Soundcore Rave Neo a great outdoor speaker for only $99, ZVOX products explained (Week 26, 2020)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 26, 2020

Q. Can you recommend a pair of outdoor Bluetooth speakers for a patio? The patio is 20×32 feet and the speakers need to have an internal battery since there is limited access to electrical outlets. They should be water resistant and we don’t want to put a lot of money into them in case they “somehow” disappear. Of course, we would like good sound, too. What do you recommend? I would like to stay at $200 or less per speaker.

-T.M., Charlotte, NC

A. A considered a few possibilities but kept coming back to the $99 Soundcore Rave Neo, available exclusively at Walmart. Soundcore is the manufacturer of the Flare speaker series I have praised so highly in this column, and the Rave Neo continues the winning trend.

The Rave Neo is a sturdy, waterproof speaker that makes a colorful lightshow that pulses to the beat of the music, just like the Flare series. The lightshow can be turned off, which leaves you with an excellent speaker with solid, full sound that can fill a large outdoor area.

You can link up to 100 Rave Neo speakers to play and flash in sync. They can also be linked to the Soundcore Flare 2 speakers to provide even more flexibility, and the optional app allows you to adjust the sound quality and lightshow colors. At only $99 it is difficult to overstate what a great value the Rave Neo is, packing in a tremendous amount of quality and technology for comparatively little money.

Q. I’m confused about all the ZVOX options, such as soundbase, soundbar, and television speaker. Could you do a short primer to explain the differences?

-P.Y., Cupertino, CA

A. A ZVOX soundbase is a home-theater-quality speaker that is broad and flat. It goes on a table or stand and the television is placed on top of it. One of ZVOX’s first products, they are not as common today as more and more television manufacturers put the legs at the edges of the television, which makes them too wide to fit on the soundbase.

A soundbar is a home-theater-quality speaker that can be mounted on the wall or placed under the TV. Soundbars are ubiquitous and I think pretty much everyone reading this knows what they look like. ZVOX soundbars have the subwoofers built-in, so you get full-range sound from a single speaker.

A ZVOX Television Speaker is designed with dialogue clarity in mind, making voices easier to understand while making everything sound better overall. They are much smaller than the soundbase and soundbar products, but not necessarily less expensive because they are a specialty product with a lot of technology baked into them.

If you are in the market for a TV speaker or headphones, the AV203 Television Speaker is on sale for $199, reduced from $269. The coupon SAVE30 brings the price down to $169 for a total savings of $100. The $149 AV50 Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones are on sale for $99, and the SAVE30 coupon gets you some very nice headphones for only $69. The same headphone deal ran earlier this year and was extremely popular with readers, as noise-cancelling headphones tend to be expensive to begin with and these are some pretty good ones. They come with a case and can be used wired as well as wirelessly. The coupon is good through July 31.