Smartphones may not have taken center stage at CES this year, but accessories for them, such as the stylish Braven 850 Bluetooth wireless speaker, certainly caught the eye of a few visitors. The fact that it packs a USB charging port surely had something to do with its attractiveness.
Braven, which claims to be the manufacturer of “the world’s most talented speaker”, launched at CES 2013 a new product called Braven 850. Since some people are not satisfied with their speakers unless they also have a compelling design, audio equipment manufacturers need to spend a lot of time and money to make sure that not only the sound that comes out of their products is impeccable, but also the layout of the components. Braven pays attention to performance, design and functionality in equal parts, judging by its most recent product.
This speaker is said to be a direct competitor of Jawbone’s Big Jambox. The latter costs $299 and comes in a design that, while beautiful, it is not even close as resistant as Braven 850’s aluminum case. Braven’s offering comes with a drilled front speaker vent and with rounded corners that make it adequate for any environment. Of course, in order to choose between the two, one would also have to listen to some music played on each of them. We have to face it: even though the design plays an important role when purchasing a speaker, the ultimate factor that makes the difference is still the sound. It should be noted, however, that Braven’s speaker has exactly the same price.
As mentioned before, Braven 850 also features a full-sized USB port. Despite benefiting from a “no strings attached” technology (i.e. Bluetooth), users who will want to listen to their favorite music for extended periods of time will have to connect the iPhone/iPod/iPad to the Braven 850 speaker. Since we are talking about a widespread wireless technology here and not about a proprietary one, I don’t think it is wrong to assume that Android devices would work equally fine with this speaker.
The manufacturer also offers the possibility to connect two Braven 850 speakers to the same device, in order to experience stereo sound. Besides the 850 speaker, Braven also unveiled a waterproof and a rugged model, both adequate for wireless adventures in the great outdoors. Those two particular models are cheaper, and also smaller in size.