A portable Bluetooth speaker is the perfect way to unleash all that music on your phone and tablet, especially when on the go. However, the trouble with being 'on the go' is that 'on' doesn't always mean your car, and 'go' isn't always a Premier Inn in Birmingham with views of New Street Station. What if your 'on the go' means adventure, danger, water, snow, ice, mud, and the potential for falling off the side of a mountain? Fortunately there is now a Bluetooth speaker designed to keep the tunes pumping in situations just like those. We review the Fugoo Tough Bluetooth Speaker.
The Tough by Fugoo is a rugged, hard-as-nails wireless speaker which has been designed to be taken into pretty hostile places... and come out in one piece. It is water-proof, shock-proof, mud-proof, and snow-proof. The body of the speaker is made from a mix of solid aluminium and reinforced resin, and on the inside you'll find a rechargeable battery capable of an impressive 40 hour play time – the longest of any Bluetooth speaker of this size we've ever tested.
If you're taking this camping and want everyone in your party to hear the tunes, fret not – the Fugoo Tough features 360 degree sound. There are speakers on all four sides of this thing, and they are tilted ever so slightly upwards, meaning it can be placed on the ground without the grass absorbing all the sound. Yes, even wet grass. Take that, nature!
As you might have guessed, this speaker can connect to any mobile device with Bluetooth 4.0. The ten metre optimal range was no surprise, but we were quite impressed to see that Fugoo have also managed to stick a traditional headphone jack in there (and micro USB port for charging) without the use of a rubbery cover or seal. Water can get in there, but it obviously can't get to anywhere else. It's also nice to know you can plug in your phone with a wire, prolonging the battery of both devices.
The Fugoo Tough Bluetooth Speaker can also be used to make and take calls. It features a very sensitive microphone which could pick up our voices even from a distance of a few feet while on the ground. It is also completely compatible with iOS's Siri and Android's Google Now, so you can make voice commands over a greater distance to your phone.
But the real proof of the pudding was in the sound quality itself. The 360 degree design really makes a difference here, compared to most other Bluetooth speakers of this size. The sound is immersive and textured, as if it were coming from a much larger device. Bass is deep and resonating (especially when placed on a hard surface), while vocals and highs were clear as crystal. And this thing is hot-damn loud – crank it up and you'll be annoying all the other campers (and your neighbours, like we did) for 40 solid hours, bitches! Even at high levels there was very little distortion, and all genres of music, as well as spoken word files, sounded great.
The Fugoo Tough Bluetooth Speaker is a tremendous bit of kit for those of us who own several action cams (and then actually use them for action!), and indeed those who just love listening to their favourite tunes on a decent device in the tranquil setting of their own garden. Neighbours be damned.