710 byBraven Category: Speakers Works With: Anything with Bluetooth Price: $170
Braven’s 710 Bluetooth candybar speaker has a lot going for it. It’s the same size as my favorite pocket speaker ever, the Braven 650. It’s made of aluminum, it has the same battery-sharing tech as all the other Bravens, and it even fixes some of my complaints about the 650 – it has proper buttons for volume and play pause.
Hell, it’s even waterproof. But there’s one thing that isn’t quite so good. It doesn’t sound as good as the 650. Not by much, but enough that you should still buy the 650 – unless you want to use it in the shower.
Cult of Mac favorite Braven is showing off a wireless speaker at CES this year. It’s totally not what you’re expecting, though: The Vibe System is a range of hybrid Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers that can be used individually – hooked up to your iDevices – or in multiroom concert, Sonos-style. And being from Braven, it all runs away from mains power.
The Braven 650 is one of the best portable speaker I’ve tested. It’s small, tough, light and it sounds great. It even manages to include a remote play/pause function, although you have to be in on the secret. And now Braven has come out with the 710, an update which adds a whole bunch of neat extras.
855s by Braven Category: Speakers Works With:Anything Price: $299
Braven’s 855S is the companion speaker to the 850. The internals are much the same, but the cases are as different as can be, with the heavy, rubberised 855S looking more like something you’d find in a military tank rather than on a tasteful shelf next to your fish tank.
That said, it looks and feels great. But how does it sound?
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 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
BRV-1 by Braven Category: Speakers Works With: Anything Price: $179
Say hi to the little Braven BRV-1. Take a while to get acquainted… You’re going to be spending a lot of time together this summer. Why? Because not only does this little fella sound pretty good, he can follow you almost literally everywhere you might go – beach, biking, even boating – without stopping.