Speaker Round-up: Kinivo M2 Speaker System and Braven BRV-X
Posted by Adam Larck on 06.29.2014
Check out two of the latest Bluetooth speakers inside.
When it comes to sound, gamers mainly care about what comes through the TV or headphones.
However, there are sometimes when a speaker for music can come in handy as well. Today, I'll be taking a look at two different speaker systems and showing you both their pros and cons.
Kinivo: M2 Bluetooth-Enabled 2.1 Speaker System
The Kinivo M2 is a great package deal for gamers on a budget. For $70, owners get a subwoofer with two attached speakers that are Bluetooth enabled.
The speakers are two smaller pieces that can just provide an extra boost in sound, but the big piece here is the subwoofer. The subwoofer has a great bass system to it and, even at some of the softer volumes, can easily fill a house with sound.
The sound was crisp and clear, except if you have a huge bass going with it. However, I never found a big bass sound to be needed. As long as you keep it at the medium level or just a bit higher, you won't notice much muffled sound from the bass.
Besides featuring Bluetooth, the subwoofer also has NFC for quick Bluetooth pairing for devices like the Galaxy S4 and Nexus 7. If you don't have a Bluetooth device, the subwoofer also has a 3.5mm audio jack to plug into for older iPods and other devices.
The biggest draw to the speaker, by far, is the price. While the sound is great from the system, the $70 price is a great entry point for many people to get a good subwoofer system that can provide quite a bit of sound, and two extra speakers to enhance it.
The biggest drawback for me was the need of a plug-in. With the amount of juice it needs for the subwoofer, I understand the need for a plug-in. However, having a battery option to take it outside for events would have been a great feature.
Overal, the M2 is a good intro speaker to easily fill a few rooms with sound. While it's small and easily transportable, it's still hindered by the power cord that's needed for it. If you can't afford the giant speaker systems that cost hundreds to get, think of the M2 as a solid starter subwoofer.
Last year, I took a look at the Braven BRV-1. The BRV-1 was a Bluetooth wireless speaker that could take a beating in the wild, withstand some water and even give your devices a charge at the same time.
In fact, the BRV-1 was put to the test in November when it withstood a tornado and still came out having no problem playing sound. It's June now, I still haven't charged it since November and it still has a charge to play music and give my iPhone a boost.
Now, we have the BRV-X, the BRV-1's big brother. The BRV-X does everything that the 1 does, but better (let's hope that the tornado-resistant feature doesn't have to be tested with the X again.
The BRV-X is about twice the size of the 1 and features a 5200mAh power bank to quickly charge devices. Even though it's bigger, don't worry about it being cumbersome. The device is still sleek and easily transportable, and won't be intrusive, no matter where you have it located.
Like its predecessor, it's waterproof and easily withstands drops or other bumps that may affect it. The device can play music for about 12 hours, so as long as it's been charged before going on a trip you should be fine for quite a while.
A big new feature to the speaker is the indoor and outdoor modes. The outdoor mode gives it an extra boost that can amplify the music louder than it can indoors. It's great for parties or other places where having a slightly louder sound is key to enjoyment.
Another great feature is the new TrueWireless Pairing. If you have two BRV-X speakers, you can put them together for left and right stereo sounds for a surround sound experience.
However, I didn't get to test this out because of the biggest negative for the speaker, the price. The normal price for this is $229.99, a hefty chunk of change. Now, if you add two of these together for the TrueWireless feature, you're dropping $462, definitely not chump change. If you really care about sound, this money may be no object, but for a casual listener it may cause them to think twice.
The Bluetooth on the speaker stretches about 30 feet, and the speaker also includes NFC for the devices mentioned above that feature it. In addition, the speaker has a strap that can be used to fasten it to trees, vehicles or other locations to make sure it doesn't get moved or knocked somewhere.
The BRV-X is easily the best speaker Braven has made so far, and one of the top Bluetooth speakers out there right now for on-the-go sound. If the price point doesn't scare you away, what you'll find with the BRV-X is clear sound, a great charger and a speaker that's perfect for the person on the go.