There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried:
The Blue Tees Player+ GPS Speaker. Perhaps the most advanced golf speaker to date? This ain’t just for bumping to some Taylor Swift. This speaker aims to remove your rangefinder or current GPS device from the equation.
Who Tried It:
Connor. Director of Soft Goods Testing and resident sneakerhead. I believe golf is better with a pair of cool shoes and comfortable joggers. My taste in music ranges anywhere from Zac Brown Band country ballads to Gustav Holst’s masterpiece that is The Planets.
I think music on the course is good (in moderation). So long as the volume isn’t obnoxious, I think it’s a great way to more fully enjoy the game. That said, a speaker of this magnitude (should) do much more than just play music.
- Connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth
- Controlled by the Blue Tees Game
- Nearly 40,000 courses available
- Integrated touch screen
- Cart magnet mount
- 360-degree audio
- Visual and audio distances
- 100-foot range
- IPX 7 waterproof
- 10-hour battery life
What I Like
I’ll start with this declaration: The Blue Tees Player+ GPS Speaker is the most advanced golf speaker on the market.
Is it without flaws? No, but Blue Tees has done an excellent job iterating on a product category that has largely gone stale.
Here’s what I like about the Blue Tees Player+ GPS Speaker:
First and foremost, the Player+ is a speaker. Thus it needs to sound good. Will the Blue Tees Player+ blow you away with audiophile quality sound? It won’t. But you can’t expect $10k sound out of a $200 speaker.
That said, the Player+ is plenty loud and produces what I feel is decently accurate audio. It’s not too punchy when listening to some “harder” stuff like Post Malone but it’s gentle enough to provide some serenity when chilling out to Jupiter by Holst.
Magnets and Durability
Just as a golf speaker must produce good sound, it should also be durable. The Player+ has the requisite IPX 7 rating, something I look for in any golf speaker. This means the device is waterproof and can withstand up to 30 minutes of submersion in three feet of water.
The strong cart mount magnet keeps the speaker firmly in place. This is very important especially on hilly and bumpy courses. Not once did I instinctively reach for the Player+ to stop it from falling; the magnet has plenty of grab.
The Blue Tees Game App
I really enjoyed using the Blue Tees Game App. When used in conjunction with the Player+, it really creates a holistic golf course experience. While the speaker itself is great for reading distances and calling out hazards, the app provides full golf course flyovers.
I loved being able to do a quick flyover of the upcoming hole via the Blue Tees Game App. The user experience was anything but clunky and it makes it very easy to track your score and club distance stats.
Hit or Miss
The technology and functionality that sets the Player+ apart from a normal everyday speaker is the GPS. In order to be a viable replacement for a rangefinder or your traditional GPS watch, it must be accurate.
For the most part, the Player+ provided accurate numbers to the front, middle and back of the green. It also shows the distance to hazards, something that every GPS should do.
You know as well as I do that a GPS will never be as precise as a rangefinder. For this reason, I compared the Player+ distance numbers to my Garmin Approach S70, the best golf watch on the market.
The two stayed within a few yards of each other on most holes. However, there were a few holes (particularly towards the beginning of my round) that the distance was plus or minus an entire club difference. That can be a real problem.
Hit or miss? Maybe. But, for the most part, the Player+ was accurate enough to use as a stand-alone GPS device. Keep in mind that when I tested a host of GPS devices earlier this year, some varied by up to 10 or 20 yards, even within the same brand.
If anything, this just shows that the category of GPS devices as a whole has room to improve.
I’ll say it again: The Blue Tees Player+ is the most advanced golf speaker on the market. The bright touchscreen display and (decently) accurate data make this device much more than just something you’ll want to listen to music with.
Can it totally replace your rangefinder or GPS watch? I’m not comfortable saying that yet. But for less than the price of the top tech in each of those categories, you get a fully capable Bluetooth speaker and a decent GPS. Sounds like a win to me.