Fugoo is the best Bluetooth speaker you’ve probably never heard of. I got mine after a few readers (and PR folk) rightfully noted its omission from our Best Bluetooth Speaker of 2014 list. I have been listening to it ever since and yep, it should be among the top and for $135, it is a no-brainer…
Fugoo is a relatively new company comprised of industry veterans that makes only one thing: a waterproof 40-hour battery Bluetooth speaker. The actual speaker size is comparable to a slightly trapezoid-ish original Jambox which gives it a stable base. But where the Jambox has three drivers, the Fugoo has two tweeters, two mid/woofers, and two bass drivers – six drivers in all and on both sides.
There are currently three different sleeve options that give it either a “Sport, Style, or Rugged” jacket. Mine came with the heavy Rugged (6-foot drop tested) sleeve that I unbolted (eight hex nuts) and replaced first with the Sport and then the Style sleeve. I’m just not dangerous enough to warrant these bulky covers and it seems plenty strong and waterproof on its own.
Here’s the skinny:
The Fugoo recently recieved an update to make it top out at a louder volume without distorting the output. The results are very good. It still isn’t as loud as the larger UE Boom, Bose Soundlink Mini or my personal fav, the JBL Charge 2, but it fills a small room and more importantly, it sounds great. Sound volume is on par with the Beats Pill or Jawbone Jambox, but as you can see in the marketing table below, the Fugoo has way more and omnidirectional drivers than the competitors which give it it great “center of the room” functionality.
The mic for speakerphone calls is also first class and callers on the other end didn’t complain of echoes like they often do with lesser quality speakers.
Waterproof like crazy
Some speakers like the UE Boom are water resistant meaning you can listen to them in the rain or they can take some splashes from your shower. The Fugoo can actually be submerged and still play music underwater up to a meter. It somehow does this without those annoying port coverings over the MicroUSB charging and AUX input ports. It is also snow, sand, dust and waterproof to 3 feet for 30 minutes. Basically you don’t have to worry about this thing in any conditions.
The other standout feature on the Fugoo speaker is its crazy battery life. They claim 40 hours on half volume and to be frank, that’s a bit of a stretch. I was able to get over 24 hours on what I’d consider a normal room sound (slightly over 2/3rds volume) and that’s still incredible. That’s at least double and more of its competition and it easily outlasted the iPhone 6 it was playing from. You very comfortably could take this on a long weekend trip and pass on bringing the charger. It is too bad you can’t actually charge your iPhone from its battery like the JBL Charge/2.
Fugoo doesn’t just have three different jackets but it also has mounting brackets allowing you to pop this thing on your bike, watercraft, or even your person (though it is a bit heavy). Even better – there is a remote which is also mountable to your person and also waterproof.
The Fugoo speaker deserves to be at the top of any Best Bluetooth speaker list. No one has the type of battery life this thing does nor is anyone else as shock and water/dust proof and still sounding really good. That it comes in a small drop-proof package is a huge bonus. Set it and forget it.
That said, I’m not ready to take the JBL Charge 2 off its perch as my go-to Bluetooth Speaker of the Year however because it gets significantly louder than the Fugoo and can act as a charger for the iPhone while still getting 12+ hours of battery life. Sound is still the number one priority to me and the Fugoo, even with its six drivers, doesn’t get as loud as JBL’s Charge 2 (or Bose Soundlink Mini or UE Boom).