A multitude of companies now offer portable audio solutions, but choosing one is easier said than done.

One company that stands out though, is Altec Lansing. It is a giant in the audio industry.

But are Altec Lansing products what you’re looking for? To help you out, we’ve decided to review one of their best-selling speakers: the Life Jacket 2.

Before we get to that though, here’s a preview of our top recommendations:

Altec Lansing Life Jacket 2

This one offers unmatched durability at a reasonable price. It’s relatively loud and full-featured.

Alternate 1

Altec Lansing IMW449 Jacket H2O 4

The Jacket H2O 4 comes with an integrated voice assistant. It has a modern look and is convenient to use.

Alternate 2

Altec Lansing Mini H2O 

The H2O Mini prioritizes portability. It’s affordable, waterproof, and super lightweight.

Quick Summary of the Main Product

The traditional Altec Lansing speakers and the Life Jacket 2 are as different as night and day. The Altec Lansing Life Jacket 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that’s modern and notably feature-packed.

The main reason it has caught so many eyes is its insane durability. Altec Lansing calls it “everything proof”. And surprisingly, we don’t think that’s far-fetched.

It’s almost indestructible, which makes it ideal for those who love going on adventures and don’t want their speaker to let them down.

The Life Jacket 2 isn’t for everyone though, as it doesn’t offer the best audio clarity. So if listening to music is all you plan to do, you may be better off looking at alternatives.

Features and Benefits

Sound Quality

Straight off the bat, we were surprised by how loud the unit is. It can easily fill a medium-sized room and doesn’t sound small in an outdoor environment either.

The quality of the sound is also pretty decent, unless you start pushing the Bluetooth speaker to its limits. It definitely has a bit of bass to it.

And while the speaker lacks a little bit of detail, it does offer clear vocals. Therefore, we found the speaker to be great for watching movies.


It didn’t take long for us to notice that Altec Lansing prioritised durability over everything. Even after rigorous testing, the unit showed no signs of weakness.

This is because it is quite literally built like a brick. It definitely has weight to it, but it’s not too heavy considering its size.

Plus, it’s covered with layers of rubberized padding. So any damage that it does take, doesn’t affect the working of the speaker.


The Life Jacket 2 isn’t limiting either. It offers a Bluetooth range of up to 30 feet and comes with quite a few options for connectivity.

You can always switch it up and connect the speaker to your smartphone via NFC or AUX.

One thing that we found super useful is that the Bluetooth speaker can also act as a power bank to charge other devices.

This versatility only helps its case as an outdoor speaker.

Battery Life

We found the speaker’s battery life to be one of its most impressive features.

Altec Lansing offers 16 hours of battery life. So once it’s fully charged, you’ll have nothing to worry about as it can easily last a few days.

Its large capacity makes it ideal for a full day out or even a camping trip.

Pros and Cons

Social Proof

We browsed the internet for reviews of the Life Jacket 2 to find out what the customers themselves have been saying.

The Bluetooth speaker has a positive overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon; 87% of customers gave the product 4 or 5 stars.

As we expected, most people were surprised by the incredible amount of punishment the speaker can take. A few customers also admitted that they only ever used it at moderate volumes because of how loud it can get.

altech speaker social proof
altech speaker social proof
altech speaker social proof
altech speaker social proof

More Recommendations!

#1: Alternative with Voice Assistant - Altec Lansing Jacket H2O 4 Review

One feature that the Life Jacket 2 does lack is an integrated voice assistant. We found the Altec Lansing Jacket H2O 4 to be a suitable alternative, which allows you to access Siri or Google Assistant.

We really liked how easy it is to use the Jacket H2O 4. The Bluetooth speaker connects to a phone within seconds and maintains a super strong connection. It also charges relatively fast, which is always convenient.

The sounds great as well. Especially if we consider its size, as it’s small enough to fit inside a pocket.

Features of Altec Lansing Jacket H2O 4

  1. Bluetooth range: 100 feet
  2. Battery lifetime: Up to 10 hours of playtime
  3. Waterproof and dirtproof
  4. Aux input
  5. Carabiner strap
  6. Speakerphone

Alternative with Voice Assistant


The alternative with voice assistant is the Altec Lansing Jacket H2O 4 due to its connectivity and ease of use.

#2: Smaller Alternative - Altec Lansing Mini H2O Review

Needless to say, the Life Jacket 2 is a hefty product. The Altec Lansing Mini H2O is quite the opposite.

We quickly realised that the Altec Lansing Mini H2O is designed for ultra-portability. The Bluetooth speaker is fun, hand-sized, and extremely lightweight. So you can mount or use it literally anywhere without it getting in the way at all.

We don’t expect it to easily break either, as it can certainly withstand a few drops.

And considering how tiny it is, we weren’t expecting it to sound good. But to be fair, it’s still far better than a smartphone’s speaker.

Features of Altec Lansing Mini H2O

  1. Bluetooth range: 30 feet
  2. Battery lifetime: Up to 6 hours of playtime
  3. Waterproof and dustproof
  4. Aux input
  5. Carabiner clip
  6. Speakerphone

Smaller Alternative

The smaller alternative is the Altec Lansing H2O Mini as it’s super portable and reasonably priced.

altec speaker reviews

Guide to Buy

Before you make the final decision, here are a few aspects to consider:

Bluetooth Version

The Bluetooth version directly affects the audio quality and the wireless range of a speaker.

Most speakers on the market use version 4 or 5, but you might also come across products using Bluetooth 2.1.

We strongly recommend looking for at least version 4, so you don’t have to deal with outdated features.

If a speaker uses version 5, even better. The wireless range of these speakers is about four times wider. Plus, they can also be paired to multiple devices.

So if you’re looking for something that the entire family can use, we suggest going for a speaker using version 5.

Speakerphone Functionality

If you’re someone that gets a lot of calls, you may want to look out for this feature.

Speakers that can be used as a wireless speakerphone come with an onboard microphone. This allows you to answer a call directly through the speaker without needing to look for your phone.

This can make things easier and prove to be quite useful in an indoor setting.


You should always make sure a Bluetooth speaker fulfills the purpose you have in mind.

Some speakers are designed to be placed on a shelf. These usually offer better audio quality as their size isn’t an issue. Others are specifically made for travelling. These speakers are often durable and lightweight.

Images on the internet can be misleading, so we suggest checking out the dimensions of a speaker before buying it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a Bluetooth speaker be used while it’s charging?

Yes. It’s okay to use it as it charges.

However, this isn’t the same for all products. We recommend reading the user manual of a speaker to avoid the risk of damaging it.

Is it fine to leave a Bluetooth speaker plugged in all the time?

Yes, it’s safe to do so. Most Bluetooth speakers are smart enough to stop taking a charge once full.

Does Bluetooth reduce sound quality?

Generally, Bluetooth does reduce sound quality. The amount of sensitive information that can pass through a wired connection is larger, which improves audio. This is why most people working in the music industry use wired equipment.

Wrapping Things Up

In conclusion, Altec Lansing’s Bluetooth speakers aren’t for those looking for something that offers a mind-blowing music experience. However, the company’s products do offer value for money and convenience. The Life Jacket 2, in particular, is for those who need something that passes the test of time. If you’re someone who prioritises functionality and longevity, we definitely recommend trying out the Life Jacket 2.
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