Over the past few years, I’ve become quite a connoisseur of Bluetooth speakers from makers like Jawbone, Supertooth, and Scosche. Now I can add Braven to that list – and it goes straight to the top because there is aural dynamite in this little package.
For several weeks (errr… months), I’ve been using Braven’s 600 in conjunction with my MacBook Pro and iPhone. The music and podcasts wirelessly stream from my device to the compact speaker and the sound-to-speaker-size ratio blows me away. The anodized ash grey aluminum case is sleek compliment to a MacBook, and it also comes in moab red.
Bluetooth setup was easy – slide the power switch on and press and hold the “phone” button to enter pairing mode – and the connection has never failed. In addition, on the right side of the speaker resides the two volume buttons, a mini-USB for charging, and a mini-jack input (in case you need a wired input).
In my opinion, the volume buttons are too small and indistinct. All the other portable speakers – including the precedent-setting Jambox – have large, obvious buttons for setting the volume when you’re near the speaker instead of the streaming source. It isn’t a deal breaker, however, because it is a wireless speaker and controlling the volume on your device is the easiest way to increase or decrease the speaker’s sound.
On the left side, a power indicator button (different colors indicate percentage of charge), another mini-jack for a line out, and a USB plug to draw power out of the speaker, which can hold up to 12 hours of playtime power in its 1400mAh battery. Yes, it can be a portable battery to charge your device! Only the mediocre Scosche’s BT speaker had the same function.
It’s the Sound That Matters
But enough of the frivolities.The speaker itself is a powerhouse for its size! Unlike many small, portable Bluetooth speakers, the Braven 600 has a richness and depth that surprisingly supports the bass and low tones. The trebles are crisp and clear and don’t suffer from being overly muffled or too sharp and tinny. The only competitor in the sound department is Jawbone’s Jambox, but Braven 600’s is louder, without washout, and is a dead winner. My only complaint about the overall sound is that the abundance of metal in its design means that some vibration is telegraphed through the case and results in the occasional rattle.
There are additional features worth mentioning. First is the conference calling capability in acting as a speakerphone. Yes, this little gem also has a noise-cancelling microphone. In my testing, the microphone worked well – better than many of its competitors – and didn’t wash out your voice to sound as if you were talking in a tin can. Like all speakerphones, the sound isn’t as good as holding a phone to your face, but it’s by far the best of the lot I’ve experienced.
Second, this little powerbox allows multiple Bluetooth connections without interference. This is a fantastic idea that is untested and not allowed in many of its competitors: most speakers will drop the first Bluetooth connection to accept a second. Well-played, Braven.
Lastly, a minor complimentary feature of the Braven, one that has been a complaint of many online reviewers of other similarly-priced speakers, is the the inclusion of an AC recharging brick. Like our idevices, Braven has included a USB cable that can be used independently in a computer’s USB port. Or for the quicker charge, connect that cable into the small brick and plug it into any wall electrical outlet.
Leader of the Pack
Braven 600 has become my top pick for portability, features, and definitely for sound among the small Bluetooth speaker crowd. It’s stylish, can act as a backup battery, is easy to use, and best of all it’s affordable! You won’t be disappointed in this compact, portable wireless speaker.
Braven 600 is available here for $149.99 at the time of this writing.
Braven 600 Bluetooth Speaker was provided by the MaxBorges Agency for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, see the “About” page.