May 29, 2014
Wireless speakers offerings are somewhat plentiful, and come in at different price ranges. Having choices is almost never a bad thing, which is why gadget lovers should love stuff like Braven 710 Bluetooth Speaker.
It has a presence. The speaker itself is gorgeous in its seemingly minimalist look. Closer up, one catches the intricate craftsmanship of the aluminum shell, which encases the right rectangular prism that is bracketed by ports on one side and the control bank on the other. Officially, it comes in at 6.25 x 2.6 x 1.8 inches and less than 14 ounces. In the box, one also gets a micro-USB cable and documentation.
Pairing it to an audio source is a breeze (it also features NFC link-ups), and afterward the initial manual setup, subsequent pairing is automatic. The sound quality, however is exceptionally rich for the size, and the echo that sometimes emanates from box-shaped speakers is absent. The range is equitable, though I did start to hear gaps in quality with a wall or two in between the speakers and source, and it came up a tad short with regards to the advertised 12-hour playback time.
Beyond looks and music, the 710 does some cool things. It works as a Bluetooth speakerphone, and can wirelessly work in tandem with another 710 if called upon to do do. One feature of interest is its ability to work as an audio pass through device; in other words, the audio out button can be used to connect “regular” wired speakers to it, and in essence creating a bank of multiple output units.
This bad boy doesn’t stop there; additionally it can serve as a power bank to charge devices that accept USB sources. It works great as an emergency charger, albeit (and expectedly) slower than a direct outlet.
It has a hot design, but what lifts this piece up above competitors is the extra functionality. It could be a bit more portable, but the design aesthetic mostly overcomes this reservation. It does a lot of things, but, importantly, it does them quite well.