Soundcast gives dealers and customers better outdoor audio options
By Keith Loria
It was approximately a decade ago when the founders of Soundcast, experts in manufacturing and speakers, were working on an innovative speaker that was both portable and could hold up to the weather. The result was a series of speakers known as Outcast and Outcast Jr., which both went on to receive awards and critical acclaim.
In 2015, the company was sold to Hancock Park Associates, with the new owners hoping to offer a larger product line and broader distribution.
“Hancock came to it with the idea of bringing it forward with tech, functionality, vision and cash, to take it to the next level,” says Charity Hardwick, vice president of sales and marketing for the San Diego, California–based company. “It also looked to expand brand awareness on the benefits of the products’ outdoor and indoor lifestyle environments.”
Soundcast speakers are equipped with the latest components in audio technology to provide listeners with the highest quality listening experience. The speakers include built-in Bluetooth 4.2 technology for improved connection speeds and heightened security, sharp Bluetooth streaming in high-definition with aptX and AAC codecs, hands-free commands and True Wireless Stereo (TWS) configuration to sync two speakers together for left and right playback.
One way Soundcast is expanding its reach is by working with hot tub retailers and showing them the value of carrying outdoor speakers. While it’s true that most hot tubs already contain speakers, Hardwick notes that real music lovers will want something more.
“People are looking to expand their square footage of living space in the outdoors, and trying to create an activity realm with a grill, furniture and a hot tub,” Hardwick says. “They need a 360-degree audio experience that can be enjoyed by an entire group of people performing different activities in the yard. Some could be in a hot tub listening to music, but what about those people on the other side of the yard within the party who want to listen? Are you just going to crank the hot tub speaker up?”
The solution is Soundcast’s VG7, which not only stands alone as a whole backyard audio presence, but it could also pair with another unit and create an ultimate outdoor zone. Owners can control the unit with an iPhone or port, and speakers can be utilized next to the hot tub, near furniture or even where people are playing corn hole or horseshoes. It’s portable, so the speaker can be moved wherever is best. The company’s VG1 speaker is smaller, waterproof, and can be paired up with the VG7 to provide backup support.
“Hot tub dealers no longer have to service hot tubs based on audio,” Hardwick says. “They can simply add this as a package deal, or roll it into the margin and make customers happy.”
Plus, for a consumer who has invested so much money into their hot tub, losing time with it because of speaker failure requiring draining, fixing and possibly completely replacing the unit is not acceptable, Hardwick says.
“The environment of a hot tub is harsh for audio in terms of overcoming sound issues because the speakers are placed in such proximity to water but also because of chemicals used in hot tubs,” Hardwick says.
Soundcast provides POP displays for its spa retailers and has a demo program so dealers can try the product at a reduced price. It also provides an online deal portal with assets for digital, print ads, counter cards and other takeaways.
“We will ship dealers standalone displays that highlight features in both indoor and outdoor settings,” Hardwick says. “This thing is loud, powerful and really rocks. People can’t imagine what their outdoors can really sound like.”