There are three models available, but we reviewed the top-of-the-range Braven 650, which costs £159.99. The speaker measures just 6” long, 2.5” high and 2” thick, so it’s easy to slip into a backpack or even a jacket pocket when you’re out and about. It’s also very light, at just under 400g, but its aluminium casing is a lot more sturdy and durable than many of the plastic portable speakers we’ve seen in the past. See also Group test: What's the best portable Bluetooth speaker?
It sounds better too, as the aluminium seems to lend a bit of extra weight to the sound. The bass isn’t exactly floor-rattling, but it’s definitely a notch above most speakers of this size and sounds quite respectable on bass-heavy tracks such as Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Take a look at the Libratone Lounge AirPlay speaker too.
Higher frequencies do get a little harsh when you turn it up to maximum volume, so I tended to keep my iPhone just one notch below maximum. Even so, the Braven 650 will work a treat if you fancy listening to some tunes when you’re lounging by a swimming pool or having a BBQ outdoors.
The compact Braven 650 produces surprisingly strong sound.
As well as using Bluetooth for wireless streaming the Braven 650 also supports the high-quality Apt-X streaming technology. It also has better battery life than the other models in the range, quoted at 20 hours compared to 16 hours for the Braven 625 (£149.99) and 12 hours for the Braven 600 (£129.99).