Braven 850 Bluetooth Speaker – Review
How does a product stand out in a market that is already overflowing with devices that perform the same functions? In the case of the high-end portable Bluetooth speaker market, you dial in gorgeous industrial design, superb sound quality, long battery life, and the ability to jump start myriad devices.
A futuristic-looking Bluetooth-equipped speaker with an outer shell of aircraft-grade aluminum, the Braven 850 also functions as a portable electronic device charger. Its 8800 mAH battery can fully charge USB devices several times before needing to be recharged itself. It also provides a noise-canceling microphone and, when paired with a Bluetooth capable mobile device, can be used for conference calls.
Measuring 9.5” wide by 4” tall by 2.8” deep, the speaker fits comfortably in a backpack. At approximately three pounds, it is heavier than many Bluetooth speakers, but feels substantial and will remain easily where placed with the help of its non-slip rubber feet.
The design is clean and straightforward. On the top are buttons for power, phone use (for placing and ending calls), playing media, and volume controls that serve a dual purpose (pressing and holding the volume buttons will navigate to the next or previous track in a playlist).
The right side of the device houses a power input, 3.5 mm auxiliary input, USB output, and a five segment LED battery charge level display that is turned on by a button press.
The Braven 850 puts out 20 watts of power, similar to other speakers such as those from Bose and Jawbone.
SETTING UP THE BRAVEN 850
Upon initial powering, hold down the play button to place the Braven in pairing mode, and select the speaker on the Bluetooth menu of the paired computer, phone, or mobile device. Once it is successfully paired, the Braven will beep once, signifying that it’s ready to start streaming audio.
For devices without Bluetooth capabilities, such as an aging CD player or an old iPod among others, simply connect the two with the provided 3.5 mm audio cable and initiate playback on the device. The Braven auto-detects input, and will switch between Bluetooth and active auxiliary sources.
The Braven will also charge devices via USB, including phones, tablets, and MP3 players.
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