Review: Braven BRV-1

[IMG]Braven | Speaker | $ 179.99

Braven is a company that seems to have their focus in the bluetooth speaker market. In the dense world of audio, it seems that a new BT speaker pops up every day. Like the previous couple I’ve recently reviewed, this one is spec’d to be waterproof as well. The overall audio quality isn’t too bad either. 

In the Box

  • Braven BRV-1
  • Strap
  • USB Charging Cable
  • Auxiliary Cable
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Design

The BRV-1 takes after a rugged design; this is really no surprise though knowing that it’s been IPX5 water resistant. The speaker is available in two different colors, black with blue accents and black with orange accents. The design is very attractive, but reminds me of binoculars. Overall, the materials used, rubber and metals, as well as the orange color scheme makes the entire speaker look strong.

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Design: ★★★★

Audio

The Braven BRV-1 has some unique characteristics to it. Despite the fact that the speakers measure more linear when in BT mode, the speakers still sound better using the auxiliary output. An auxiliary cable is included though.

The BRV-1 have a nice linear output overall, but the bass drops off around the 250 Hz region. The bass is is amplified though surfaces due to the passive radiator on the bottom of the speaker. This allows bass to be amplified a bit and move the air like a normal sub tries to do. The midrange tends towards the warmer side of things offering a more intimate presentation. Treble offers ample extension, but doesn’t hold too much energy behind it as a whole.

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Bass

The bass as a whole isn’t extremely strong. There is a strong mid bass presence overall allowing the bass to punch strongly with a quick decay. Impacts are minimal at best and aren’t as tight, or strong as they should be. The sub-bass has an overall strong presence and is able to put out subtle textures. It does, however, find itself covered up a bit too much.

Mids

The midrange, as I stated is a little on the warmer, intimate side of things. This isn’t a bad thing, it makes the speaker a little smoother as a whole, and easier to listen to. Detailing definitely isn’t a strong focus of the BRV-1, but there’s enough to go around. For some reason, the upper midrange clarity seems to find itself in the back seat quite a bit. Vocals have a slight lushness to them, but overall don’t go deep enough. The upper vocals are really hit or miss. Some vocalists are portrayed fine, others not.

Highs

The upper end of the spectrum is a little laid back. Extension into the upper range is strong though. There is a focus on the lower treble over the upper treble. That said, the lower treble snaps offer presence that is right where it needs to be while it extends well. The upper treble offers similar presence and excellent detail and extension.

Audio: ★★★★

Build

The Braven BRV-1 has a design that doesn’t lie to itself. It looks rugged, but it’s also built rugged. From the use of the screws to the cap that screws on the back, the materials used on the BRV-1 makes it extra strong. The speaker grill just looks strong. The rubber construction allows the speakers to have impact resistive properties. I’m not sure I’ve seen a speaker better built for abuse.

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Build: ★★★★

Value

The speakers will bring you back 180 big ones. Overall, the design and build are top notch; they seem second to none. However, the audio they produce could be improved overall; but needs a little more focus on the lower and sub-bass. That said, the audio is only good; I’m sure there is better for the price.

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The speaker does come with other features though. For example, there is a USB port on the back of the speaker that will allow you to charge your device while you listen using the internal battery. Like most other speakers in the price range, the BRV-1 does also offer the opportunity to control your music. Volume control,a play/pause, and skip/previous are included. Additionally, there is also a mic built into the speaker set to allow you to answer phone calls.

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Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

I have to say that the Braven BRV-1 isn’t entirely a bad speaker. Like some of the other BT speaker’s I’ve reviewed, the BRV-1 has a great idea behind it: durability + portability. The rugged speaker is very durable and won’t break easily on you. The sound is good overall, but imperfect.

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I’d like to thank Pedro for the product sample.

Overall Score
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† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.

This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Pedro for the product sample.

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