Gear: Braven BRV-X

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Continuing our trend of sound products, our attention turns away from headphones and towards speakers as we take a look at the indestructible Braven BRV-X. Josh cranks some tunes and puts on his testing hat. Results below.

Looking like a small spaceship, the Braven BRV-X is not going to impress the design conscious with its build.  Chunky and wide, this speaker is aimed at a very different audience: the kind of people who are rough with their technology. Imagine this speaker kind of like the old Nokia 5210, though it was perhaps a bit heavier that other phones in its class, it was popular because it was designed for tradies, builders and those of us that just can’t stop dropping their phones. The same applies here, the Braven is not for dainty hands and the fashion minded. It is built Tonka tough for sunlight and outdoor activities (scary I know). This doesn’t mean it doesn’t stack up against the competition, just that it needs to be looked at differently.

Design

As someone who is very into design, this unit feels a bit bulky for me, the BRV-X does not slip into my bag or sit quietly in the background, the unit has presence, and the construction definitely knows what hardships the unit is likely to go through. Its buttons and outside casing are sealed making it perfect for outdoor use, and if you leave the port protector cap on the back screwed on it’s completely water proof, making it a great pick for those users that play sports, or regularly frequent the beach. A provided strap gives you flexibility for how you use it; clip it to a fence if you don’t want it rolling around in the dirt or hang it from a tree if you’re having a party. Though it may not win me over on its weight or size, there is something to be said for having a speaker you can toss around, technology is usually such a fragile and dainty industry of products and knowing that you can really treat it rough is a very useful attribute. Braven BRV-X-600x531

Features

Features are one of the strongest aspects to the BRV-X, offering NFC connection for Android users the Braven can be paired with your device by simply swiping it against the unit. Opening up its back panel will show you the rest of what it has to offer; there is a toggle switch allowing and indoor and outdoor setting, changing the output to push for range in a noisy environment at a cost of a little depth. A battery button will help you keep an eye on charge levels, though it won’t often be a problem as the BRV-X offers around 12 hours of juice, plus the USB port on the back means that the Braven can be used to charge your device if you are running low on juice, perfect for things like camping.
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Performance

It took me a long time to find words for this section. Honestly, the Braven disappointed me for sound quality when I first turned it on. The delivery is not missing power or bass, nor does it struggle with range. However, after doing side by side comparison tests against 4 alternative speakers in the same price range, and trying several different types of music, what seems to be most noticeably missing is subtlety. The BRV-X can deliver an amazing amount of sound, the kind that could start a party on the beach or turn a picnic into a happening get together, however when brought inside and used to listen to something like Portishead’s Roads all of the raw grunt swallows the tenderness of the track and will leave fussier fans a little disappointed.BRVX_Front_v1-copy

Overall

Though it may lack a little in the sound department, the Braven is a unique and powerful solution for users that need more protection than the average tech geek. Power, durability and function have all been metered out evenly giving the user a more rugged solution, but this means that it’s not designed for a gamer that spends a lot of time inside. If your life is active or your work has you out in the world a lot, this may be the kind of speaker that follows you wherever you go, but for those wanting to chill out to some quiet music, another option would probably be better suited.

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Joshua Philpott

Tech MacGyver
Games writer, podcaster and tech wizard. Obsessed with obscure horror films, crazy gadgets and caffeine. Passionate, argumentative and open minded. Freelance writer and co-founder rawDLC.

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