Braven 850 Bluetooth Speaker Review

Performance


Connecting a device to the Braven 850 is a simple process that’s hassle-free, mainly because it automatically places itself into pairing mode when it’s powered on for the first time. In fact, we’re able to connect an iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S4 to it. Once the connection is established, we’re able to see how much battery is left in the speaker by looking at the icon that pops up in the status bar of the iPhone 5s.

Most people would probably dismiss the speaker as an adequate rival to some of those full-sized, in-home speaker solutions, but don’t let its smaller package fool you for one bit. To our own amazement, we’re thoroughly surprised by the blaring tones it’s able to pump out at the loudest setting – it’s by far room encompassing to tell you the truth. However, we realize that there’s some crackling evident that sours its punch by just a little bit.

By default, the unit’s SRS WOW technology is disabled, and its audio quality sounds rather flat in tone. Pressing down on the volume up & down simultaneously for a few seconds, the feature is enabled – and boy do we notice a substantial difference! Now transformed, audio coming out of the Braven 850 have a bolder and rich tone to them and its bass thumps accordingly to the beat as well.

Battery Life


Rated to provide 20 hours of continuous wireless playtime, we’re actually able to exceed that tally, but we’re only able to achieve it by setting its volume to the middle setting. Of course, higher settings will drain the battery faster, but regardless of that, we get better than average battery life out of it.

Conclusion


Good things come in small packages too. That’s exactly what you’ll find in the Braven 850 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Sure, it might push the boundaries of what some people might consider as being portable, but nevertheless, it’s something that can still be taken with you on the road whenever you have an urge to jam out spontaneously. Heck, it’s something that can also charge our devices as well – giving it a 2-for-1 kind of function.

Despite all of the excellent offerings dished up by it, there’s just going to be some pushback by those who are on a budget. Stickered with a $300 retail price, it’s undoubtedly a costly little thing that will do a considerable amount of damage to your wallet. Before completely looking at another speaker, you’ll need to bear in mind that its price tag is warranted – plus, it’s something that Braven was targeting with this particular model.


Pros

  • Solid industrial design that exudes a premium touch
  • Lots of audio power out of this portable speaker
  • 8800 mAh battery is enough to recharge any device
  • Better than average battery life
  • SRS WOW technology adds some additional punchy tones

Cons

  • Expensive for a portable Bluetooth speaker
  • Some crackling at the highest volume setting
  • Pretty heavy in weight

PhoneArena Rating:

7.5

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4 Comments

1. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

These rock. Picked up a Altec Lansing cheapy that rocks, For under a $100. Some of these can be daisy chained too, not mine but that is a slick option.

2. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

kinda late on this article, no??? i was expecting an ACTUAL review!! not what i could read on a website ANYWHERE else.....-1 for PA till a review link gets posted too!!

3. ryan5609

Posts: 107; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

Owned one of the older Braven models. It sounded amazing, up until one day the power switch just all the sudden stopped working. Thus making my speaker a brick, absolutely useless after that. This was apparently a very common occurrence. Glad to see they have a different type of power switch.

4. Krjal

Posts: 433; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

They are pricey but I tested one in an audiophile store next to a big Jambox and a Bose sound link. It totally blew the others out of the water. Sound quality alone was enough to convince me but it also has the best battery life, sports the apt-x codec and was the same price or cheaper than those competitors! Those logitech UE things are pretty good to but still lagging behind on battery life and high volume quality. Braven uber alles for the time being.

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