I’ve tested many water-resistant wireless speakers but the Braven Balance is probably the first one with a waterproof body, moreover, it comes with a very affordable price. Can it overcome limitations in sound quality found on other waterproof speakers? Let’s find out in the review.
Design & Features
The speaker comes in a nice recyclable box. Taking everything out of the box, you will find the Braven Balance with some accessories like 3.5mm audio cable, AC adapter plugs (US/EU/UK/AU) and AC power supply. The speaker looks quite attractive, my review unit comes in orange sunset color.
There is no carrying case, but this is understandable because the Balance features a rugged design and you can toss it anywhere in your bag without worrying about damages. This is not a small wireless speaker but it is still manageable, it weighs about 1.8 lbs and I totally hold the speaker with just 1 hand.
The whole exterior is protected by soft-touch rubber. The rubberized material makes the product more durable and feels more premium as well. The speaker is certified IPX7 waterproof, so it can survive even when submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
Even the connections on the back are protected by a rubber flap, make sure to close it tightly when you bring the speaker to wet places like beaches or forests. Here you can find a USB-out port to charge other devices, a reset hole, a battery checking button with indicators, a AUX-in and a power port.
All controls are placed on top of the speaker, including the power button, play, volume up and volume down buttons.
On 2 sides of the speaker, Braven creates 2 passive radiators to enhance bass response. We will look deeper into its performance in the next section.
The Balance is powered by a 4000mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery and I’m quite surprised with its battery life. I manage to use it for 2 weeks before plugging it into a power source, so I estimate its battery life is well over 10 hours. Braven stated that the battery could last up to 18 hours, which is amazing. Charging the speaker takes around 4-5 hours.
Before digging deeper, watch the video below to get an idea of what sound the Balance can produce.
My first impression with the audio quality is quite good. It’s a natural sound with respectable bass responses. The bass is not as deep as the Bose SoundLink Mini but it’s better than most portable speakers at this size. When I played the Passione album by Andrea Bocelli and 25 by Adele, I’m astonished by the very good midrange, especially the low midrange. The Balance is quite enjoyable when listening to pop or ballad. The sound is clear with enough bass, and there is no distortion when I turn the volume to maximum.
However, when I play busier EDM tracks, the Balance starts showing its limitations. I’m aware of more distortion, especially when I turn on the Boost mode for outdoor use. The sound is louder but the bass is less punchy and the mids are not as detailed and smooth as I saw earlier.
As you can expect from a speaker at this size, the sound is still boxy and of course, you can’t enjoy a great soundstage found on bigger speakers. However, this is totally acceptable for such a portable speaker.
- Durable design
- Impressive sound
- Long battery life
- Average performance when used outdoor
I find the Braven Balance on sale very often lately. It is capable of producing a good sound in a waterproof body, and it is priced well under $100. We totally recommend the speaker.