BRAVEN BRV-1: Wireless, Weatherproof, Go-Anywhere Travel Speaker
by Mike Richard | March, 2013
We’ve previously reviewed Braven speakers – most notably last year when Modern Vagabonder Robert Evans beat the bajeezus out of his Braven 625s, concluding simply: “I can’t kill it.”
Now, the company’s upping the ante with the all new BRV-1 Wireless HD Speaker/Speakerphone/Phone Charger. They sent us one to gawk over and here’s what we found …
Firstly, in Braven’s own words, the BRV-1 promises:
- IPX5 certified water resistant, shock absorbent, ultra-lightweight and compact design
- 6W Speaker output (3W per channel)
- Built-in noise-canceling mic to make and take calls wirelessly
- 12 hours of playtime from the 1400mAh battery
- Wirelessly streams music via Bluetooth for high fidelity stereo sound
- … OR connect to a device or stereo system via 3.5 mm jack
- Features a built-in powerbank that can charge a phone
- Lanyard connection to attach quickly and easily to your pack or carry-on
Here’s the glossy promo commercial:
The Traveler’s Take
Straight out of the box, Braven’s products feel durable and well-made. The BRV-1 is no exception. Its rubberized body has a rugged, military-grade feel to it, with the sense that it’s designed to be kicked around – to take whatever you can throw at it. While I did not take an axe to it or take it SCUBA diving, I did take it in the shower and played with it outside in the New England snow and it performed without a hiccup.
Most importantly, I put the BRV-1 to the audio test with Underworld’s Born Slippy – a bit of electronica with plenty of highs and lows. For such a small speaker, it packs a pretty sweet sound. Although we’re not audiophiles here at Vagabondish, we can appreciate crisp, rich, room-filling audio when we hear it. Where lesser speakers provide warped, almost watery lows and tinny, piercing highs, the BRV-1 is consistent and rich throughout the range.
At 12.2 ounces, it’s about as light as you can expect a rugged, portable outdoor speaker to be. For ultra-minimalist travelers, it’s still likely to be too heavy to pack on a regular basis. However, if you’re an active traveler with an appreciation for great sound and can’t bear to listen to your tunes through shoddy headphones or laptop speakers, the BRV-1 is a solid choice.
Lastly, we travel with a backup battery all the time. Since BRV-1 features a built-in powerbank, it serves that purpose too. So, if you’re a weight-conscious packer, keep that in mind as well.
Pricing & Availability
Available in two color combos (Lava or Glacier) for around $180 USD directly from Braven. (Note: currently out of stock as of March, 2013)
Disclosure: Vagabondish received one Braven BRV-1 speaker in advance of this review.
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About the Author
Vagabondish founding editor, Mike Richard, is a Rhode Island native, professional web designer and travel junkie with an unhealthy addiction to backpacking, hiking and seeing the world. He enjoys knit hats, small, declarative sentences and speaking in the third person. His professional credits include "Woman's World magazine contributor" and having once been interviewed by Tyra Banks (seriously).