A few months ago we had the pleasure of reviewing the FUGOO Style XL, which we touted as a great speaker for both outdoors as well as an indoor casual Bluetooth speaker for everyone. So when we received the Tough XL by FUGOO, we know that it would be just as great the second time around!
Let’s just preface this by saying: FUGOO makes some quality gear, and it’s the same with the Tough XL. I love it. The construction of the speaker pretty much speaks for itself, and that goes without saying. At $329.99, the Tough XL is certainly a purchase that you save up for, but with the holidays coming around the corner, this should be one at the top of your list as gifts for someone special (yourself included). But first let’s get into the specs:
Featuring an 35-hour battery life (Yes, that’s a LOT of tunes!), the Tough XL will easily get you through a weekend beach trip, or if you have an office with a door, you can get through an entire days’ worth of podcasts listening to it. But why stay indoors? The Tough XL doesn’t just look rugged, but it’s built (almost) as tough as a Ford. And boy does it pack a punch in terms of features. It’s mud-proof, snow-proof, sand-proof, waterproof… to put it plainly, there’s not much you can throw at the speaker that it can’t take.
While the Style is certainly more sleek looking than the Tough XL, the more rugged model isn’t to be taken lightly. Boasting 38-watts of power, and Bluetooth 4.0, you will easily get a connection after setting up to over 33 feet. So even if you walk away from the speaker at a pool party, or you have it in your pocket and totally forget the distance between, the Tough XL can be heard crystal clear from afar. If you decide you want to plug it up though, there’s an optional 3.5mm jack for connecting your smartphone (if you of course don’t have an iPhone 7) which is helpful.
Design-wise the speaker is pretty heavy. It’s not one that you throw into your beach bag, so have a spare hand ready to carry this thing. Luckily there is a handle that makes this easier than folding it under your arms in order to bring with you. In the event that you drop it in route, the Tough Xl will probably withstand the drop, with the only damage coming from the chrome color probably getting dinged.
808 says that the FUGOO is made of a fiber reinforced resin and solid aluminum, which sounds as solid as it’s described. I wish that there was a carrying case that came with the Tough XL but honestly, you’d never use the thing anyway so maybe it’s for the best. One upside though is just like the FUGOO Style XL, the Tough XL by FUGOO allows you to change skins that can be purchased separately.
On the back of the speaker is the power button, it also houses the Bluetooth button and the charging port. I can confirm that the Style XL cable does work with the Tough XL too, so if you have both and lose one, or simply confused about which goes with the other: they both work the same, so you’re safe in that regard.
The other end of the FUGOO houses a USB port for updating the firmware when needed, and an additional port that allows you to charge your smartphone while using the speaker. A nifty feature that I have grown fond of. One thing that is worth mentioning: having this port option means that the speaker is no longer waterproof until it’s sealed closed again so be mindful of that.
You are able to control the volume and music tracks directly from the top of the speaker if you like, but that means you have to manually have to get up and switch songs. Since the device is Bluetooth, you can easily do this from your phone’s controls, or if you want to show how cool the speaker is to your friends, FUGOO has included Siri and Google Now command features with the Tough XL, so you can easily ask for sport scores or even tell them to “Play Rihanna’s Album”. A speakerphone that does voice command isn’t the first of its kind, but FUGOO’s Tough Xl actually does it without added effort, and it’s a great addition for the price you’d pay for the speaker.
One thing I do dislike is that for the price FUGOO does make you pay extra for the small things. I get it, they are incentivized and not completely necessary, but having to pay $49.99 for a remote control that could’ve easily been included was kind of disappointing.
Obviously we have our devices to do that for us, but I personally use my Style XL at home and the Tough XL on the go, and being able to have a remote for either is a feature that would be nice when you’re having friends over and don’t want to be that person reaching for the phone attempting to DJ from their phone.
But how’s the audio?? The mission behind all of FUGOO’s products is making a functional speaker with the best audio you can possibly get out of a speaker. With four extra tweeters, eight core drivers, two subwoofers, and two passive radiators, it gives you a lot of thump in your tunes that will fill a room (or an outdoor worksite if you work in construction or that sort of thing). The Tough Xl is all about bass, and you can hear it from all ends of the speaker. Geared towards loud environments, the Tough XL makes its presence known when playing that Rihanna album at a Labor Day party, and you can still hear all audio lyrics crisp and clear.
For $329.99, it could for sure be out of the price range for someone who just wants a speaker in their home. But at the other end of the spectrum, it’s certainly a speaker that someone who wants to throw a party, a person who works in loud environments, or even those who take their speaker into the bathroom to shower might be into. It’s design is pretty cool, and the audio quality is just as great!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Battery life! 35 hours is insane; and I never charge my speakers so this is perfect.
What Needs Improvement: Accessories cost extra.