Meet Our New Portable Stereo – The Fusion StereoActive


The timing of this video is going to seem a little weird, but just go with it.  There’s an explanation.  And it’s not that I’m just way behind on editing videos.  I mean, yes, I am way behind on editing videos.  But that’s not why we waited on this one.

 

We met the crew from Fusion Entertainment at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this year.  We filmed the short segment for the video, and they sent us home with a StereoActive to review.  We didn’t want to post up the video until we had a chance to put this little speaker through its paces and literally throw it into a lake.  Now we have, and the StereoActive lived up to all of its claims, so we feel good about recommending it.  I won’t call this an in-depth review, but here are my impressions on the things that were important to me.

Sound

Everything else the StereoActive did wouldn’t mean much if it sounded like crap.  I’m happy to report, it doesn’t.  I generally don’t expect much from wireless Bluetooth speakers – they’re sort of a commodity product these days.  But the sound from this one actually surprised me.  It projects well, and delivers a surprising amount of bass for such a small enclosure.  When we first got it home, Stef set it up in the workout room in the basement.  It fills that room nicely, and that’s where it lives now when we’re not in the RV.  And speaking of the RV, it actually gets louder and sounds better than the outdoor speakers permanently mounted on our van.  So it’s earned a spot in our camper van – which is saying something.

 

Battery Life

I haven’t done a proper test to determine exactly how long the battery will last under what conditions.  But that’s because I just don’t have that kind of time!  We fully charged the StereoActive (which took about 3 hours) and took it out for a day on the lake in southern Utah.  It lasted the whole day without needing a recharge.  Beyond that, what’s the point?  We have an RV, and could recharge it every day, so it lasts plenty long enough for us.

 

Ease of Use

Ever have one of those Bluetooth devices that you couldn’t figure out how to pair and you eventually had to give up and hunt down the manual?  This isn’t one of those.  We used this thing for a couple months without ever looking at the manual.  Both Stef and I paired it with our phones without consulting any documentation.  I eventually did read the Quick Start Guide, but the controls and functions are all pretty straight forward.  I think most folks could feel good about leaving the documentation at home.

 

Waterproof?

Yep.  It’s waterproof.  Not just water resistant, waterproof.  And it floats.  That’s pretty cool, and it’s the main reason we waited to put up the review.  We actually threw it in a lake – along with my phone!  You see, Fusion also sells the ActiveSafe, which is a little waterproof box.  They have a “puck” mounting system that will affix the products to a solid surface, or just to each other.

I knew the StereoActive would float because I had seen that at Outdoor Retailer.  But what I didn’t know is if it would float while attached to the ActiveSafe, and while my phone and keys were inside the ActiveSafe weighing it down.  This may not be the brightest thing I’ve ever done, but I put my phone and keys into the ActiveSafe, attached it to the StereoActive with the puck mount, and dumped the whole lot into Quail Creek Reservoir.

 

Happy to report the whole lot floated just fine and my keys and phone remained dry through the whole ordeal.

So there you have it.  Overall, we’re really happy with the StereoActive.  It will continue to live in the gym when we’re at home, and in the RV with us when we’re on the road.  Easy to operate, sounds great, and now, we don’t have to wonder what to do with keys and phones when we’re in the water, thanks to the ActiveSafe.

That’s it for now.  Cheers!



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    6 thoughts on “Meet Our New Portable Stereo – The Fusion StereoActive

      1. James - Post author

        I didn’t. A large part of the reason for that is because we no longer have a black tank in our RV. (Though I do still have the clear one.)

        Reply
    1. laura

      I was curious about your stand up paddle boards. Have you done a vlog or blog about them? I was wondering how you store them when you travel? Do you take two? Are they worth it on trips?

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        Hi Laura! We’ve been traveling with 2 inflatable boats on loan these past few months, one SUP and one kayak. The SUP (the one I’m on in the video) is the HB96 by Sea Eagle and I love it! Sea Eagle specializes in inflatables, which is how I found them originally. They use a patented stitching that allows them to be inflated with such a high PSI, they’re more rigid than other inflatable brands. The more rigid your board, the more stable and controllable they are. The HB96 is also shorter, and has a nice 32″ width so it’s not only stable, it’s great for yoga! Plus, it packs down smaller than other inflatable SUPs we’ve researched, and in our campervan that’s a huge deal. It fits in a backpack and we just store it under the bed in our Travato. And if you’ve been researching inflatable SUPs, you’ll be VERY happy when you see the price of these! Hope this helps! xoxo

        Reply
    2. Interstate Blog

      Thanks for this!

      A long time ago, my husband and I discarded the idea of permanently installing a stereo upgrade in our van. For one thing, such upgrades attract burglars like no other. For another thing, I wanted something that could be used in multiple locations – not just in our van. For a third thing, the road noise in the cab of a T1N Sprinter is so severe that it just wouldn’t be possible to get really good audio quality in that environment (although my latest blog post talks about the remarkable gains we realized by adding sound deadening products to the cab doors and firewall).

      Owing to these considerations, why make a conventional fixed stereo investment? About two years ago, I settled on a UE Boom portable speaker that I take with me wherever I go. I place it on the dash of the van and Bluetooth to it from my iPhone. It gives reasonably good quality but it’s not in the caliber of a more complete or conventional stereo, so I’ve been waiting to see how this market niche continues to develop. Looks like you’ve found one product worth investigating here.

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        Interesting thoughts on permanent stereos! You brought up some great points. I love the flexibility of the StereoActive, the ability to use it anywhere; it’s been a great addition to our toy collection, lol! Plus I can’t wait to use it when I’m teaching fitness classes on the road!

        Reply

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