Look, I’m no hippy; but there’s definitely something magical and awesome about the idea of transforming sunlight into music (really, I’m not a hippy — I don’t even know what patchouli oil smells like). And just like Eton’s other solar-powered Bluetooth speakers, that’s exactly what the new $200 Bluetooth-equipped Rukus XL does. Only in a bigger, badder, louder way.
The Rukus XL is the most powerful speaker of Eton’s Rukus lineup, boasting an array of 22 watts from eight speakers. Squatting over the top of the Rukus XL is an oversized, high-efficiency, 72-square-inch monocrystalline solar panel to power those watts. How efficient is the panel? Eton says all it takes is five hours under the sun to fully charge the battery — impressive.
For use in London or under a solar eclipse, an AC adapter provides a more conventional means of charging the boombox’s 8-hour lithium-ion battery.
Less common extra features worth noting here are a bass boost button and a USB port capable of charging phones and other small peripherals.