What is it?
We took a look at the Braven BRV-1 just before Christmas last year, and we liked what we saw. Braven have come back bigger and stronger, with the BRV-X, which offers all the BRV-1 did, and more! Featuring a more powerful built in battery, and hence a more powerful battery bank, more powerful sound, and an IPX5 rating, this gives you everything you want from a rugged outdoorsy speaker.
Look and feel
While rugged, this does not look rubbery. Featuring beautiful aluminium grills and with a slick feel, the speaker is designed to give you the peace of mind that any bump or drop will not be damaging the speaker.
The front features a grill behind which the speakers hide. The sides have loops to add straps or a lanyard if you wish.
The top features buttons for controls.
The back is where most of the magic happens though, and it happens very well. A cap hides the ports, which are the AUX in, USB out for charging, and the charging connector in. Buttons let you see the battery levels, which are shown as a set of LEDs, or RESET the device if required. A rocker switch lets you choose between Indoor and Outdoor mode, which is designed to give you more powerful experience.
At about 680 grams, it is about heavy as your basic tablet, and while it isn’t slim, it is pretty easy to throw in your bag and go for that picnic or BBQ.
- Stream music over Bluetooth
- Pair more speakers together to get stereo
- Make handsfree calls
- Weather proof, with IPX5 waterproof rating
- Features indoor and outdoor modes, to give you that extra oomph
- Built in power bank to charge your devices
- AUX in to play music from any device
The speaker has two modes of pairing. You can use NFC, which allows you to pair straight away, and a feature becoming fairly common and fairly useful for the people who have NFC capable devices.
Otherwise, it is quite the basic process we have become used to. Search for the device, pair it, and off you go. Make calls, and stream music when it is on, and just turn it off to unpair it.
To pair a different device, just hit the RESET button from the back, and repeat the process. You can also use the ‘PLAY’ button on top to tackle pairing.
The top controls offer Power, Play and Pause (as well as answering phone calls), and raising the volume up and down. The volume buttons also allow you to skip tracks, or go one back. Fairly simple, fairly straight forward, and just the way I like it.
Making phone calls
This features a powerful speaker, and offers abilities to do voice conferences thanks to the noise cancelling microphone as well as the clear sound it offers. However, what I often find with such speakers is that the powerful voice I end up sitting a bit further than it than should be for a regular voice conference call. Anyway, despite personal weaknesses, it works quite well, and can prove to be quite useful if you want to use it for this purpose.
The main thing you want is the sound, and boy this speaker is good at delivering it. The bass is probably not the strongest you will get, but it is really good in the treble area, offering you great quality of sound. So whether you like your classics, or listen to the usual stuff such as rock or pop, the performance is quite good. The clarity is particularly good. The bass is not the heaviest, and that is generally how I prefer my sound to be, but it could be something that bothers the people who like bass heavy music. However, personally, I find it works quite well over the different types of music I enjoy.
The speaker features both an outdoor and indoor mode. Most of the testing I did was on indoor mode, where the sound is quite good. Once you move it to outdoor mode, it adjusts the frequency such that the sound can be heard over background noise, such as the sea or traffic. It also doesn’t get lost in open space, something regular speakers struggle with. As a speaker that has been designed for the outdoors, this is definitely a very clever feature, and I imagine we shall see more of this as weather proof speakers become the norm.
More information on this can be found at the following link:
It retails for around £200.
The Braven BRV-X is a feature rich speaker that offers more than most of it competitors. Rugged, weather proof and a powerful sound mean this can be the only speaker you will need, specially with the clever outdoor mode. However, being rugged does make it look and feel a bit bulky.