The Braven BRV-1M is a solidly built Bluetooth Speaker that should endure the abuse of outdoor use. It’s just a shame the sound quality can’t quite match the leaders.
Braven is an American accessory manufacturer which has made big strides since partnering with Incipio in 2013. The company is looking to make a big stamp in the UK with its range of rugged Bluetooth audio accessories, of which the Braven BRV-1M represents the middle of the pack. At roughly £90, it’s not the cheapest speaker in the world, so we expect pretty impressive results.
It’s a fairly small speaker at only 6″ x 3″, though the build quality is rugged as hell. With a solid rubber and metal outside, you should have no problem using this in harsh conditions. Braven label it as a product that is ‘Built For the Ride’ and we have to agree; this thing is an absolute tank.
Some company’s choose to keep the rugged appearance to a minimum but the Braven BRV-1M goes completely against that, with an industrial appearance that you’ll either love or hate. It’s available in three colours, two of which are minimal. We got the red version which is a little more ‘out there’ and it definitely accentuates the industrial design. Being a rugged speaker, you would expect it to be well equipped for handling outdoor environments. We were happy to see full IPX7 certification, which means it should be able to withstand rainfall and splashing. It can even be fully submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. There’s a multitude of accessories in the box, including a carry strap which can be attached to the sides for easy transport. There’s also a metal action mount which enables it to be attached to outboard gear.
We were happy to see full IPX7 certification, which means it should be able to withstand rainfall and splashing.
Connectivity is also well catered for, with plenty of ports hidden away behind a waterproof seal located on the rear. The locking mechanism feels very secure and gives further confidence that this is a solid, well built speaker.
Sound quality is decent but won’t set the earth on fire. An absence of bass is to be expected from a speaker of this size, though the Braven BRV-1M does an admirable job with most material. Most of the frequency response is fairly clear, though there is noticeable distortion when things are cranked to excessive levels. We also noticed some background noise when the speaker is idle and this can creep into recordings, though this is only audible at lower volumes.
Battery life is rated at 12 hours on the Braven BRV-1M and we found this to be mostly true, averaging just under this amount at moderate listening levels. This sits at the upper end of comparative speakers. The result will likely go down when you really crank it up, but it should be good for a solid evening of listening.