The Bottom Line
This Braven model doesn't feature any IP waterproof or dustproof rating, instead attacking the speaker audience from another angle: premium quality at a premium price.
Featuring the handy ability to sync up with other speakers of the same model around it and also the ability to charge your smartphone, the 805 sets out to provide you with a brilliant at-home speaker product - but can the performance and features match up with the high price? Read on to find out my thoughts.
Released in various color schemes, this speaker is packed full of premium features in a bid for Braven to appeal to a higher-spending consumer audience.
First off the rank is the SRS WOW HD integration, said to provide an enhanced audio performance and bass response, coupled with the ability for you to pair up two Braven speaker in unison - each taking one channel (left or right). The inbuilt 4400mAh battery is charged by a wall-supplied pin power back and enables an external USB port to charge any smartphone or tablet that you wish.
Measuring in at 2.8 inches x 9.5 inches x 4 inches, it's certainly not the smallest speaker we have reviewed, but from reading the marketing materials, this isn't really a speaker that is designed to travel light with you on small trips. It's more reserved for at-home or suitcase travel applications. There's also an awesome battery indicator on the back which contains five bright LED lights displaying exactly how much is left in the tank alongside the AUX input port.
As for a sturdy base, the Braven 805 gives two non-slip rubber pads which could have been made a little bigger to ensure a stable platform.
Pricing & Availability
Highly-priced at $199.99 with free shipping from Amazon, the Braven 805 sets out to provide you with a premium quality speaker at a premium price. If you've used to 'mainstream' speakers which are generally very overpriced, this Braven speaker price point will be nothing new to you, however, it has some questions to answer if it is to beat the brilliant sub-$100 speakers I have tested lately.
What's in the box?
Featuring a wall-charger complete with various plugs for different countries, there is also an included AUX 3.5mm cable to round up all that is on offer.
Honestly, for $200, it's a little disappointing that Braven hasn't included any accessories as seen with its previous models (Mira and BRV-X) or competing companies, there's enough left out here that I can make a list of it all:
- No mini-USB charging cable
- No carry pouch/case
- No pouch for the charger or way to organize the different 'heads'
- No carry strap or handle
Let's dig deeper
Being a premium priced product, you're obviously going to expect some great quality and this is once again where Braven delivers in spades.
The hard plastic exterior feels solid and is made of good material. The color contrasting grey sides suit the overall product well, all ports are located on one side of the product with the other featuring a stylish etched logo and all of the top control buttons feel firm, responsive and great to the touch. It's worth noting that sound is turned up and down by repeatedly pressing the plus or minus button, whereas the songs are changed by holding it down - sounds simple right? Well, every company seems to do things differently and we've been caught out before!
Although the rubberized 'feet' could have been made larger, this product looks good and feels great to use.
Braven the reviews
The 'other most important part' is how it actually sounds. Braven makes some big claims including a modern and elegant design, an 18 hour wireless playtime and says that this speaker is designed for singing, dancing and partying with you from day to night. Taking this in mind, obviously we're going to expect the speaker to be loud, have some serious bass and out-shine our beloved Etekcity RoverBeats T12 speaker.
The booming sound is certainly present when pumped up to maximum volume paired with my Samsung Galaxy S4 playing through Spotify. Tyler, the creator's new album 'CHERRYBOMB' manages to rock the water in my glass with each note in song number two - 'BUFFALO'. The clarity is great when listening to songs such as 'Such Great Heights' by The Postal Service, but still flat when compared to something like my Kingston HyperX Cloud II headset or five+ year old Logitech X-530 speakers set up in 2.1 mode.
Songs that pack a little more punch ranging from The Bounce by JayZ to You & Me - Flume Remix by Disclosure and Eliza Doolittle show some improvement on 'punch' aspect, but it's honestly quite flat overall.
Overall this speaker has the loudness down pat, the ability to charge your smartphone or tablet is great but nigh on useless, and the fact that you have to charge it with a wall-charger only quite frankly, sucks.
Your general 'top 40' music is going to sound pretty good, but if you're looking for bass punch and something to rattle your desk, look somewhere else. Sorry Braven, but I'd rather party with a $100 set of computer speakers plugged into a phone or laptop in this instance.
The 4400mAh battery just isn't enough to charge your tablet or smartphone efficiently. The previously reviewer Braven BRV-X offered a 5200mAh battery without this charging ability. My personal smartphone charger of choice, the TYLT Energi 5K+, can only get me through a day on its own and that's 5000mAh without playing music at the same time.
Sturdy and looks great: The plastic is strong and it sits firmly on your desk or bench.
Sound projection: Don't turn it up to 100% and sit it next to your mouse pad - my ears hurt!
Pairing options: If one simply isn't enough, you can pair another speaker for double the sound.
Wall charger only: This seriously sucks.
4400mAh battery: It's just not enough to charge your phone and play tunes at the same time, you're really going to need 7000mAh or more.
Lack of accessories: For $200, this product has half or less of the accessories offered by most sub-$100 speakers I have reviewed.
For $200 with shipping, this product had a lot to prove from the get-go. Featuring a myriad of awesome features and a cool color scheme it was initially impressive, but ultimately let down by the overall sound.
Don't get me wrong, the sound isn't bad by any means, but the lacklustre application of features coupled with the lack of bass means this speaker should be priced more around the $120 mark as I would rather something like the $80 LUXA2 Groovy Duo speakers over this model. There are many great ideas in this design, but they are poorly executed and overpriced.
|Quality including Design and Build||95%|
|Bundle and Packaging||55%|
|Value for Money||50%|
The Bottom Line: BRAVEN's 805 looks great and performs well enough, but the features are poorly executed and the whole package is certainly overpriced.
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