Early last year, we reviewed and loved G-Boom, a remarkable ruggedized $100 boombox from a relatively unknown developer named G-Project. It turned out that G-Project shared some key personnel with Soundfreaq, maker of many good and great speakers, yet was focused on producing even more budget-conscious yet durable Bluetooth audio gear. This month, G-Project debuted what it’s alternately calling the “New G-Go” or the second-generation G-Go ($60), an update to one of its earliest speakers. Roughly the size of and similarly shaped to a milk carton, G-Go is an alternative to G-Boom for users who need a smaller, durable, and water-resistant speaker at a lower price point.
G-Boom was our main reference point for the uniquely ridged, accordion-like hard plastic frames that also appeared in G-Grip, G-Pop, and G-Zip, but the original 2012 version of G-Go originated the design. The same ridges run from G-Go’s top to bottom, interrupted by two 1.8” speakers that are stacked one atop the other. It’s clear from a rubberized bottom and upright G-Project logo that G-Go is really meant to stand on its short edge, but it can be laid down on a long side for proper left and right stereo separation. There’s no rubber on that long side, which also isn’t flat, so don’t be surprised if it rocks a bit in that position.
Most of the new G-Go’s industrial design changes are obvious from the front. G-Project previously protected the speakers with four short clear plastic bars, using two for each speaker; this model now has four long clear plastic bars that run from the top of the top speaker to the bottom of the bottom one. They’re more protective than before, but they also make manually drying the new G-Go’s front more difficult, as you just need to let the water behind them run off on its own. G-Project also shifted previously dot-shaped power and Bluetooth lights into nicer-looking small light bars above and below a centered gorilla face logo. Considered in totality, we wouldn’t call either of the G-Go designs definitively better-looking than the other; the newer one is just a little more functional while the original model looked a hint fancier.
G-Go has a collection of eight rubberized buttons on its right side, including necessities such as power, Bluetooth, and volume adjustments, plus sometimes absent play and track controls, a boon for starting and changing songs from afar. Rarely seen on budget speakers, an EQ button shifts through three preset equalizer settings that only barely change the sound output, but can accentuate the treble or bass if you find that your songs need a little tweaking in either direction.
You’ll also find a G-Boom-like super ruggedized metal and plastic carrying handle on the back, along with two lock-sealed compartments. The first houses rear power and aux ports, and the one on G-Go’s bottom optionally holds four AA batteries. G-Go is unusual for a $60 speaker in that it includes a 1-Amp USB port for charging other devices, yet requires you to self-supply AA cells to keep it running for up to eight hours. The port may be of value as an easy place to connect your favorite Lightning cable and iPhone when G-Go’s running off wall power, but not for tapping into the unit’s limited AAs.
G-Project speakers always punch well above their weight class in terms of sound quality for the dollar, so it’s no surprise that the new G-Go sounds great for its $60 price. Despite having only two drivers to replicate the entire sound spectrum, G-Go is a fully peer match for the overall quality and volume of Braven’s $100 waterproof speaker Mira, which is smaller, more shower-friendly, and rechargeable, but not as rugged or affordable. Mira’s smaller drivers help it win on treble response, but G-Go has stronger bass, producing sound that leans a little warmer without sounding bloated or fuzzy. We were also impressed by G-Go’s ability to fully keep up with the audio portions of streaming videos, flawlessly streaming without any perceptible delay. On the flip side, we did notice occasional split-second audio drop-outs when testing G-Go in a shower at several feet of distance from an iPhone 6 Plus, but there were no issues during normal testing in our office environment.
G-Go’s water resilience isn’t fully quantified on its package or early marketing materials, but the company is promising IPX4 certification — enough water resistance to withstand spraying by jets of water for short periods of time, but not submersion or extended water exposure. We tested G-Go in a shower, holding it briefly under a showerhead and splashing it from various angles; it continued playing music without any obvious water-related issues. Due to its size, shape, and less than complete stability when placed on its side rather than upright, it wouldn’t be our first choice as a shower speaker, but it can certainly work there — and outdoors — without much of an issue.
Overall, G-Go offers a compelling combination of a resilient design and great sound quality for a very low price—it’s worthy of our high recommendation and A- rating. While G-Project has cut some frills relative to $100 speakers to achieve the price point, what it does deliver justifies the $60 MSRP, which is only $10 more than the much smaller and very differently designed G-Drop. Depending on your needs, you may find either the submersible monaural G-Drop or the more powerful stereo G-Go to be better for your needs. You won’t go wrong with either of them.
Company and Price
Compatible: All Bluetooth-capable iPads, iPhones + iPods