This year, FUSION, an emerging New Zealand based company won the National Marine Manufacturers Association Innovations Award (NMMA) at the Miami International Boat Show for their new StereoActive Portable Marine Stereo. This award honors innovative new consumer products from around the world. Quite an award to have bestowed upon you.
The FUSION StereoActive Portable Marine Stereo is not only waterproof, but it floats too.(Photocourtesy of Gary Elliot)
I had the honor of getting to review this new product along with a waterproof container that protects your valuables, the ActiveSafe. When I received the items, I was very impressed with the packaging, which reminded me of the packaging of an iPhone. Inside the StereoActive box were instructions, mounting plates, a charger and, of course the stereo. It came partially charged, but I decided to charge it fully before playing with it. It took nearly 2.5 hours for a full charge. Once charged I played it for nearly 17 hours before it announced that it was shutting down. The StereoActive offers me AM/FM/USB (MP3 Format)/Weather Band (Available in USA) and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth option does cause your phone battery to lose charge quicker, but I didn’t notice any major drawback when using my Samsung Galaxy 8+. I walked 135 feet away from the StereoActive before losing connectivity. The unit is also IPX7 rated meaning, it is waterproof for 30 minutes in up to three feet of water. It also floats, which is very important if you are a kayaker or stand-up paddleboarder. The unit can be used in 12 different languages and the language pack is available for download. A FUSION-Link app is available and I downloaded it onto my Android phone, allowing me to control the StereoActive from my phone. I was able to control the station I was listening to, volume, and change the band. I also used Bluetooth to stream my Sirius XM stations. The unit puts out 40 watts total (2 X 20 watt stereo) and has a nice bass to it. The StereoActive is compatible with iPhone 5 and up, iPod Touch and all newer Android Phones.
I am a person who enjoys his music and appreciates when it sounds great. The unit did not disappoint at all. I am able to take it anywhere; kayaking, the pool, work, in the garage at home and outside while at a party. The elements will not disrupt the music from playing. The AM/FM reception was awesome and the weather band was great. I used it while up north to check conditions before going out on the water. I do not have any MP3 music on a USB, so I have not tried that yet. The unit is easy to control because of the large, easy-to-press buttons on top. It even has a small LED light on the side in case you need a little light to help you out. There is a small flat area with an adhesive base, which allows you to mount your favorite sport camera. Railblaza makes a mount for this so that you can utilize the Starport bases. The StereoActive does come with a “Puck” with an adhesive bottom to also mount the unit to nearly any surface. The unit has a bit of weight to it weighing in at nearly three pounds. The stereo is available in red, white, and blue.
The FUSION StereoActive Portable Marine Stereo comes in three different colors.(Photocourtesy of Gary Elliot)
Firmware updates are a breeze to install. Simply download the zipped update. Extract to a USB device, insert into the StereoActive, power on and then press the “Scan Left/Right” arrows simultaneously and it will announce “Updating”. Then wait for it to announce “Update Success” and you are done. Quick and simple!
Another FUSION product is the ActiveSafe. This product keeps your smaller items, like your wallet, keys, or cell phone, dry and safe. Like the StereoActive it also has the same base pucks. Using a lever, you can lock it down to the puck. So, should you tip over your ActiveSafe it will stay with your kayak or paddle board. Just like the StereoActive, the ActiveSafe also is IPX7 rated which means it also is waterproof and floats in the water. On the ActiveSafe are 4 snap locks that pull the lid closed for a waterproof seal. On top of it another puck is available if you want to stack your StereoActive on top and lock it down to the safe while out on the water.
The quality and durability of both products are outstanding and each product should last quite a long time. The only drawback to the ActiveSafe is its depth. Other than a thin wallet, credit cards or cell phone, not much else is going to fit. Pricing is a bit steep, with the StereoActive selling for between $240.00 and $299.99 and the ActiveSafe at $99.99 … you can drop a small fortune very quickly.
Overall, the products are very well designed and made. Functional for watersports and more. They are nice to have out on the water.
For more information, please visit www.fusionentertainment.com.
Review written by Gary Elliott, facilitator of www.Facebook.com/GarysOutdoorNewsandReviews and @garys_outdoor_news_and_reviews.