What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 7 Sep 2012, 11:57am

Braven 625s

Tested at £150

Purists may frown but for portable practicality, the Braven has a place

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  • Solid design
  • charges smartphones
  • wireless sound via Bluetooth
  • good battery life


  • Sound lacks weight
  • some hardness to voices can get a bit wearing

Braven is a new name to us. A look at the US company’s website will tell you it’s a brand not lacking in confidence: a banner text at the top of the page proclaims “the world’s most talented speaker”.

There are three Bluetooth speakers in the range, with nigh-on identical dimensions at a glance. This is the middle model, which in fact has slightly different speakers compared with the entry-level Braven 600 and the aptX-enabled Braven 650.

Braven 625s: Design and build

With a shock-resistant rubber casing, water-resistant carry case and even
an LED flashlight, it’s certainly built for adventure.

All three of Braven’s speakers have a rechargeable battery and the 625s’s is good for up to 16 hours of playback time. The Bluetooth speaker works for music playback and hands-free voice calls thanks to the inclusion of a mic.

On the side you’ll find a 3.5mm input for non-Bluetooth devices and a 3.5mm output for connecting to other speakers (the relevant cable is supplied).

Last but not least, there’s a USB connection that will not only power that mini torch but also lets you charge connected devices – a bonus if you’re away for a few days.

At 16cm wide and 6.5cm tall it’s certainly compact. It has a reassuringly outdoors-y design, and should withstand a weekend away without you having to worrying too much about scratching the casing or damaging the device.

Braven 625s

Braven 625s: Sound quality
Sonically it does its best to deliver bass lines but even at high volume never quite musters up much punch or power. This is more forgivable than the thin, hard-sounding higher frequencies. The 625s avoids sounding too harsh, even at loud volume, but there’s an edge to voices that can become a little wearing.

For sound quality, you can do better, but the Braven still has plenty of merit. If you value the wireless portability, need a solid, outdoor-friendly design and fancy being able to charge your devices when you’re out and about in the wilderness, then it’s worth considering.

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