I recently reviewed the BRAVEN Stryde 360 Bluetooth Speaker. (Read the review.) It is under $100, is waterproof, and delivers good sound regardless of where you go. If, however, you want big sound that gets even bigger thanks to “BRAVEN Boost,” you will want to check out the BRAVEN BRV-BLADE. It looks serious and delivers sound in keeping with appearances.
The packaging of the BRV-BLADE is simple. A slipcover comes off to reveal an interior box.
Inside is the speaker and a few accessories including, a strap and a wall adapter with a variety of different plugs so the speaker can travel to other countries with you.
The BLADE comes in one color and one color only- black. That fact, combined with the exposed screws around the perimeter and the dual metal strap anchors on each side, give it a rugged look in keeping with its intended use. This is a speaker that is intended for your outdoor adventures. And while it is not as light as the Stryde 360, the BLADE is still small and light enough to take with you when you head out for the day. That makes sense since it is part of the company’s Outdoor Series of Bluetooth speakers.
Most of the key features of this speaker won’t come as a surprise. It has an IPX7 Waterproof rating so it is designed to withstands rain, water jets and splashes. It has a shockproof exterior so it can take a bit of a beating. And it delivers up to 22 hours of playback. In other words, this is a speaker that is begging to be taken with you for your next day at the beach.
But there’s more. As you might expect, this speaker can double as a speakerphone thanks to its built-in microphone and it can charge your smartphone thanks to a 4000MaH battery and a full-size USB port that is hidden beneath a waterproof flap on the back.
The front of the speaker is a grill that hides and protects dual drivers. They fire forward so, unlike the Stryde 360, you will get optimal sound when facing the speaker.
Surrounding the speaker grill are a series of 14 exposed screw heads. Obviously, these are functional and hold the front panel in place but they also add to the serious industrial design BRAVEN looked to employ here. A strip of metal sits on each side awaiting the includes strap for hanging or securing the speaker. (More on that in a moment.)
The top of the speaker houses the controls. They are, of course, covered with a sealed rubber material that lets you have control while not putting the IPX7 Waterproof rating at risk.
On the left is the power button. Next to it is a multi-function button that controls pairing, answer-end call, and play/pause/resume music.
On the right is another multifunction button. A simple press lowers the volume while a long press repeats a track. Next to it is yet another multifunction button. A short press of it raises the volume while a long press skips a track forward. I love the fact that BRAVEN decided to keep buttons to a minimum by having almost all of the buttons serve more than one function.
There is another aspect of this multi-function button approach that is deserving of mention. The BRV-BLADE has surprisingly substantial sound on its own. If, however, you want even more “oomph” you can activate BRAVEN Boost by pressing and holding both the Power and Volume Up buttons. This kicks the speaker into overdrive and really delivers some kickass sound. When you want to return to the normal sound setting you press Volume Down button. BRAVEN Boost makes a huge difference and comes in handy when using the speaker on a sailboat or at a pool party.
The back of the speaker continues the rugged industrial design of the BRV-BLADE.
Above the BRAVEN name that sits squarely in the middle is a threaded anchor mount. This allows you to, for example, secure the speaker to any number of mounts. Below the BRAVEN logo is a rubber cover that seals in the speaker’s ports.
Behind it sit the Battery Check button, a full USB port for charging your phone, battery indicator lights, the Reset Button, the micro-USB charging port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. All are neatly placed and sit hidden until you need them.
On each side is a large, passive radiator. When BRAVEN Boost is activated you can really hear… and feel… them doing their thing. Each passive radiator is flanked by a strip of metal. This not only helps protect them but it also provides a convenient anchor for the included strap.
And… speaking of straps… you know this speaker was made for parties since the strap has a bottle opener built into it. LOVE that!!!
As BRAVEN explains:
The BRV-BLADE is a rugged Bluetooth speaker that packs powerful sound in IPX7 waterproof casing. Part of BRAVEN’s highly acclaimed outdoor series, the BLADE brings music to power sports with dual omni-directional passive sub woofers that pump out loud, rich sound with impressive bass levels thanks to BRAVEN Bass Optimization technology. Slim enough to slip into a backpack, the built-in “Boost Mode” instantly cranks up to max volume, while additional features include a built-in speakerphone, power bank and 22 hour playtime. Use the included nylon performance strap to secure the BRV-BLADE to your off-road vehicle, snowmobile or jet ski, and enjoy its built-in bottle opener to celebrate your latest adventure.
The BRAVEN BRV-BLADE looks like a serious Bluetooth speaker. It is. With a thermoplastic housing with reinforced aircraft grade aluminum, it is built to look and be tough. It is,. With two full range drivers and two passive radiators it is meant to sound big. It does. And with a huge capacity battery it is designed to keep the music playing long into the night. It does. And, perhaps best of all, it sounds impressive. Check it out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Built to look serious and go anywhere; Large, easy controls; Amazing playback time; Charges phones; IPX7 Waterproof rating; Strap has a built-in bottle opener
What Needs Improvement: Has a serious, industrial appearance that won’t match everyone’s style; Only available in black