Last week we shared our picks for the best Bluetooth speakers available today with some great options for outdoor enthusiasts looking to rock the campsite. Any one of those devices would make an excellent option for listening to your favorite tunes at home, work, or in the outdoor setting of your choice. But there is one speaker that didn’t arrive in time to be included in our initial test that deserves some attention as well. The new Braven BRV-XXL offers crisp sound, rumbling base, rugged build quality, and excellent battery life, making it a serious contender for the speaker you should own when you really want crank up the volume.
Before we get too deep into the technical aspects of this Speaker it is probably important to point out that the BRV-XXL certainly lives up to the “XXL” part of its name. This is an absolutely massive sound system that features four independent speakers and a powerful subwoofer. All of that audio gear, combined with large battery and other electronic components, adds up to quite a bit of weight. Braven says that the speaker tips the scales at an impressive 18 lbs., which makes it by far the largest Bluetooth speaker that I’ve ever tested. That weight means that you won’t be carrying it into the backcountry, even though it comes with a built-in handle and an optional shoulder strap. Instead, it makes a great option for backyard gatherings and car camping trips. It’s also excellent for use around the house, absolutely filling a room with a wall of sound.
Speaking of which, the sound quality on the BRV-XXL is outstanding. All too often speaker manufacturers have to make a number of concessions to fit all of their components into a relatively small and lightweight form factor, generally resulting in middling sound quality. But Braven didn’t have to compromise when designing this high-tech speaker, and it shows. Not only is it very loud, it offers distinct highs, mid, and low audio reproduction that all but the most serious audiophiles will appreciate.
One of the other important aspects that I look for in a Bluetooth speaker is solid battery life, and the BRV-XXL doesn’t disappoint in that area either. Braven has equipped their big speaker with an equally impressive battery that packs 15,600 mAh of power – enough to keep it cranking out the tunes for up to 14 hours. Real world testing shows that to be a very accurate number, although higher volumes and bass levels can bring the playtime down a bit.
That big battery isn’t just great for keeping the XXL powered up for hours on end. The speaker also comes equipped with a standard USB port that allows you to charge your smartphone, tablet, or other mobile devices too. This is a very handy feature to have while listening to music away from home, and since the rechargeable battery on the speaker is already quite large, you can usually power up your phone without having a dramatic impact on playback time. It can also be quite a lifesaver if you happen to find yourself running low on juice for your smartphone in the middle of a party.
As with most of the portable speakers from Braven, the BRV-XXL is built for the outdoors. It has a rugged shell that can withstand plenty of abuse, and has incredibly solid construction to help it survive just about anywhere. It even has an IPX5 waterproof certification, which is enough to ensure that it is safe from moisture unless completely immersed in water. Even then, it seems likely to survive, although I don’t particularly want to test that theory.
In addition to its large size and massive sound, this speaker also comes with a relatively large price tag as well. At $350 this is one of the more expensive wireless speakers I’ve come across, but in this case it is understandable. The XXL offers great performance and comes with some very good audio components built-in, giving it the ability to blow away just about any other speaker out there in terms of bass and overall volume. In a sea of low-cost, generic speakers, this one truly stands out in terms of performance. For the customer looking for an audio device of this size and quality, the price tag is completley justified as far as I’m concerned.
To find out more about the BRV-XXl and the rest of Braven’s extensive line of portable speakers, visit Braven.com.