Just this morning, I dropped my new BlackBerry Z10 in a parking lot. On the hard, rough cement. It’s a little the worse for wear. Anyway, that story has almost nothing to do with the Braven BRV-1 I’m about to review — except to show you how clumsy I am, which is a bad thing when you’re as mobile and traveling around all the time like I am. Inevitably, you’ll drop something you shouldn’t. It’s why I’ve always bought protective cases and shockproof, waterproof stuff.
Well, the Braven BRV-1 wireless speaker is touted as a hardy little companion designed to play your music wherever you are. I have to tell you, getting this in the mail for review made me want to book a trip to the beach the very next day! It’s lightweight enough not to be a burden inside a backpack, and it looks so much like a pair of high-tech binoculars so it won’t stick out like a sore thumb among other travel essentials.
The BRV-1 was a breeze to pair with my iPod Touch. All I needed to do was turn the unit on by a long press on the Power button, then a long press on the Play button so it could start searching for Bluetooth devices. Approve the connection on your music device, and it’s ready to go.
There are also volume buttons on the side so you can turn it up or down without having to fiddle with your iPod. You can also pair the BRV-1 with a Bluetooth-enabled phone and use it as a speakerphone to answer calls.
It’s also not just a Bluetooth speaker. The rear compartment contains an audio-in jack for devices that don’t have Bluetooth capabilities, like the iPod Classic . There’s also a USB port which enables you to charge other devices from the BRV-1′s battery. Unfortunately it only has about 1400 mAh, which might be enough to give you a full charge on a BlackBerry 9360, but not on phones with higher-capacity batteries. Still, it could come in pretty useful in a wilderness survival situation, like running out of phone juice while camping.
Its rugged appearance is not just a visual statement. The BRV-1 is able to take hardBu knocks to its body due to the rubberized exterior and panels. It’s splash-proof, so you could take it on a trip to the beach and not worry about getting ocean spray on it. Being splash-proof means you can rinse sand or grit off – just make sure to screw the rear cap on tightly to keep water from damaging the inner workings. Unfortunately, it’s not made for submerging in water, which means we’re gonna have to wait to have music underwater for synchronized swimming. Tongue firmly in cheek here.
As for sound quality, it’s a small speaker so you need to stay close to hear it, especially in a noisy outdoor environment where the wind snatches away most intelligible sound. I also could barely hear the deep bass sounds of the house music I played to test the BRV-1. But who wants to lug a subwoofer around during a vacation?
I really wish I could keep this review unit! I’m going off to Boracay at the end of April and sure could use a portable speaker while sunbathing, something I won’t be afraid I might spill my Jonah’s fruitshake all over.
The BRV-1 retails at P7,450 at Quicksound.