Fugoo: My Favorite Bluetooth Speaker
These days, just about everybody is making a bluetooth speaker. To be honest, it doesn’t seem like it should be that hard… Bluetooth is a well-established standard, and speakers aren’t exactly a new concept. And yet, most bluetooth speakers tend to have one or more fatal flaws: poor battery-life, connectivity issues, or for the quintessential over-promise/under-deliver: crappy sound quality. Fugoo has managed to raise the enjoyment of portable sound systems to a new level by delivering a great product with an attention to details that other companies have simply ignored. And they’ve done it while still delivering a high quality sound experience at a great price.
There’s no question about it – the Fugoo Sport is my favorite bluetooth speaker. It’s so good, that the Fugoo Sport has become a regular tag-along in my EDC. Let’s dig into what makes the Fugoo stand out above the rest:
Fugoo makes two different speaker models – the regular and XL. Each model comes in three different styles: Style, Sport, & Tough. Fugoo’s modular design means that each of that each flavor of the regular and/or XL model have identical internals, with a different case.
As you may have guessed from the names – the difference between the styles refers to just how rugged the case is with the Style being the least durable and the Tough looking like it’s ready to climb Everest…it probably is. The great news is – all three styles are snow-proof, sand-proof, and waterproof (up to 3 feet for 30 minutes). And don’t worry if you’re undecided about which level of toughness you want – you can always buy another “jacket” for around $39-$49.
For this review, we focused on the regular Sport model, which weighs just over one pound, and measures 7.4 x 2.9 x 2.3 inches in size. The Sport officially retails for $199.99, but you should be able to pick it up for closer to $150 (or potentially less).
For a small portable speaker, the Fugoo packs quite a wallop in terms of audio quality. Their 360° degree sound is designed to give everybody a great experience, no matter where they are in relationship to the device. By packing the Fugoo with six speakers (two tweeters, two mid-range drivers, and two passive radiators) across all four sides, they’ve ensured that everybody gets to enjoy a premium sound experience. Indeed, I’ve blasted my Fugoo side-by-side with my Bose SoundLink Mini II and have been hard-pressed to really appreciate a difference in day to day use. I wouldn’t expect to throw a house-party powered by the Fugoo, but you’ll definitely be able to DJ a summer BBQ or a romantic evening at home.
This is easily one of the Fugoo’s most noticeable features when it comes to everyday use. The battery simply lasts forever. Ok, not really – it only lasts 30-40 hours depending on use, but that’s ridiculous compared to any other portable speaker on the market. Most competitors’ speakers get around 8-10 hours, and while it may not seem like that big of a deal, I can assure you it’s life-changing. There’s a freedom that comes with not really having to worry about whether the battery will last. And, just in case you are prone to worrying, Fugoo is nice enough to show you the remaining battery life right on your phone next to the bluetooth icon. One other nice touch worth mentioning is that you can use any Micro USB cable to recharge your Fugoo.
There’s no question that durability is a priority for Fugoo. In creating their bluetooth speakers, they originally set out to build a portable system that was as adventurous as you are. Indeed, these waterproof, snow-proof, and sand-proof speakers are up to anything. We’ve used it in the garage while doing wood-working, tossed it around during bonfires at the beach, and keep it on the counter in our kitchen so that we can use it while cooking. The built in volume controls, Siri/Google Now integration, and waterproof design makes it great to use when your hands are covered in tonight’s delicious marinade.
While great connectivity might seem like a given for a bluetooth speaker, you’d be surprised by how many speakers have trouble maintaining a good connection when you put your phone in your pocket. The Sport does a fantastic job of maintaining a strong connection with your device, whether it’s in your pocket or another room altogether. It does have limits, but they’re more than reasonable for day to day use.
And don’t forget, the Fugoo has full integration with both Siri and Google Now and works great as a speakerphone as well. Imagine how cool it would be to take a call from your surfboard… (Full disclosure: I did NOT try this and have no idea if it would work, but it sounds like a blast).
Design & Accessories
In addition to sounding great, the Fugoo looks phenomenal. The Sport & Tough models only come in a single color each (black & blue and black & silver respectively), but the Style model can be had in a whole host of colors. And because of the interchangeable nature of the jackets, you can buy a couple and swap them out depending on the occasion.
Fugoo also makes a number of accessories that really speak to their adventurous goals. With bike mounts, straps, remote controls, and flotation devices, the Fugoo truly is up to going anywhere with you.
If it’s not clear by now, I love the Fugoo Sport. The sound is good enough that it never leaves me wanting, and the durability and spectacular battery life means that I can truly take it anywhere and keep the fun going all night.