Zagg’s $200 Braven BRV-XL moveable Bluetooth speaker delivers higher sound than we’ve come to anticipate from weatherproof fashions, particularly in the case of low-end thump. However delivering the bass to its supposed location means a little bit of train—this child weighs practically 7 kilos.
But I discovered its heft to be a part of its appeal, and producer Zagg has designed in each a deal with and shoulder-strap mounts (the strap comes within the field) to mitigate the powerful lugging. And for immediate gratification once you get the place you’re going, there’s an honest-to-goodness bottle opener on one finish. For no matter cause, the phrases “Rocky Mountain Examined” are embossed within the high of its enclosure.
Design and options
Regardless of what I mentioned, you shouldn’t be too involved about hauling the Braven BRV-XL round. I introduced it dwelling in my backpack for my prolonged listening checks, and I forgot it was there. I very often stuff heavier issues in my bag, and I spent a lot of the journey on the bus, so the 15.17-inch-wide, 4.9-inch-deep, 6.89-inch-high, and 6.89-pound speaker didn’t have a lot time to weigh upon me.
One finish of the BVR-XL is dwelling to the aforementioned beverage leverage. Tugging on it pops off a canopy that protects a USB charging port on your smartphone, an auxiliary audio enter, and the charging level for its personal battery. This motion requires a little bit of pressure, greater than I believed it will, so don’t be shy the primary time you attempt it.
The opposite finish of the unit is dwelling to the facility, Bluetooth pairing, and quantity up/down buttons. Lengthy presses on the latter controls will skip ahead and backward in your playlist. Speaker grills are mounted on either side of the enclosure, however the lively drivers face outward from the facet with the emblem. Passive radiators spill bass out the again of the unit.
The BVR-XL carries an IPX5 ranking, which suggests Zagg makes no declare for defense from particulate incursion, however warrants the speaker to be protected against water sprayed from as much as a 6.3mm nozzle. So it’s not submersible, nevertheless it ought to face up to being hosed down with no sick impact. Mud is not any extra invasive than water, nonetheless, so the BVR-XL is probably going nearly as dust-proof as it’s weatherproof. After driving although each a thunderstorm and a mud storm on a cross-country journey, guess which I used to be nonetheless discovering in odd spots about my automotive two years later.
An astute reader just lately identified that I’ve by no means defined the entire IP ranking factor. IP stands for Worldwide Safety, and is often known as ingress safety. The primary quantity represents resistance to gentle bodily stuff, akin to small rocks, fingers, forks, and particulate matter; i.e., the aforementioned mud and dust. An X rather than a quantity, as in IPX5, means nothing is promised as a result of there’s no knowledge for it. It doesn’t imply it isn’t rugged or sealed, it simply signifies that it wasn’t examined.
The second quantity represents moisture, as within the stuff you discover in swimming pools, the ocean, and dropping from the sky. A code as much as 6 means numerous types of non-immersive safety, 7 and eight cowl immersion (as much as or multiple meter respectively), and 9K is the large daddy, that means a tool can face up to publicity to high-temperature, high-pressure water and steam jets. That is all inside cause in fact, and to not industrial scale.
I examined the all-black model of the BVR-XL. It’s additionally accessible in grey, however I’m a fan of shiny colours with outside tools. It’s arduous to not discover one thing electrical orange once you’re packing up the campsite. Simply throwing that on the market for Zagg.
The claimed run time for the BVR-XL is 16 hours which is nearly what I noticed in my testing.
Waterproof audio system are inclined to sound extra muffled than different sorts, merely due to the supplies and development methods which can be utilized by necessity. The BVR-XL is among the many greatest I’ve heard within the class, if not high canine. Certainly, I didn’t actually suppose “weatherized” after I first turned it on. That’s a rarity.
The speaker is forward-firing, with out porting, however nonetheless manages to ship fairly a little bit of thump. I like bass, I simply don’t prefer it as a lot as subwoofer aficionados. To me, the BVR-XL nails it, strolling the road between celebration and severe listening.
On the subject of readability, the mids are only a tad squelched in larger registers, and there’s not plenty of sparkle on the high. However that’s compared to way more costly and non-weatherproofed audio system, in addition to the perfect. I’d don’t have any bother listening to those across the pool, on the seaside, or on the campground (not within the deep woods, thanks; that’s the place folks go to get away from these things).
The BVR-XL is effectively suited to it’s position as a ruggedized outside speaker that delivers low-end bump. It’s not for audiophiles, nevertheless it sounds ok that I nonetheless loved the listening expertise over a few hours at low quantity in my workplace. It’s hefty, however in the very best approach. Now when you’ll excuse me, it’s time to have a beer and pump some iron the Rocky Mountain Means.