Braven 650 review
Braven is a new name here in the UK, but its 600 range of Bluetooth speakers is well worth looking out for if you need a sturdy and compact set of travel speakers.
There are three models available, but we reviewed the top-of-the-range Braven 650, which costs £159.99. The speaker measures just 6” long, 2.5” high and 2” thick, so it’s easy to slip into a backpack or even a jacket pocket when you’re out and about. It’s also very light, at just under 400g, but its aluminium casing is a lot more sturdy and durable than many of the plastic portable speakers we’ve seen in the past.
It sounds better too, as the aluminium seems to lend a bit of extra weight to the sound. The bass isn’t exactly floor-rattling, but it’s definitely a notch above most speakers of this size and sounds quite respectable on bass-heavy tracks such as Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.
Higher frequencies do get a little harsh when you turn it up to maximum volume, so I tended to keep my iPhone just one notch below maximum. Even so, the Braven 650 will work a treat if you fancy listening to some tunes when you’re lounging by a swimming pool or having a BBQ outdoors.
The compact Braven 650 produces surprisingly strong sound.
As well as using Bluetooth for wireless streaming the Braven 650 also supports the high-quality Apt-X streaming technology. It also has better battery life than the other models in the range, quoted at 20 hours compared to 16 hours for the Braven 625 (£149.99) and 12 hours for the Braven 600 (£129.99).
Apple doesn’t currently support Apt-X in its iOS devices, so you could certainly save some money by opting for one of the less expensive models in the Braven range. However, the sturdy design, robust sound and long battery life of the Braven 650 make it one of the best pocket-sized portable speaker systems currently available.