Gear Review

narwhal bluetooth speaker lid on tumbler that says drink your music

Review: A Bluetooth Speaker You Never Knew You Wanted (Until Now)

narwhal bluetooth speaker lid on tumbler that says drink your music

NARWHAL Speaker Lid

Specs

NARWHAL Bluetooth tumbler lids feature a rechargeable battery with built-in patented water and dust resistance.
3.5 inch diameter (20 oz. lid) 4-inch depth
4.3 ounces (20 oz. lid)

Pros and Cons

Gear Tester Bio

Tanja is the founder of Adults Play Sports and a lover of gadgets. From the first iPhone to the first Fitbit and even the first Motorola flip phone in the nineties, she owned them all. Some gadgets are practical, while some are more whimsical, but she likes to try them all.

The Review

Affiliate disclosure: We may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com and other mentioned purchasing options.

overhead view of narwhal speaker lid on drink tumbler

You might not have ever wondered if you could convert your favorite drink tumbler’s lid into a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. But once you find out you can with an ingenious idea from a company named NARWHAL, you’ll definitely want one of these handy speaker lids. The NARWHAL is a perfect accompaniment to your favorite Stanley, YETI, Hydro Flask, or innumerable other tumbler brands.

The speaker lid is ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle. If you’re like me and feel like you constantly have a boatload of “stuff” you seem to haul around, being able to consolidate is an appealing concept.

I play soccer, golf, and am always on the go, and I love having music wherever I am, so when I came across the NARWHAL, it caught my eye. I reached out to the company about testing the lid, and they sent me one to try. While I did receive free product, this review is completely objective and honest.

Read on to get the lowdown on what’s great about the NARWHAL Bluetooth Speaker Lid–and where I think there could be a few improvements. (If you want to check out a whole slew of cool sporty gadgets, check out our curated list).

What Is A NARWHAL Bluetooth Speaker Lid, And Why Would I Need One?

The NARWHAL is a patented IPX6 water and dust-resistant Bluetooth speaker that fits onto a wide assortment of drink tumblers. While it’s designed as a lid, the NARWHAL is also practical as a lightweight, portable Bluetooth speaker you can attach to just about anything, like a backpack, golf bag, cooler, or tennis net (as seen in a review below).

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Whether you’re sipping water or cocktails by the pool, on the golf course, on the sidelines of a sports game, or just about anywhere else you might crave some tunes, you’ll appreciate the bumping stereo sound that comes out of this small speaker. Plus, if you get a phone call midway through a song, you don’t have to fumble to find and answer your phone. You can answer (and make) phone calls with the lid itself–just like you might do with your smartwatch.

The scenarios where you could use the NARWHAL are limitless. If you already carry around a portable Bluetooth speaker and a drink tumbler, consolidating those two items into one is a no-brainer.

The Story Behind The NARWHAL

The NARWHAL lid is the brainchild of a Texas couple who came up with the idea while sipping cocktails poolside (where the best ideas are made, of course). A Bluetooth speaker was usually part of their poolside repertoire, so they decided to meld the speaker with their drink lid. They named their brand after the Narwhal, which is the unicorn of the sea.

Launching in the midst of COVID was challenging, but this small business continues to make strides because its customers love the product.

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Putting the NARWHAL Speaker Lid To The Test

The Speaker Lid Description

image of narwhal speaker lid package

The NARWHAL Speaker Lid comes in 20-ounce and 30-ounce versions, meant to fit—what else—most 20-ounce and 30-ounce drink tumblers. The lid is charcoal gray and has a depth of 4 inches.

The speaker occupies most of the lid. In addition, there are five silicone buttons on the lid: play/pause, volume up, volume down, power, and phone.

You can seal the drinking hole with a sliding cover to keep your liquids safe in the tumbler.

The 20-ounce lid weighs 4.3 ounces and has a diameter of 3.5 inches. I don’t have the 30-ounce version, but I imagine it weighs only slightly more. According to NARWHAL, its diameter is 4 inches.

Using The NARWHAL Bluetooth Speaker

I performed the recommended two-hour minimum charge before the first use. Then, I popped the lid onto my favorite YETI drink tumbler and tested it out in various scenarios.

Golf Course, Soccer Field, Beach, Traveling

narwhal bluetooth speaker lid on tumbler that says drink your music

So far, I’ve used the NARWHAL while playing golf, on the sidelines of the soccer field at my games, at the beach, and on a trip to Austin, Texas.

