WAE  - WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM


WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM: immune to water, not to distortion

Aprox. 39€

See specifications

A little over a year ago, the manufacturer WAE, an offshoot of Hercules, released its portable speaker for backpackers Outdoor 04Plus. A product now renewed to add functionality it seems to be in great demand by its audience: an FM radio receiver / tuner. The opportunity to look at the benefits of this new version.

Positive points

Robust construction, IP67 certification.

FM radio.

Very practical mobile app (alarm, lists of favorite stations, update of frequencies by geolocation ...)

Balanced frequency response.

Bad points

Saturation and crackling of the passive radiator, which can occur at low listening levels.

Anecdotal stereo.

Excessive Bluetooth latency.

No multipoint Bluetooth connection.

No hands-free kit function.

Physical controls on the speaker too limited (no play / pause button).

Our review


The prismatic envelope of the WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM is certainly bulky enough for an "ultra-portable" speaker (15 cm long, 6 cm side), but it is above all its featherweight, only 300 grams, which is worth it this title. Despite this lightness, the physics of the speaker inspires confidence, dressed in a robust plastic that we readily believe quite effective in terms of protection against shocks.

But the 04Plus is also perfectly resistant to dust and especially to water. IP67 certified - a novelty compared to the standard edition of the 04Plus, which was only "only" IP66 certified - it must be able to withstand a 30-minute immersion in 1 meter of water. In any case, she suffered the few torture sessions we inflicted on her without flinching.

Because of this certification, the connectors are hidden behind a waterproof plastic flap. There is the micro-USB port for recharging the speaker, as well as an auxiliary input on 3.5 mm mini-jack.

The control buttons, meanwhile, are in very small numbers: in addition to the one used to launch the FM radio, they consist of an on / off button, two volume buttons, which can also be used to navigate to the next / previous track by long press ... and that's it; not even a play / pause button in sight. It's a little light.

The 04Plus FM comes with the WAE Music mobile application, available on iOS and Android. Very complete and pleasant to use, it is notably used, in the absence of a screen on the speaker, for the use of the radio: in addition to the simple choice of the station listened to, it allows in particular to update frequencies according to the geographic position of the user, but also to define two lists of favorite stations. Navigation between the stations saved in these lists can then be done directly on the speaker, by long press on the volume buttons, as mentioned above.

Other interesting features are also offered by the application, such as the possibility of setting an alarm, deactivating the sound signaling on the speaker ... or even defining a personalized equalization - of course, with only three bands available, the precision of the thing is quite relative. Furthermore, this equalization is carried out by the app itself and not by the speaker electronics, which means that it is deactivated as soon as you quit the application or plug in on FM radio.

Note that when an alarm is set, it is necessary not to completely shut down the speaker for it to go off well, but only to put it in standby via the application - beware of the non-zero impact on the autonomy. Since we are talking about it, moreover, we measured the autonomy at around 8:30 am in Bluetooth - less good than the 10 hours announced by the manufacturer. In FM radio mode, the number rises to 2 pm

Last point finally: it should be noted that the 04Plus FM has neither hands-free kit functionality nor the ability to connect to several Bluetooth devices simultaneously. It's all the more frustrating that the non-FM version of the speaker is indeed compatible with the Bluetooth A2DP multipoint profile ...



We can legitimately expect a loudspeaker openly designed for outdoor use to heal its performance at high volume. Alas, it is quite the opposite that the 04Plus FM offers.

However, the first contact can easily seem quite encouraging. The extension in the bass is certainly not spectacular, but it is quite worthy of what one is entitled to expect from an enclosure of this size. Above 200 Hz, the enclosure is also neutral, difficult to fault, ensuring perfectly natural restitution. Human voices, in particular, are rendered with a very convincing realism and presence. Just note there is a slight highlighting of the acute extremes, in no way excessive, which just accentuates the feeling of sound details.

Unfortunately, all this is only true as long as one confines oneself to a very wise listening volume; extremely wise even. Many distortion artifacts begin to be heard as soon as you exceed only 30% of the maximum volume of the speaker. The transients become a real ordeal, especially for the passive radiator which saturates and begins to "slam" at the slightest opportunity; on a simple recording of solo piano, modest chords plated a little strong can bring him to his knees!

To keep hearing comfort to a minimum, it is therefore necessary to be content with extremely reduced listening levels. Under these conditions, there is absolutely no point in hoping that the speaker can be heard in slightly difficult acoustic conditions. Problematic, especially for an enclosure whose main selling point is weather resistance ...

The 04Plus FM provides stereophonic reproduction, but this is perfectly anecdotal: the two channels are far too close to each other for their separation to be perceptible, unless you literally stick your face to the grid. The speaker, on the other hand, is not very directive, ensuring good sound distribution.

Bluetooth latency is also a source of dissatisfaction. Rising to almost half a second, it is far too high to hope to be able to watch a video without compensation for this delay, and could even be inconvenient for use in voice communication.



Promise not fulfilled for the WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM: unable to assume sound levels even if only very moderately high, it cannot be recommended as an outdoor speaker - nor as an indoor speaker, in truth. Too bad, because its robust construction and its very successful mobile application are not without appeal.