Most everybody loves music. We each have our own personal soundtrack, and want to be able to listen no matter where we go. Sometimes you need a rugged waterproof speaker. Braven has recently released the Braven BRV-1M, their newest rugged waterproof speaker. Keep reading to see how it performs in this Braven BRV-1M review.
The Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth speaker has the following specifications.
- 100ft (30m) wireless range
- 3.5mm stereo input
- Wireless Pairing
- Profiles supported: HFP 1.6, A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.4, HSP 1.2, DI 1.3
- 2200mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, Up to 12 hour playtime
- Built-in microphone & speakerphone
- IPX7 Certified
- Size: 6.4in x 1.5in x 2.8in
- Weight: 1.2 lbs
What’s in the Box
- 1 x Braven BRV-1M Speaker
- 1 x Quick Start Guide
- 1 x Micro-USB to USB charging cable
- 1 x 3.5mm audio cable
- 1 x Adjustable nylon strap
- 1 x Attachable mounting system — mount, two mounting screws, mini allen wrench
The Braven BRV-1M is definitely a rugged looking speaker. It’s available in your choice of red, grey, or black. I was sent the black variant for review. The front is taken up entirely by the speaker grille, with exposed screws adding to the rugged look. The rest of the case is covered in an impact-resistant rubber, and this thing really feels like it could handle a tumble or two.
The top of the speaker has the four control buttons: power, play/pause/answer phone call, volume up/skip track (+), and volume down/skip back (-). The bottom of the speaker has four somewhat grippy rubber feet to keep the speaker from sliding around. The bottom also has a series of holes, as well as the two sockets where the included action mount anchors to the speaker.
The sides have good sized bumpers with exposed screws, as well as a metal bar that can be used to attach the included adjustable strap to the speaker. The strap can fit pretty snugly around the speaker, and can also be loosened in order to hang the speaker from a hook, or attach it to fixtures in other ways.
The back of the speaker has more of the raised bumpers (with more exposed screws). In the center of the speaker is a circular cover that goes over all of the non-waterproof ports. After lifting the cover you’ll find the Micro-USB charging input, a USB port that can be used for charging your device with the internal 2200mAh battery, 3.5mm audio input, battery level testing button with five LEDs to indicate the battery level, and a reset button. When using any of these ports, the device is not waterproof, so be sure to keep the back closed up tight if the speaker is in any danger of getting splashed. The back cover clips on securely though, and will keep the ports safe when closed.
Ease of Use
At this point, I think most everybody should be comfortable with pairing a Bluetooth device to your phone or tablet, but the pairing process here is just as easy as can be. Press and hold the power button for 2-3 seconds in order to turn the speaker on and enter pairing mode. Go into the Bluetooth settings of your device and choose the BRAVEN-BRV-1M speaker, and your devices will be connected. The BRV-1M will remember the last eight devices to connect to it, so it’s easy for the entire family to connect to and use this speaker.
The control buttons work as anticipated. Play/pause/answer does exactly what the name would suggest. The + and – buttons will adjust the volume when pressed, or skip forward or backward if held. The power button just needs to be held for 2-3 seconds to turn the speaker on or off.
The included mounting system is compatible with GoPro mounts. I do not have anything with a GoPro mount so I did not test the mounting system. The included adjustable strap does work well though for hanging the speaker, or giving you more attachment options if you can’t set the speaker on any immediate surfaces.
For a speaker of its size, the Braven BRV-1M sounds really good. Mids and highs are very clear, and while you shouldn’t expect too much bass out of this type of speaker, you get a little bit of bass here too. The audio mix here is good, pushing quite a lot of sound even at medium volume. There is no independent volume control here, meaning adjusting the volume on the speaker adjusts the volume directly on your phone. That may turn some off, though it really wasn’t an issue. The speaker gets incredibly loud if your phone is turned up all the way, but there is very little if any distortion except on especially loud genres of music.
Sometimes you’ll get a phone call while you’re having a pool party, or mountain biking, or doing whatever you may be doing with a rugged waterproof speaker. Maybe you’re just in the shower and feel like being chatty. Since I don’t have a pool or a mountain bike, the shower was my main testing spot for “action use.” Phone calls sounded good, and I was able to hear callers without any issue. Callers did have some trouble hearing me if I got too far away from the speaker, though as long as I was in range there weren’t any problems.
Bluetooth reception had a couple of odd issues too. Wireless range is said to be 100 feet, but there were times where I would start to have problems with a dropped connection at around 20-30 feet. I understand that walls will affect range, but there were a few times when I was outside, and walking the roughly 50 feet to my garage when the speaker was by the back door would end up dropping signal. This wasn’t a constant, so it’s possible it could have had something to do with my phone too, but as long as you aren’t too far away from the speaker you shouldn’t have any issues.
Braven lists battery life for the BRV-1M at up to 12 hours. This will of course depend on your usage. Loud volume, or using the speaker to charge your phone, will definitely burn through the battery faster. A lot of my use was outside, with the volume up a bit higher than average, and I was able to get a little over 10 hours regularly. With the volume set a bit lower I have no doubt that 12 hours would be well within reach. I was definitely happy with the battery life I got though, it will get you through your day, or through a BBQ or pool party with ease. The speaker needs just a few hours to charge to full capacity, so you won’t be out of action for too long.
The Braven BRV-1M has a suggested retail price of $99, which for a rugged waterproof speaker with this kind of sound is pretty reasonable. You can find the black and red variants slightly cheaper on Amazon (~ $75), though both currently have a bit of a wait before shipping. If you are able to wait a couple of weeks to get and use this speaker, you’ll be able to save a few bucks on Amazon. Otherwise $99 is still a pretty good price for the speaker that you’re getting.
If you spend a lot of time camping, or poolside, or biking, and want to be able keep your tunes going the whole time, Braven has a good, rugged speaker for you. It sounds great, should last you as long as you need it, and has a rugged exterior that looks more than ready to take a beating if necessary.