Sturdy, water-resistant casing; Very good battery life; Can charge mobile phones
Top volume isn't loud enough for many tracks; Loud tracks distort at top volume
The BRV-1 is a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker that will please outdoorsy types, offering long battery life and the ability to charge your smartphone.
The Braven BRV-1 ($179) is aimed at outdoorsy types who want wireless sound while they're out in the wet 'n wild wilderness. It offers some handy features, including the ability to survive rain and splashes, wireless playback control and a beefy battery that lasts up to 12 hours and charges your mobile phone. If you want a splash-proof speaker, the BRV-1 will certainly please, but it's better for personal listening than entertaining.
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The controls on top include power, play/pause and volume buttons that double as track skip/rewind when you hold them down.
The package includes a microUSB cable, an audio line-in cable and a lanyard. There's no wall plug, as the speaker is designed to be charged using a phone charger or a computer's USB port.
Pairing the BRV-1 with your smartphone is a snap -- just press the power button until you hear a sound suspiciously similar to the Android "Droid" startup sound, and then press the Play button until you hear a few soft beeps to enter pairing mode. Our iPhone 4S picked up the device right away, and we had no problems pairing quickly.
But there's a catch. With many tracks, the BRV-1's volume (wired or via Bluetooth) generally isn't loud enough to fill a room, let alone the great outdoors. The BRV-1 is best at providing a good listening experience from just a few feet away. Beyond that, the sound drops off pretty sharply. Throw on a track that's mastered to be very loud (any club hit, or modern R&B song), and you'll get some good volume, but at the price of noticeable distortion.
The BRV-1 also works as a Bluetooth speakerphone, but the audio isn't particularly clear. Braven estimates that the BRV-1's 1400 mAh battery will last up to 12 hours playing music.
|Battery Type/Life||Built-in, 12 hours|
|Size||4.75 x 3.25 x 2.25 inches|