The Eton Rukus Solar is a new Bluetooth wireless sound system that is compact and portable. It’s design is perfect for the outdoors, with a sturdy handle and a wide solar panel on one of the faces of the device. This panel will charge the Rukus while you enjoy the great outdoors with family or friends. It also has an e-link display that will let the user know if the device is charging or not, and at what rate is the battery charging. This display works in bright outdoor light, and can easily been see in the sun, if on the lake or at the beach.
The Rukus comes in black, white and green color variations. Its design includes two cylindrical speakers that extend throughout the body of the Rukus, connected by a handle and the solar panel. It is 8.1x 12x 3.3 inches and weighs a somewhat heavy 4 pounds 13 ounces. The controls and e-link display are located near the handle at the top of the device, and include volume and bass control. The display notifies the user of battery life, activity charging through DC adapter or solar panel and Bluetooth link.
On the back on the device are a USB port, a 3.5 mm audio aux input and a DC power input. The aux input allows non-Bluetooth devices, like iPods, to be plugged into the Rukus and still utilized by the device and the group of people using it. There is also a mesh cradle here that wireless and wired devices can be placed. This will keep the device safe and close to the main unit, something that is integral when using a wireless system. The Rukus is a grab and go sound system that will work in most conditions, and users will find the features like the mesh cradle and the USB port extra helpful.
The Rukus is not without some problems, though. For example, the maximum volume on the Rukus leaves something to be desired, and users may find that they cannot bump the tunes they would like as loud as they would like due to the fact that the speakers cannot oblige them. This is especially strange and unexpected when connected to a machine that so obviously markets and caters to those who like the outdoors. Everything about the design practically screams “hike” or “cookout”, but the low maximum volume will make this sound system a hard one to hear over the den of any outdoor social gathering.
Even though the Rukus falls short on the volume department, the quality of sound that it dies produce is good. It doesn’t distort low frequencies, and actually has separate controls for setting the bass parameters of the speakers. It also has a good control of its treble, and does not squeak when pushed to the upper range.
The Rukus is run off of a rechargeable 1500 mAh battery that last for surprisingly long period of time. When the battery is low, the Bluetooth function may cut in and out as the connection drops. This may also happen if the main unit and the Bluetooth device are separated over distances of 15 or more feet. This is common for Bluetooth stereo systems and should not be taken as a fault of the Rukus. However, there are reports of random dropouts happening for apparently no reason. This could be do to a hardware flaw in the Rukus, or it could be a linking software problem.
The Eton Rukus Solar is a machine that consumers can grab and use, as it requires very little set up and is very easy to use. Simply connect your device and link up to the speakers, and press play. Users can even switch what device they want to be linked to the Rukus, allowing different DJs to play their devices without ever having to switch cords. The Eton Rukus is selling for $129.00.