The Braven 855s is pretty good for barbecues, or what some folks call “grills.” How do I know? I tried it last night. And even when I spilled cow’s blood on my un-dyed leather loafers, the music kept on going. And it sounds pretty good too.
The Braven 855s is the ruggedized version of the 850, and matches it for many specs. It’s a 20-watt battery-powered Bluetooth speaker which is “IPX3 water resistant.” This means that you can splash it an take it to the beach, but you probably don’t want to actually take it into the water.
Like all Braven speakers, you can use the big battery to charge your phone via the full-sized USB port, and you can also use it as a speakerphone for poolside teleconferencing. It also has a full complement of play/pause and volume buttons on the top, and the necessary ports are hidden behind a rubberized, watertight flap.
I’ll be putting in a proper review in the next week or two, after I take it for a proper spin. My first impressions are that this sounds good, but you need to crank it: the sound is a little muddled at low volumes. If you plan to do most of your listening at these lower levels, you should consider something like the truly excellent 650.
The 855s is available now for $300.