The little drilled aluminum Braven 650 is one of my favorite portable Bluetooth speakers – it’s small, it’s light and tough and it sounds great. Plus, it’s a lot louder than the Jambox, and it has a USB port so that you can recharge your iPhone from the speaker’s battery.
So I have high expectations for the new 850. If the 650 was a competitor to the Jambox, the 850 is a rival for the Big Jambox
Here are the specs, with the cruft removed:
- 20W output
- 20 hours of continuous wireless playback
- Built-in internal speakerphone and microphone
- Bluetooth v3.0 EDR
- Hands Free Profile (HFP)
- True Wireless – wireless daisy-chaining between two BRAVEN 850 devices for true left and right channel stereo
- DTS SRS Wow Sound enhanced listening mode
A few things: It’s loud. 20 watt sounds like nothing to someone who grew up in the 1980s when ratings were inflated absurdly, but its easily enough to piss off your neighbors. Also, that SRS Wow processing sounds interesting: one of my favorite Jambox features is the Live Audio, which adds surprisingly convincing faux surround sound to the speaker.
But the big feature must be the True Wireless, which lets you use to of these speakers as left and right stereo channels. We’ve seen promised this before but I have never seen it done properly.
The 850 can be pre-ordered now, for $300, and ships on July 15th. And no, there doesn’t appear to be any discount if you want to buy two.