It’s hard to talk about pool parties and camping trips when many of us are still waiting on at least one more winter storm, but spring is coming — and gone are your excuses to stay inside. The Braven Ready Elite is ready for all of your upcoming outdoor adventures; it’s waterproof, shockproof, and it gives 12-hour battery life.
Questioning how tough the Ready Elite might be? Braven has this to say:
Strap it to boats, UTVs, or stand it up at the campsite; its IP68 certification makes it completely waterproof, dustproof and debris-proof, enduring the dangers of wet, muddy or sandy environments.
Let’s talk about the packaging for a moment.
I picked the case up by its odd-looking handle before I realized that it was an included multi-tool. So keep that in mind if you buy one, and don’t toss the packaging without removing it.
Taking the “ready” part of its name to heart, the Braven Ready Elite includes a shoulder strap, a power brick, and what’s that? Cables for the US, Australia, the UK, and Europe. So the Ready Elite is not just ready for the outdoors, it’s ready for travel!
The Ready Elite is available in two color combinations — gray/gray/orange, and the black/clack/titanium which I received. It measures approximately 12″ long by 6.5″ tall by 4′ deep. The speaker weighs a substantial 4 pounds 4 ounces, yet it’s not so heavy as to be unwieldy. The exterior is composed of black rubberized plastic (Braven calls it a “drop-proof thermoplastic housing”) with just enough glossy parts to keep it from looking monotonous; the grille is composed of aircraft grade aluminum.
On the top of the speaker, there is a recessed, reinforced alloy anchor/tie-down point on each side. In the center, you’ll find the power button, the Bluetooth connect button, and a play/pause button. The minus button will turn the volume down when pressed, but if you press and hold it, it will skip a song backward. The voice control button can be used to answer and end calls, but you can also program it to use Siri or Google Voice to “give commands, dictate messages or make calls through the noise canceling speakerphone.” The plus button will raise the volume when pressed, but it will advance to the next song when pressed and held.
There are dual passive radiators under the aluminum grilles on the sides; there are twin full range drivers under the front grille. The bottom has two rubber feet in the middle, but it also has two more reinforced alloy anchor/tie-down points, one on each side. The back of the speaker has four large rubberized pads …
… the center rubber pad is actually a sealed flap that lifts to reveal a 1A USB Type-A charging port with a microUSB port underneath it that is only used for updates. There is a battery status button which will turn on the battery status LED under it; the LED will blink green when the speaker is charging, and it will no longer glow when fully charged. When you want to check the remaining battery life, press the battery status button: if the LED glows red, it means you have 40% or less battery remaining. If it glows yellow, then you have 40 to 70% battery life remaining; glowing green means that you have 70 to 100% battery life left. If you prefer a more precise battery reading, you can get that on the Braven Ready Outdoor Speaker app available from the Apple App Store or Google Play; I’ll cover it later in this review.
Next is the reset button (which you will hopefully never need), the power charging port, and then the auxiliary-in port. The Braven Ready Elite has a 5200mAh battery that they say will last for up to 12 hours, but that will vary by how loudly you are playing your music and whether you use the built-in battery for charging other devices.
The Braven Ready Elite will remember the last 8 devices it was paired with, and if it is left on for more than 30 minutes without music streaming via Bluetooth, it will power down to conserve battery life.
Don’t be afraid to get your speaker wet! The Ready Elite is IP68 waterproof certified; Braven says it is “designed to withstand rainfall, water jets, splashing or a dunk in up to 3f t / 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.” The IP68 designation also means that the speaker casing is sealed, so it is completely dustproof.