If you’re not a traditionalist golfer and like music while you play, the combination of a Bluetooth speaker with your drink tumbler is awesome. Golf already requires so many extra accessories, and not having to tote around a separate Bluetooth speaker is oh-so-nice.

The first time I used the NARWHAL was at one of my soccer games. It was pouring rain, so I started playing Milli Vanilli’s “Blame It on the Rain” while sipping my water. Besides cracking up at the song choice, my teammates all asked where the music was coming from. When I showed them my lid, they thought it was the coolest thing and were surprised at the volume that came out of it.

I recently went on an out-of-town trip and brought the NARWHAL with me to use in the hotel room. My friend brought a portable Bluetooth speaker as well, but hers was clunkier and didn’t serve a dual purpose, and she was a bit envious of mine.

The Sound

First, let’s set expectations. This is a speaker lid, not a Bose sound system. That said, the NARWHAL delivers a punchy sound at a decent volume level. It didn’t sound tinny or distorted. It was better than I’d expected.

As a bonus, if you have two lids, you can link them together to create stereo sound, which is a pretty cool feature.

Charge Life and Range

NARWHAL claims its Bluetooth speaker lasts six hours on a single charge and has a range of 40 feet. However, some customers claim an even longer charge life. I didn’t actually time the charge when I used it, but anecdotally, I can say it lasted at least the six hours it claims and seemingly longer.

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Phone Calls

When I found out the NARWHAL Bluetooth lid lets you answer calls, it was a nice added bonus. If you’re waist-deep in water and your phone rings from the lounge chair of a pool, you’re typically out of luck. By the time you try to jump out of the water to the lounge chair where your phone is sitting, you’ll probably miss the call. And you’ll drip water all over it.

With the NARWHAL, you simply hit the “phone” button on the lid when your phone rings, and you can avoid all that I just mentioned.

I expected the sound to be shoddy or for the person on the other end not to hear me well, but none of this was true. The sound was clear to me, and the person on the other end said the same thing. They could hear me just fine.

While I wouldn’t use the lid for long calls, it’s a nice convenience to have for a brief call you don’t want to miss while you’re in the pool or elsewhere.

Durability

I’ve had my speaker lid for a few months now, and it’s held up very well. While you can’t stick it in the dishwasher, it can withstand washing by hand. I didn’t immerse it underwater. I simply used a sponge and gave it a quick rinse.

The IPX rating I mentioned earlier designates the NARWHAL as capable of withstanding high-pressure water jets but not full immersion. So, it’s not a fully waterproof Bluetooth speaker but rather strongly water resistant.

Side note: I’m also a total klutz (I’m not sure how I’m an athlete), so I’ve dropped the lid multiple times on both hard and soft surfaces, and it’s withstood those drops so far.

Price

NARWHAL’s Bluetooth speaker is currently priced at $49.99, which is comparable to other water-resistant speakers. Plus, it has the lid factor as a bonus.

Areas For Improvement On The NARWHAL Bluetooth Speaker Lid

While no company likes to hear negative things about its product, I think the founders of the NARWHAL lid are aware they could tweak some design aspects of their speaker. Since they are a startup company and bootstrapping, they can’t make changes yet, but improvements are certainly on their radar.

These are the things I think could improve:

  • Depth/thickness of the lid: At four inches deep, the lid adds quite a bit of depth to the tumbler. It honestly doesn’t matter all that much to me. Rather, the ratio of the drink hole size to the depth of the lid was a bit off, making it slightly awkward to take a big swig.
  • Slider lid: The slider that covers the drink hole is less smooth than I’d like. It does a great job of sealing and keeping liquids inside the tumbler, but it’s a bit sticky in how it slides open and closed.
  • Buttons: The silicone buttons on the lid are all the same color, and the indicators of what each button does are embossed into the buttons, e.g., a phone symbol to answer the phone. The downside is that you really have to look to see which is which. Now that I’m old and my eyes are turning to crap, when I tested the phone feature, it took me a little bit to figure out the right button to push to answer. Color-coded buttons would be a great feature.
  • Color: At the moment, charcoal gray is the only color offering in the NARWHAL Speaker Lid. A wider selection of colors would be great for those who would like to color-coordinate their lids and tumblers. While this isn’t an option, there are some options to customize the lids in bulk quantities, like adding a company logo.

Final Thoughts

I think the NARWHAL Speaker Lid is a great buy and a fun gadget to own. It certainly gets people talking when they see it in action. It won’t break the bank, and it’ll provide hours of entertainment. I give it a thumbs up. Hit the Buy Here button above to get one of your own.

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