It seems that manufacturers are making Bluetooth speakers smaller and smaller every year. It’s gotten to the point that some of these speakers, including the enclosure and battery, only weigh a few hundred grams. Because small speakers are lightweight and don’t take up a lot of space when space is at a premium, they do have a role to fill. But with their lack of size usually, comes a lack of sound. If you want big sound, sometimes you just have to go XXL! And when that day comes, BRAVEN is there to answer the call with their BRAVEN BRV-XXL outdoor Bluetooth speaker.
The BRAVEN BRV-XXL has the following features and specifications:
- 33ft (10m) Wireless Range
- 3.5 mm Stereo Input
- 3.5 mm microphone input
- Micro USB to USB data ports
- 4 HD Audio Drivers
- 1 Subwoofer
- 14 Hour Playtime
- 15,600mAh Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
- Bluetooth Profiles Supported: A2DP 1.0, AVRCP 1.4
- Water Resistant IPX5 Certified
- Dust Resistant
- Dimensions: 20.25” x 8.25” x 9.5”
- Weight: 18lbs (8.2 kg)
What’s In The Box
- BRV-XXL Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
- Tie Down Strap with Bottle Opener
- A/C Power Supply and Adapter Plugs (US/EU/UK/AU)
- 3.5mm Aux Cable
- BRV-XXL Product Manual
The BRAVEN BRV-XXL is made and marketed as an outdoor Bluetooth speaker for an active lifestyle. The rugged design that Braven chose perfectly reflects that idea. The speaker that I reviewed was black with a silver speaker mesh, but it is also available in white with a black speaker mesh. The sides of the speaker enclosure are made of a soft-touch rubber and house the various controls, lights, inputs, and outputs that the BRV-XXL sports. At first, I was puzzled by a removable piece of that same soft-touch rubber that Braven included on the top of the speaker. Sure it’s a good place to put the Braven name, but I saw no other use for it. I was only a few moments into listening to the first song when it dawned on me: that small piece of rubber was an ideal platform on which to place my phone while enjoying my music. Coincidence? No, more like a well thought out design!
In keeping with the outdoors design theme, the bolts that hold the BRV-XXL together are exposed and a part of the overall rugged look of the unit. The speaker mesh is very tough and seems as if it could take quite a beating in the event of a drop. The BRV-XXL is also IPX5 certified, meaning it is water resistant, and that’s a good thing for an outdoor speaker. The 5 in IPX5 is the rating of the resistance to water ingress that a product is able to endure and still properly function. The International Electrotechnical Commission establishes these standards. The test would have subjected the BRV-XXL to a spray of 100 liters of water per minute, shot at it by powerful water jets, at a distance of 3 meters for at least 3 minutes. I’m sure most of us won’t be showering our fancy new Bluetooth speaker with a hose, but it’s nice to know that if you do, it’ll still work. The BRV-XXL is also dust resistant. The X in IPX5 indicates that the unit was not specifically tested against dust. But with a 5 rating against water, it will more than likely be able to hold it’s own against the ingress of particles as well.
Ease of Use
Setting up the BRAVEN BRV-XXL was very easy. Press the Bluetooth pairing button, choose the speaker from the list on your device, and start enjoying great sound. There are buttons on the side of the unit to adjust volume, bass, and treble. The bass and treble adjustments let you dial in the sound to your preference with surprising precision. A single, quick press of the power button toggles between the three settings. The opposite side of the speaker has a 3.5mm line in for music source, 3.5mm line in for a microphone, speaker charging port and a USB charging out port for your devices. There are also battery level indicator lights on this side of the unit. I noticed that these lights are very bright, and that got me to thinking. Could they be used to light your way if you were out camping on a dark night? I tried this, and sure enough, they provide just enough light for you to be able to see where you are walking in the dark. It’s no substitute for a flashlight, but in a pinch, it can be done. I’m not sure if Braven intended this or not, but it works. The speaker must be turned on for the lights to indicate the charge level of the battery.
I can only describe the sound of the BRAVEN BRV-XXL as BIG and clear. For this review, I turned the volume up all the way on the speaker and was not able to detect any buzzing or rattling from the unit. You can adjust the bass and treble levels to your liking, which makes this speaker a great choice no matter what your preference in sound is. Sound comes out of both sides of the unit and the bass shakes the earth from the bottom. This is a clever design element, as the music is more evenly broadcast all around the speaker. If you plan on turning the volume of this speaker all the way up, make sure you are not near it or that you wear hearing protection. This thing gets loud! I think my daughter best described it when she said that full volume on the BRV-XXL was like being at a concert. Of course, it’s that sound that would make this a great speaker to have at parties and events where you want the music to cut above the din. Although your neighbors may think you have hired a live band.
Braven states the battery life of the BRAVEN BRV-XXL is 14 hours. After making sure the speaker was fully charged, I was able to keep it playing for 14 hours and 32 minutes non-stop before the battery was depleted. I had the volume set at half for the entirety of the test. Your results may vary depending on volume and signal strength from the source device.
The Braven BRV-XXL is priced at $349.99USD. It is a bit pricey but well worth the money considering you can use this in your home and then pack it up for a trip to the great outdoors without being worried about it getting wet.
The Braven BRV-XXL is a big speaker that would be perfect for those looking to take big sound with them on their outdoor adventures. Go ahead and get it wet or dusty, the BRV-XXL can handle it. Of course, the BRV-XXL can be used anywhere, keep it clean and safe in your home if you like. No matter where or how you use it, the sound is what will get most people’s attention.
*We were sent a sample of the BRAVEN BRV-XXL for the purposes of this review.
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