Having already mastered the development of big, Bluetooth party speakers with flashing lights and gesture-activated sound effects, Sony has taken on a new challenge for what’s probably its weirdest gadget at CES 2019: it’s trying to build the ultimate tailgating speaker; the ultimate barbecue speaker; the ultimate outdoor speaker. This is the GTK-PG10, and if we are to properly recognize its greatness, step one is ignoring that product “name.”
This $250 speaker has a dedicated outdoor party mode. What does it do? How does it change the music EQ? Sony says that the DSP (digital signal processor) “automatically adapts audio settings to optimize outdoor performance.” Its rechargeable battery is good for up to 13 hours of playback.
Left as is, the speaker has a cube shape with built-in handles, and you can even throw it up on a speaker stand if you want to elevate the jams. But that seems inadvisable for two reasons. First, the true magic happens when you open up those two top panels. When that happens, “the built-in tweeters face upwards and outwards, spreading the sound wider for outdoor parties.” Better sound quality is enough to make spreading those wings worthwhile, but the speaker can also hold up to four Solo cups — and the top is splash-proof, so if someone completely misses the cupholder after too many rounds of beer pong and douses the thing, hopefully it’ll come out okay and party mode will just keep on bumping.
There’s an FM radio in this absolute unit, but for $250 I promise you’re also getting Bluetooth, a wired USB connection, and an aux input. I also spot buttons for Mega Bass — a Sony signature — and for changing the musical key in cases where your outdoor party... involves karaoke, I’m guessing, since there’s also a microphone input on here too.
Update January 7th, 9:51PM ET: Corrected the speaker model name from GTK-P10 to GTK-PG10.