Review | Braven BRV-1
Braven’s latest portable speaker, the BRV-1, combines a portable speaker with another key feature needed for Bluetooth users on the go.
While it advertises mainly for phone users, the BRV-1, like Braven’s 570 line, can be used with any Bluetooth device. After turning it on and holding down the play button for a few seconds, the speaker lets out a chirp that signals it’s ready to be detected by a device. Thankfully, the BRV-1 can remember up to eight devices at a time, meaning you should rarely, if ever, have to resync to it.
The sound that the speaker produces is great, given that it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It’s crisp and clear, whether you’re listening to music from the phone or streaming music, and also gives good sound while playing games and talking on the phone. In fact, it makes a handy hands-free device in the car to hear what someone’s trying to say while driving around. All you have to do to answer or end a call is simply to press play on the speaker.
The volume control on the speaker also doubles up for addition uses. Besides turning it up or down, you can also go back and forward tracks if needed by holding it down. It may not always seem useful, but I did find times where I was closer to the speaker than I was to my phone when I wanted to change songs.
The other vital feature the speaker includes is the ability to charge any USB device. The battery will charge an iPhone by about 30-40 percent (depending on use while charging) in about 20 minutes or so before dying. Recharging the speaker only takes an hour or so. It’s not a long-term fix, but when you’re on the go with a dying phone it can offer a quick charge to keep the ability to make calls over listening to music. Without charging a phone, the BRV-1 gives around 12 hours of speaker use before needing a charge.
Another nice feature the speaker has is the ability to be IPX5 water resistant. For those that don’t know, that means it can withstand rainfall and water splashes, but submerging it will still ruin it. Honestly, though, why would you want to submerge the speaker? As far as the resistance goes, it definitely has withstood the rain we’ve been getting in the Midwest and is still performing fine.
To keep it water resistant, all the plug-ins and battery life bars are located on the back of the speaker behind a twist cap. The cap also hides an audio in plug to plug in non-Bluetooth devices, like older iPods, and a reset button to reset the memory of what Bluetooth devices are stored.
While away from water, you can keep the cap either twisted on lightly or completely off. However, when outside with a chance of water the cap needs to be put on tight to keep water out. When I first got the unit, I actually had a bit of a problem originally getting the cap off because of how tight it was secured. Since then, though, there really hasn’t been much of a problem.
The other problem people may have with the speakers is the price point. Both the Lava, black with orange grill, and Glacier, gray with blue grill, will set you back $179.99. While it may seem high, the quality and ability to recharge a phone on the fly makes it worth the entry fee.
The BRV-1 is great for the music fan on the go. The speaker is durable, gives a great quality of sound and can help recharge a device in a pinch. It’s a perfect Bluetooth speaker to take while traveling, and proves that great things come in small packages.