We love April. The Final Four. MLB Opening Day. The build-up to the Masters, wondering if Tiger will ever (ahem) be on top again. And, of course, the fact that summer is around the corner. Patio parties. Beaches, boats, bikinis. Sunshine and Leinenkugel Summer Shandy (for the ladies, of course). Time to gear up—BBQ grill, cooler, sunglasses, and something to play tunes. In that spirit, we review the Brazen BRV-X water-resistant wireless outdoor speaker, made for outdoor enthusiasts who want music by the pool, at the beach, on a boat, in a canyon, on the slopes, or next to a tall beer that’s surely to get spilled.
What the hell is it? The Brazen BRV-X is a small (about the size of a partially deflated football) portable wireless/Bluetooth outdoor speaker that’s wrapped in rubber (think Otterbox) and IPX5 certified water-resistant. What is IPX5 certification? For you geeks, it means it can withstand 12.5 L of water per minute using a 6.3 mm nozzle from 3m away for 3 minutes. For non-geeks, it means it can get it wet—from rain, waves, spills or whatever. Disclaimer: you can’t submerge it underwater and expect it to work, and it doesn’t double as a flotation device. A little rain, though? No problem.
It has other useful features, too. It has an indoor and an outdoor mode. The indoor mode has great bass, and the outdoor mode has great highs to cut through ambient noise. It has a USB port so you can charge other devices from it. It has an adjustable strap and rubber feet so it doesn’t move around, which is great for use on boats. It has Truewireless Technology that lets you pair it with another one for stereo surround (NOTE: buying 2 gives you better sound, and helps the economy by boosting Brazen’s revenues. Win win!). Finally, it has Bluetooth noise cancelling microphone so you can make and take calls through it.
We first tested the indoor sound. Pretty good for a small unit. Then we tested it for outdoor sound. Not as much bass but more highs and volume, good for cutting through noise at parties. Then we tested the wireless range first in the garage and then in the basement and had virtually no interruptions. Finally, we spilled a glass of my wife’s Quantum Leap Oregon Pinot Noir on it and no problem. It kept working fine and we just wiped it off. Finally, we made a call using the Bluetooth microphone and it worked great. In fact, to really test the volume and sound clarity of the Bluetooth feature, we called my in-laws, who are in their 70s and they could hear us just fine.
Yeah, but do I really need it? If you need a wireless Bluetooth portable speaker for outdoor use, and one that allows you to take calls from the boat without getting busted (“Yes sir, I’m here at my desk working on that TPS report.”), then you need this. I am using one on our boat this summer, and I will use it at my neighbor’s pool (Financial Tip of the Week: Never buy a home with a pool. Always buy a home next to someone who has a pool).
Will chicks dig it? Oh yeah. Picture this. You pick up some ladies, head to the beach, turn on the speaker, and hit “Play” on the Dave Matthews Band Pandora station. You are so in (assuming your ladies are older than 25. If younger, play Bruno Mars). And for good measure, have a friend call and pose as your broker and say that your stocks are kicking ass and your net worth is up. Thanks to the Bluetooth feature, they’ll hear that. Trust me, they’ll hear that.
Easy to use? Easy enough. You can plug it in or use the battery. You can connect your device using a 1/8” cable (provided), or use wireless. It takes a few minutes to enable the Bluetooth but it’s pretty easy. Finally, the strap is easy to attach and adjust. Not bad.
Conclusion: We like this speaker because we like to party outside. Many wireless speakers sound like crap, and most can’t be used as a phone. And I’ve never seen one that’s water-resistant (IPX5 certified!). It retails for MSRP $229, and they encourage you to buy 2 for stereo effects. That’s a bit much, but worth it if you party and play outside.
Visit BRAVEN’s YouTube page to see the BRAVEN speakers in action.