The BRV-1 speaker from Braven is quite a little tough guy. Encased in a lightweight but rugged rubber “skin,” the chunky palm-size speaker is both shock- and water-resistant, just raring to be splashed or dropped in the wilds while blasting your music or cellphone conversations. The speaker works via Bluetooth (pairing is simple), or any 3.5mm headphone jack (an audio cable is included). The built-in battery, which charges via an included USB to micro-USB cable (blue LED lights show battery level), can charge cellphones and MP3 players that draw up to 1 amp. (Most tablets require more power and can’t be charged by the BRV-1, though it works fine as a speaker for them). The 6-watt speaker charges fully in about three hours, and provides up to 12 hours of play time. Recessed rubber buttons control power, volume and pairing, and can be used to skip forward and backward through music tracks and turn the BRV-1 into a clear speakerphone via the built-in microphone. When the going gets really wet, a screw-on rubber cap seals off the ports, but then you’re strictly in Bluetooth mode.
Braven BRV-1 Speaker in glacier-blue/grey or black/lava-orange is $179.99 at www.braven.com; 877-927-2836