In the last 5 years I’ve probably listened and tested more of the best Bluetooth speakers than I care to remember. In fact, there in lies the truth; most Bluetooth speakers are forgettable, at least these days. Largely because they all boast comparable specs, with few offering exceptional features and excellent sound. Like the UE Boom 2.
Enter the the Fugoo Sport review.
Price: $169 at Amazon (special)
What We Liked
- Top notch sound quality
- Waterproof to 3 feet
- Seriously amazing battery life
What We Didn’t
- Unboxing was tough as the speaker
- Couldn’t remove The Jacket
Fugoo Sport Specs
|Battery Life||40 hrs|
|Drivers||6 Neodymium Drivers|
|Frequency Response||60hz - 20Khz|
|Bluetooth 4.0 and BLE|
|Built-in Mic and Speakerphone|
|Size||2.3" x 7.4" x 2.9" (59 x 187 x 73mm)|
|Charging Time to 100%||3.5 hrs|
Fugoo Sport Design & Build Quality
One word: unassuming. This is probably the biggest drawback to the Fugoo Sport. Because it really could be any Bluetooth speaker. And if you’re none the wiser, crawling the web in search of the right speaker, you might just assume such. But that’s also the only drawback, at least for those that don’t own the Fugoo Sport Bluetooth speaker. But that isn’t to say it isn’t attractive or well built. Quite the opposite in fact, and hence why it’s at the top of our best Bluetooth speaker list.
Inside of the waterproof speaker, is not only a battery that is good for 40 hours of playback, but two 28mm neodymium tweeters, two 39mm neodymium aluminum domed mid/woofers. Both are complemented by 2 passive radiators that are designed to enhance bass – don’t worry, I’ll get into audio quality soon enough. That all in mind, Fugoo says the drivers are facing in every direction, providing 360 degrees of sound.
In the hand, the Fugoo Sport is as solid as they come, at least for a speaker of this size, which measures 2.3″ x 7.4″ x 2.9″ and weighs just a few ounces over 1 lb. (538g) – small enough to be thrown in a bag or purse. Part of that weight can be attributed to its included Sport jacket, which is removable, provided you can pry it loss from the speaker itself. I couldn’t despite the included instructions. Nevertheless, this enables the Fugoo Sport to take a 6 foot tumble and keep on ticking, though something tells me it could handle a greater height.
And despite it being waterproof in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, the headphone and microUSB charging port are not sealed. This is contrary to most bluetooth speakers, such as Ultimate Ears (UE Boom Review), which has a rubber flap that seals the 3.5mm input and charging port. Because of this, I believe the Fugoo Sport could still be waterproof without its Sport Jacket, but that’s conjecture and I have no way to tell otherwise. Update: the Jacket is sold separately and appears to make it waterproof. Conversely, you can remove the Jacket, and in turn reduce the Fugoo’s weight. You can replace it with the Style Jacket, which is also sold as a package or separately. Update 2: the speaker is waterproof by default, but Fugoo recommends the jacket as it protects the drivers.
Turning over the Fugoo reveals two screw holes which keep the Sport Jacket tightly adhered to the core of the speaker. The screws ship inside the box and can be added after the fact. By my account you won’t need them in place to keep the Jacket adhered. But I should warn you that the screw holes are used in the packaging. Fugoo wants you to unscrew a set of throw away plastic screws during the unboxing, but good luck with that. I ended up snapping the plastic base display stand into pieces until I was able to relieve enough pressure from either plastic screw until I could turn them turn them by hand. In other words, unboxing the Fugoo Sport was probably the most challenging part of owning this speaker. That and removing the Sport Jacket. I should also mention there is a mount hole on the bottom for accessories, which is designed to work with the bike mount and a few accessories.
Lastly, the left side of the speaker houses the power and Bluetooth button. While the top include volume buttons and an additional button for activating Siri, Google Now or initiating a phone call. And speaking of which, the Fugoo Bluetooth Speaker has a built-in microphone with echo cancellation.
You’ll be checking your ears twice when you begin to playback music from your Fugoo Bluetooth speaker, because yes, it sounds that good. For such a tiny box this BLE compatible speaker can crank.
Compared to the UE Boom it doesn’t sound quite as clean, but it’s most certainly almost on par. The sound stage for such a small speaker is impressive, as is the amount of bass and all together amplitude it can kick out. And yes, it’s loud enough to fill most rooms with audio, albeit there is an inevitable limit, simply because of the power source and size of the speaker itself.
I particularly like the fact that the sound plays in all directions. This negates the need to rotate or turn the speaker in the direction of those listening.
And unlike most Bluetooth speakers on the market, the Fugoo Sport is aptX compatible, which means better sound quality if you’ve got a compatible device. However, the iPhone 6 and 6s (and all the models before it) don’t support aptX, so you’ll have to look to an Android device to find this. Though, I’ve often found that the iPhone produces some of the cleanest audio of any handset, even when streaming music from Spotify, albeit from its highest playback setting. So a moot issue for iPhone users.
Aside from the challenges removing the speaker from both the display box and the Sport Jacket, there is nothing – zero, zilch – wrong with this very portable Bluetooth Speaker. For full disclosure’s sake, I wasn’t able to put the Fugoo Sport’s battery to the test of 40 hours simply because, well, I don’t have the time to sit and monitor 40 hours of audio playback. But so far, after hours of use, the battery has waned very little, which by the way can be determined by tapping that power button on the top of the speaker – it will emit a voice that will state how much battery remains. Arguably, one could say that the Fugoo Sport is a bit on the heavy side. But in this case, I’m more concerned about a Bluetooth speaker’s physical dimensions, and with respect to that, the output. And in this case, the Fugoo Sport fires on all cylinders.
Back to: The Best Bluetooth Speakers
- Soundcast VG1 is an Affordable Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker – With a Great Battery
- Fugoo Sport Bluetooth Speaker Review
- Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Portable Bluetooth Speakers (list)