iHome Aquio Bottle + Speaker review: Hydrate and jam

This is the accessory you never knew you needed: a double wall insulated bottle and a waterproof Bluetooth speaker in one. That's right: a single accessory you can pack for your next adventure. Your beverage of choice will stay cool or warm, and your favorite tunes will be amplified.

The Good

  • Dual purpose accessory
  • Cold drinks stay cold
  • Hot drinks stay hot
  • Speaker is waterproof and sandproof
  • Nice looking
  • Carrying loop on top

The Bad

  • No onboard volume controls
  • Low-quality sound at high volume

Two products in one

iHome IBTB2 Aquio Bottle + Speaker: Features

It's actually four pieces. Starting from the top, there is a lid for the bottle, of course, the bottle itself, the speaker, and the base. Either the speaker or the bottle can be screwed into the base if you are using them separately. There is also an included USB charging cable but you'll have to plug it into your own block or port.

The water bottle is what you'd expect from a double wall insulated stainless steel water bottle. This 16.9 oz bottle is BPA free and fits in most cup holders. A loop on the lid makes the Aquio easy to carry. It keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours, and hot drinks hot for 14 hours. I tested these claims; it really does. I like that the mouth of the bottle is smooth and thick, not "sharp" like some stainless steel bottles are. This makes it comfortable to drink from. The bottle is hand-wash only, and of course, you'll want to unscrew it from the speaker before washing.

The speaker itself is waterproof and sandproof, with an IP67 certification. This means that it's immersible for up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to three feet. The rubber cover that protects the charging port and reset port must be securely closed before exposure to water, snow, or sand.

The speaker's operation is quite simple; once you connect it to your device via Bluetooth, you can use the Play/Pause button to perform several different functions. When using it as a speakerphone: press once to answer or end a phone call, or long press to decline a call. When listening to music, you can press once to play or pause your music. Double press to skip to the next track. Triple press to go back to the previous track or start of the current track.

You can get up to six hours of play time from a single charge. Choose from four fun colors: Seafoam Green (shown here), Blush Pink, Merlot Purple, and Midnight Black.

No compromises

iHome IBTB2 Aquio Bottle + Speaker: What I like

My first thought when I saw this was, "Huh?" I couldn't have imagined combining a water bottle with a speaker. But the more I thought about it, and used it, the cooler it became. I started to think about situations where it might come in handy, such as a day at the beach or pool, or on a hike. I will definitely take it to school on days when I need to play a song or video clip for my students. I always get thirsty when I teach and bring water anyway.

The price is really quite reasonable for this product. A brand name dual wall insulated stainless steel bottle alone isn't much cheaper than this, and of course, many speakers alone cost more.

Not exactly a must for everyone

iHome IBTB2 Aquio Bottle + Speaker: What I don't like

This isn't really a must-have speaker, particularly if you already own a portable speaker and water bottle that you're happy with. There are certainly better speakers out there for true audiophiles. I noticed that at the highest volume, the sound is just a bit muffled. You also can't control the volume directly on the speaker. The volume control on your device itself does translate to the speaker, though. I was able to control the speaker's volume with my Apple Watch, as well.

Just a cool product

iHome IBTB2 Aquio Bottle + Speaker: Bottom line

While iHome's Aquio Bottle + Speaker definitely falls more into the "want" than the "need" category, it is a product that just about anyone would enjoy having. What a great gift (or a treat for oneself) for the music lover who likes to stay hydrated on the go.

See at Amazon

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.