluetooth 3.0 is not obsolete since the the current Bluetooth 5.0 version is backwards compatible; hence you can connect Buckshot 2.0 to a smartphone running Bluetooth 2.0 or Bluetooth 5.0.
The only downside to Bluetooth 3.0 is that it's not "low energy" like the latest version of Bluetooth; hence the battery performance of Buckshot 2.0 isn't as good as it could be. The Buckshot 2.0 speaker has a runtime of 6.5 hours on medium volume (50%) and 3.5 hours at full blast (100%). 
The Buckshot 2.0 has very good wireless range coverage up to 18 meters (60ft) in direct line of sight, which is longer coverage than a lot of newer Bluetooth speakers. There is a loud voice prompt when reaching max volume and when battery is low, which seems to kick in when the battery is 60% empty.
While small, the Buckshot 2.0 speaker manages to be super functional since it also has a hard plastic clip built-in, as well as standard 1/4"-20 female thread for mounting the Buckshot 2.0 onto a regular tripod as well as a bike handle tripod mount (not included). 
The Buckshot 2.0 speaker measures 9.4cm tall with a 3.8cm diameter. The shirt clip has a 2.5cm long coverage. The Buckshot 2.0 weighs 114 grams. An Outdoor Tech-branded charging cable is also included. You can buy the Buckshot 2.0 speaker from amazon.

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