Review: Braven 710 Bluetooth Speaker

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When this speaker hit my desk, I was intrigued to see how powerful it was. The Braven 710 is a small, powerful Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone…. or really any device that has Bluetooth. It has a beautiful “aircraft grade” aluminium design which feels sturdy and has a premium feel, it’s ruggedised and water resistant to save you from unfortunate situations and just looks pretty damn good.

The Braven 710 retails for $229.99 and for that price, you’ll expect it to be great sounding and packed full of features. The Braven 710 is not only a Bluetooth speaker, it also doubles as a USB charger for your devices. You’ll find a 5V, 1A usb port under the rubber cover which can charge your USB device using the battery of the speaker. You can also plug in a set of external speakers and listen to your music through those instead. Of course, it also has AUX-IN, so you can plug in a less sophisticated device like an MP3 player.

Design

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Braven 710 Connectivity Ports

As said above, the Braven 710 has been made with “aircraft grade” aluminium which feels fantastic. Our particular model came in Black and the device looked sleek and sturdy. It’s also quite light, so you will hardly notice it carrying it around in your bag. On the left edge of the device, you’ll find all your connectivity ports (pictured right). It has two 3.5mm headphone jack ports for AUX-IN and AUX-OUT, a full size USB port for charging, Micro USB port for charging the device and finally, a battery level check. On the right edge of the device, you’ll find four rubber buttons to play/pause, stop, and volume control.

Underneath the device, you’ll find a rubber bottom which will stop the device from slipping or rolling around when placed ontop of something. This also doubles as a NFC tag. You’ll be able to quickly pair your phone or tablet to the speaker by tapping your device. Of course, if you don’t have NFC (cough, Apple users, cough) then you can pair the slow way.

The Braven 710 is also water resistant. It has a IPX5 certification which means it is protected by a 6.3 mm water nozzle dispersing 12.5 litres of water per minute for up to 15 minutes. While that does sound like a lot of gibberish, it just means if you had the Braven situated next to the pool and it was splashed or you accidentally left it in the rain for a few minutes, the device would still be fine. This no way means that you can submerse the Braven in water! That would probably break it.

Performance

Unfortunately, the Braven 710 does fall down in this area. The sound from the speaker is not impressive. While sound is sharp, clear and loud, the Braven 710 has basically no low-range performance. If you’re listening to any bass-oriented music then you’ll find yourself rather disappointed (especially when it comes to that bass drop). If you’re not into that kind of music then you’ll probably find the sound quality to be fine but not great.

The volume output of the speaker is quite loud and still maintains clear and sharp sound. However, it’s very directional – you’ll only get the best sound when sitting directly infront of the device. Once I started walking around or moving into different rooms, volume did suffer. I can see the Braven being a perfect speaker for a few people listening to a song in a small room or if you need good quality audio while out and about, however, I don’t see the speaker performing well in a large environment (like a party) – the sound will probably get washed out pretty quickly.

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The speaker has a 1400 mAh battery and Braven promise a 12 hour battery life with a full battery charge. While I didn’t experience exactly 12 hours, I was very impressed with the battery life. With a single charge, I was able to get around 10 hours of battery life and it included pairing/unpairing multiple devices and using the USB port to charge devices. Of course, you won’t experience a huge amount of battery life if you charged your phone to 100%.

  • Score:

    8.5 / 10

  • The Good:

    Great design, sturdy feel, clear and crisp audio

  • The Bad:

    Disappointing low-range sound, very directional sound

  • Bottom Line:

    Powerful volume, heaps of features, just not for bass lovers.

While as an overall result, I was impressed with the Braven 710 speaker. I was let down by the performance of the speakers. While sound was clear and crisp, your low-range sound was disappointing and didn’t blow me away. For a RRP of $229.99, you’d expect this to be better – especially because, a competing product, the Jawbone Jambox Mini which has an RRP of $179.95 does kick a big punch. Of course, the Braven includes other features like USB power bank and NFC connectivity which pushes the price up.