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Friday, January 3, 2014

Gadget Review: Braven 850 Speaker

Review by Matt S.

The Braven 850 (and its ruggard counterpart the 855s) are bricks. They are weighty, unassuming little boxes that also happen to house some truly incredible noise making speakers.

These things are designed to be taken out and about to picnics, the beach and BBQs, but I do think that it will get as much use in the home thanks to its capacity to blast out sheer noise. I'm not understating that in the slightest - take this thing outside on a busy street and it will beat out the noise of the environment. Being designed for the outdoors, indoors the noise gets excessive quickly, but thankfully the quality of the speakers means it's good noise.

The design of the speaker is incredibly minimalist, and it's Bluetooth-only. The idea is clearly that you'll pair it with your iPhone and iPad, but there's gaming applications too. The speaker is substantially better than the internal one in an iPad for instance, making iOS gaming that much more immersive. It's also the better way to watch movies on the device. The Playstation Vita also pairs up happily with the speaker and, again, becomes the superior way to play games.

Sadly, the Nintendo 3DS lacks Bluetooth so you won't be blaring out Mario Kart over the Braven. Other than that though it's the perfect accompaniment if you're looking to take your handheld gaming and turn it cinematic.

There are other benefits to this little speaker, though, that make it the essential travel companion in my book. For one thing, it's got an incredibly beefy battery that will last hours of continuous use. That's good, but it gets even better when you consider that the device is also perfectly capable of acting as a mobile charging station. If you're like me and can wear out a battery of an iPhone in a half day, having this in the backpack for longer trips becomes indispensable. Finally, it also works as a hands-free device, allowing you to take calls through it in the car or wherever else you might be.

The rugged speaker has a rubber coat which helps protect it from drops and water and makes sense if you are going to use it outside of grebe home more. If you buy a couple of these speakers it's also possible to daisy chain them together wirelessly for a true surround sound experience.

As premium products, these speakers don't come cheaply, but the sound quality is right up there and the extra features, as well as their sheer versatility for both home and outdoors makes them an essential device for a household that enjoys its outside fun.



- Matt S
Editor-in-Chief
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld


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Gadget Review: Braven 850 Speaker
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