The Sol Republic Deck Ultra is an upgrade of last year’s multiple-DJ Deck speaker, with more powerful bass and longer battery life.

Image: Mashable, Christina Ascani
By Pete Pachal2014-09-30 15:30:36 UTC

We liked Sol Republic’s Deck speaker when it debuted last summer. More than just your average Bluetooth speaker, the Deck had a powerful social component, allowing up to five different people connect to it simultaneously — letting a bunch of people have their turn at playing DJ.

However, the Deck was a little on the pricey side at $199.99, and its sound was only decent — not great. Sol Republic aims to address those criticisms with the Deck Ultra, a bigger, more powerful version of the Deck that sells for just $149.99.

Deck Ultra vs. Deck

The Sol Republic Deck Ultra (left) is noticeably thicker than the original Deck (right). Note the additional charging port.

Image: Mashable, Christina Ascani

We got a little hands- and ears-on time with the new Deck, and it definitely packs a punch. It’s also noticeably larger; its pancake shape is now more like a brick, accommodating a larger bass port on one of the shorter sides.

That port goes a long way in giving the Deck Ultra superior boom, and it’s more than capable of filling a fairly large room with sound. The company says the Ultra can play twice as loud as the original, and after listening to it for a few minutes, we don’t doubt it. The one compromise, apart from size, is the addition of a higher-wattage charging port on the Ultra.

The enlarged design also makes room for a bigger battery, so the Ultra is rated to play for 22 hours on a full charge. Sol Republic also fine-tuned the wireless connection — the range is now an even more impressive 450 feet, although that distance will get cut down in a hurry if you’re indoors.

Of course, the rotating-DJ “Heist Mode” is still there, letting up to five different devices connect to the Deck Ultra. To take over, just connect, fire up any music app, and hit Play. An NFC chip in the speaker makes it easy to add more folks into the mix.

The Deck Ultra is available now in “Gunmetal” gray and “Horizon Blue.”

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