The BRAVEN 105 is a small portable speaker that links your music supply via bluetooth. It has a certified IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it will cope being submerged for up to 30 minutes in a metre of water.
- Versatile stand including a stand, GoPro style fixing and a stretch band so you can hold it in your hand.
- Pocket-sized shape
- Enables hands-free phone calls with noise-cancelling technology for background sound.
- 8hrs playback after charging
- Can be used as a powerbank
- Shockproof exterior
- It is priced around £45 on Amazon.
On test: Braven 105 speaker
The speaker is easy to link to your music supplier, such as a smartphone. Simply turn it on and search for it and then connect.
It is compact and easy to move around with you, although the size of the speaker does affect the sound quality. For the price the sound is okay but not brilliant. It can be turned up to be very loud but I wouldn’t bother because the sound quality is terrible. Keep the volume set to 50% or less and it’s fine.
I would suggest that this is a personal only speaker and should be used nearby for best sound quality.
There are three options for positioning the speaker including a stand, an attachment for fixing to a GoPro stand, such as one you might have on your bicycle handlebars, and also an elastic strap that allows you to carry it securely in your hand or attached to a belt while running.You could also hang up the speaker somewhere if you wanted, for example on a hook on the bathroom door.
To be honest, I can’t imagine a time when I would want to attach a speaker to my bike or GoPro fixing on my ski helmet, or whatever. So I will disregard that fixing as I am probably too old to be using a speaker while attached to my bike! (In fact, people who ride past me with music blaring annoy me. I am that old!)
The stand allows you to position the speaker safety on a worktop or table. It’s the best option for this speaker because if you lie the speaker on the worktop without the stand the sound quality is very tinny. The speaker is better when stable and secure on the stand.
The elastic strap could be useful if you want to move around with your music. Again, I doubt I would ever do this but some people might like this. As for adding the speaker to a belt while running I never would. This would just annoy other people around you while running!
The bolts that you need to remove and reaffix if you are moving the speaker from the stand to the bike to a running belt are annoyingly fiddly. I took the speaker off the stand to test the whole flexibility thing and then I had to try to remember how to put it al back together. I ended up trying to put it back together upside down.
I would only end up losing the bolts if I left it apart.
My advice is to leave the speak on the stand it comes with and enjoy it that way.
Unfortunately, you do have to remove the speaker from the stand to access the charger input socket. That causes you to have to fiddle around unscrewing a bolt. Generally, this is a fiddly wee speaker to operate.
The feature list suggests the speaker can be used as a powerbank but I don’t think this is the case because I can’t see a way to access any charge. I do not see a USB socket?!
On the plus side, the speaker is palm-sized so it is easy to transport. It also looks funky as it comes in a range of bright colours.
It also feels quite durable and robust and it is useful that it is waterproof because if you are using it outdoors, near the beach or a pool or even by the bath it will not be damaged by a splash or a short dunking.
I have also tested the Braven Stryde 360, which retails around £75, and the Braven 405 at £69.99. These speakers are pricier than the Braven 105 but can be played at higher volumes yet still offer better quality sound.
For £45 the Braven 105 is a fairly good quality portable speaker for personal use and would withstand general use by outdoorsy people, such as while on holiday or camping. Just don’t play it at high volumes!