Wireless Bluetooth speakers have been around for so long that it’s hard to get excited over new models that only offer incremental improvements to battery life and sound quality year after year. That’s why Acer’s new Halo Swing caught our eye. Yes, it’s yet another waterproof wireless speaker, but it’s also a smart speaker that doesn’t need a permanent tether to a power outlet, so you can still have access to Google Assistant while partying out in the backyard.
Like its predecessor, the original Acer Halo Smart Speaker, the Halo Swing also features a low-res white LED display beneath its fabric wrap that’s invisible until it turns on, displaying information like the time of day, the weather, alarms, or even notifications mirrored from a connected smartphone. Using an accompanying mobile app, the LED display can also be programmed with custom messages or images you can draw yourself.
Acer is promising 360-degree sound from the Halo Swing, with bass performance from a built-in subwoofer, and up to 10 hours of jam pumping on a single charge. The battery can be topped off using the speaker’s USB-C port, or an included wireless charging dock that also enhances the LED light show on the bottom. It also comes with a removable leather strap for easily carrying or hanging the speaker, but limited IPX5 waterproofing, which means that it can shrug off rain or splashes, but not an accidental dunking in a pool.
Connectivity to devices or directly to streaming services is handled by either Bluetooth or wifi 6 compatibility, although details on pricing or availability haven’t been revealed at this point.
Those who prefer their tech to be hidden away are probably going to roll their eyes at the Halo Swing, which follows the recent trend of Bluetooth speakers incorporating colorful LED light shows that flash and pulse along with whatever music is on. There’s a ring of them around the base of the speaker that are also used to visually indicate when Google Assistant is listening to your questions or commands, so there’s at least some practical functionality offered.