Soundcast Outcast Junior
60W outdoor sound system – the ultimate in ASBO tech?
Review Aimed at outdoor music lovers, the Outcast Junior comes from American manufacturer Soundcast Systems and, compared to the larger Outcast model, is the more compact and affordable version. It features four 3in drivers at the top of the unit and a 6.5in sub-woofer in the base, all powered by a 60W digital amplifier. Despite looking like a cross between a parking bollard and a pedal bin, its form is borne from its genuine ruggedness.
Soundcast’s Outcast Junior: the noisy neighbours' weapon of choice
Appearing a little lacklustre in a shade of battleship grey, the Junior feels very solid with its hard plastic and rubberised body. Every input has a sealable cover for protection from water and grit. The whole shebang weighs in at 8.2kg and gives the product stability, while still being light enough to carry with its rubberised handle to a shady glade without breaking your back. The Junior also has protruding feet, which help to hold the product firmly in place on soft ground such as sand.
The unit includes several power options: an internal 12V rechargeable unit, a 12V car converter lead and a mains adapter. Initial charge on the internal cell took around seven hours and recharging takes roughly the same. All the connections and controls on the unit are easy to locate and operate.
There are also different ways to deliver music to the Junior. It comes with a 3.5mm jack input and cable to hook up to external music sources. Alternatively, there are two transmitters options: the iCast for iPod owners or the Universal AudioCast Transmitter (UAT). While these are sold separately, nobody is likely to buy a Soundcast Junior without one of these so we’re reviewing this as a system, rather than just the main unit.
The UAT supports a USB connection to Windows PCs or Macs, as well as audio devices such as a CD, player or iPod through line-level inputs on the UAT. The Transmitter kits can come with various cable combinations from 3.5mm mini-jacks as well as RCA phono connectors. The iCast transmitter adds £75 to the outlay or £95 for the UAT. The unit’s own price tag is £399. At that price point, the unit is not an insignificant purchase, so it better be good.
Also featuring a 3.5mm input, the iCast dock needs mains power; hampering portability
Both transmitters have a quoted range of 350ft. Testing with the iCast version we found this to be about right. Obviously, the amount of potential interference is going to be a factor. In town the distance achievable varied a little, but away from built up areas, the unit lived up to its spec with no problems at all.