If you think that title’s bad, consider that we could have gone with a variation of “Cravin’ some outdoor ravin’? Check out Braven.” Oh wait, we went there. Sorry. Anyway, one of our “must see” visits at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City recently was a local company by the name of Braven. As I’ve learned in the 7+ years since I’ve lived in Utah, the state is one of the most misunderstood in the nation. Sure, there’s that temple in Salt Lake City, and BYU in Provo. But we’ve also got Moab for mountain bikers, and the Tour of Utah for roadies. Easton Cycling, Enve, Lizard Skins, and Delta 7 all operate out of this high desert state that boasts scorching hot summers and world-class skiing in the winter. And who knew that Utah was even home to some award-winning breweries? So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Braven, a company that makes loud, durable, and stylish speakers for indoor and outdoor use, is right in my own backyard.
Mrs. Outsider and I made our way from the main hall to the Pavilion, which was basically some circus tents erected just for the show. As we exited the main building we were greeted with the searing heat of downtown Salt Lake City in the summer. Crossing the street, we entered the first “building”, and stopped briefly to enjoy the air conditioning, which was definitely working overtime. Winding our way through the crowds, we found the Braven booth, and were given an interesting demo of their outdoor speakers. Our polite host demonstrated how easy it was to pair the speaker to his phone via Bluetooth, then proceeded to blast music over the noise of the packed show floor. As he grabbed a bottle of water, I was about to become as impressed by his hospitality as I was by their speaker. Then the unthinkable happened. He poured the water onto the upturned face of the speaker. It did a little dance, like a mini version of the water show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, but without the Elvis soundtrack. And kept on playing. Once we acknowledged that it passed the water test, he simply tossed it in the air, and made no effort to catch it. Even after landing on the floor, this tough speaker kept on playing. We nodded in approval. (Although I really needed a bottle of water at that point). Quick, to the point, and covered the product’s important features. That’s my kind of meeting.
So what’s Braven got to offer fans of the outdoors? Their new Braven 855s puts out a serious 20 watts of power, for up to 20 hours. This is from a package that measures a mere 10″ x 4″. Underneath the armored exterior is a durable aluminum chassis which contains not just the speaker but also the necessary electronics for charging and even using your Braven as a speakerphone. Oh, and an 8800mAh battery, which is what allows it to run all day and all night, while also charging your phone or even tablet.
Don’t have $299 to spend on an outdoor speaker? No worries. Braven also offers their $149.99 625s, (summer promo price is $139), which at 6.3″ x 2.5″ x 1.8″ gives you many of the same features, but at a bit more wallet-friendly price point. You’ll get sufficient volume from the 6 watts of stereo output, and up to 16 hours run time from the 1700mAh battery, plus the speakerphone option, and even an LED light built in. Both units have handy built in controls for volume, as well as the ability to determine the approximate battery charge remaining. There’s more features (and more speakers), but by this point, you probably want to visit their site and get the full spec, pricing, and availability. So I’ll cut to the chase and throw you a link – it’s braven.com.