The Braven BRV-XXL wireless Bluetooth speaker is an 18-lb. behemoth that's 20.5" wide and 9.5" tall. If you can deal with a portable speaker that large, it sounds amazing.
The speaker retails for $350, but there's a Father's Day promotion right now that gets you 25% off (down to $262.50) with the code FATHERSDAY25. That's an excellent deal on a speaker that gets rave reviews around the web.
Sure, the boxy design makes it look like a truck accessory rather than a sleek, modern device for your living room. That's unlikely to bother most of our readers and what you get is incredibly sturdy and water resistant (IPX5 Certified).
Since it's so heavy, it comes with its own carrying strap. That strap comes with a bottle opener built in. There's a 3.5mm microphone input so it can double as a portable PA system.
The PA thing works because this speaker is LOUD. It's perfect for outdoor use because you can crank it up without distortion. There are 4 HD drivers and the speaker is wide enough that you actually get stereo separation. There's also a subwoofer that sounds amazing if you can find a wooden table to set the speaker on while you're using it. The range is good for Bluetooth, about 33 feet.
There's NFC touch pairing if you're an Android user and the speaker remembers a pairing with an iPhone much better than most Bluetooth speakers we've tested. The blue lights are clear and easy to understand. On the right end, you get a power button that stays lit when the unit is on, a play/pause button that doubles as a Bluetooth pairing button and separate controls for volume, treble and bass levels.
The left side controls are covered by a flap. Those include an Aux audio in to go along with the microphone input, a connector for the speakers power brick and a USB out so that you can charge a mobile device if you have to from its 15,600mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
It delivers on its promise of 14-hour playback on a charge, but its massive battery and dedicated power brick, you're going to need a few hours for a full charge.
There's a small rubber flap under the handle that acts as a stand for your phone or tablet, something that's an excellent touch.
This speaker sounds great, pumps out a surprising amout of volume with almost no distortion and should be able to stand up to an outdoor lifestyle. It's massive, though. None of the photos online or even the video embedded below convey just what a tank this thing is.
The Braven BRV-XXL is one of the very best speakers we've reviewed so far. It's worth the investment at $350 and it's a steal if you can get one at the sale price.