While many don’t compare to a more traditional sound system, wireless speakers are great for a party, or patio get together. They’re (usually) compact, easy to use, and pack some pretty great sound. But since they’re so in demand lately, there are a lot of choices for your portable sound needs. One such option is the Braven 705 portable wireless speaker. While it somewhat meets the aforementioned criteria, it falls short in many areas making it well built and functional, but overpriced.
Visually, the Braven 705 is a sleek little brick. It’s a palm-sized device with smooth, curved edges and a tough exterior that can take its fair share of ‘oopsie daisies’. The speaker is advertised as weather resistant, so the device can withstand a splash or two, which is clear in its crisp, sealed design. Looking at the speaker straight on, the left side is sealed by a thick waterproof cap, which protects all inputs, outputs, and permeable buttons. The right side has four impermeable buttons, for initiating Bluetooth pairing, toggling volume or skipping tracks, and turning the device on or off.
The top of the device features a surprisingly sensitive microphone above the product logo. The strong, shock absorbent frame holds it all together, but it’s hardly needed with the speaker’s rubbery, slip N’ slide-proof base. The device has eight colour options, including purple, yellow, and the package-featured blue. We got the standard black model, and it’s as subtle as it is handsome, as far as portable speakers go.
Before I get into the features I did test, I’ll mention one I couldn’t. The Braven 705 advertises the ability to pair with other Braven speakers. However, we only received one Braven 705, so I was unable to try that out.
One of the most unique features of the Braven 705 is its ability to charge devices using the built-in 1400mAh Lithium Ion battery bank. Unfortunately, the speaker is actually unable to charge most external devices that you’d probably use this feature for. The device manual notes that the power bank can only charge USB devices that draw from a 0.3A – 1A power source. Most cell phones, smartphones, tablets, and pretty much anything else you’d want to charge with your Braven 705 are 2A devices. While the speaker is technically able to charge these common devices, I found the speaker’s battery drained in a matter of minutes when I plugged my iPhone 5s into the USB port. It’s kind of like advertising an all-you-can-eat ice cream bar, but the only utensils you can use are chopsticks. Sure, you can do it, but not the way you’d hoped.
Despite that, the speaker itself holds a better charge than it provides. The manual claims it can obtain a full charge (five illuminated lights on the battery indicator) in about two or three hours. The speaker is advertised to last for about 12 hours of medium-volume music streaming, and from our tests, that’s accurate.
Of course, the most important feature of any portable speaker is the sound quality. I’m really big on bass, and this speaker’s falls flat in that category. Despite the lack of bass, the speaker sounds okay at pretty much any volume, although the treble crackles at higher volumes. All things considered, the sound is mediocre at best. For a price of $119.99 I expected a little more.
The Braven 705 is an unimpressive speaker for it’s price tag. The features that are supposed to make it unique ultimately fail at what they want to offer. The power bank doesn’t charge any modern devices, and the sound quality is less than ideal. If you’re looking for a well-designed speaker with decent sound, there is a wide range of higher-quality speakers at a much lower price.