This is easily one of the most impressive compact, rugged Bluetooth speakers I’ve used. The Fugoo Go weighs one pound and packs a pair of 2-inch full range drivers plus dual bass radiators inside a rugged case. Total power is 12 watts, enough to push out some real volume. Audio is 360-degrees if set on its back, but I preferred setting it on its side (its’s quite stable) for directed sound.
Connectivity is via Bluetooth 4.2 and it’s worth noting there is no AUX input—wireless only. The microUSB-chargeable battery is rated for 10 hours at 50% volume. Its IP67 waterproof rating means it can survive a 30-minute dunk in three feet of water and you can rinse dirt off with a hose. The plastic, rubber, and cloth case is shock-proof, and it even comes with an integrated bungee cord which is color coordinated with the volume buttons (review units had blue accents but red and black are also available).
The Fugoo Go supports two different modes for connecting two speakers, and setting it up is easy. Hit a two-button combo on each speaker for a second and they pair together. From there, you can toggle between Stereo mode—where one unit is the left channel and the other is right—and Double mode. In Double mode, both speakers play the same audio, but you can place them anywhere within Bluetooth range, so there is multi-room capability to a limited extent.
I spent a morning listening to Beatles tracks in Stereo mode and it definitely did not sound like I was “slumming it” despite the Go’s modest $79.99 MSRP.
I already covered the Fugoo Style-S in a recent roundup of camping gear. Positioned as the Fugoo line’s midrange option, the $139.99 Style S is 8.3-inches in length, offers 15-hour battery life, Bluetooth 4.2, and features 20W powering four drivers (two full-range drivers and two bass radiators). Like the Go, it supports wireless connection of two speakers for stereo sound and offers IP67 water protection.
Fugoo Style XL
The Fugoo Style XL is a Bluetooth speaker for people who really appreciate their music. While portable, this is fairly hefty device—nearly a foot wide, 4.5-inches tall, and weighing three pounds. It’s also the most costly of the three models featured, with a $199.99 MSRP.
However, that’s considerably less than many competing large wireless speakers, and the Style XL brings a lot to the table. First, there’s the “style” part of the name, which is an attractive woven fiber shell that gives it an upscale look.
The removable shell protects an inner core, and the whole thing is waterproof and floats. A big Lithium-Ion battery provides a whopping 35-hours of play time at 50% volume, and you can plug in your phone to its 1A USB port for a charge top-up. Charging the Style XL takes about 3.5 hours using the included power adapter. Connectivity is Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX support and a 3.5mm AUX input. An omnidirectional microphone lets you take calls, and it also supports Siri and Google Now.
All this is good stuff, but the real story for the Style XL is its sound. I’ll spike the specs out because the details are worth knowing.
- 4 x Neodymium-magnet tweeters
- 2 x Neodymium-magnet aluminum-domed mid-woofers
- 2 x passive radiators
- 360-degree sound, drivers at 8-degree tilt
- 50Hz to 20KHz frequency response
- Dynamic DSP
- 38 Watts
The audio the Fugoo Style XL is capable of producing is pretty much unbeatable for a speaker in its price range. Eight drivers and the speaker’s width means a fuller sound than most portable speakers can manage. Because there are tweeters, mid-woofers, and bass radiators instead of the typical full-range driver that’s trying to cover all the frequencies, music is nicely nuanced. While it can’t compete with a subwoofer, for a portable speaker the bass is impressive. Mid-range is detailed and highs are crisp without being overly sharp.
Fugoo positioned the drivers at an 8-degree angle for maximum sound dispersal. And if you use this speaker outdoors, there’s an Outdoor mode that boosts the volume. In short, the Style XL is a lot of portable speaker, but the sound quality is excellent, battery life is phenomenal, and the price is right.
I’ve been using Fugoo Bluetooth speakers for several years now and a near indestructible Fugoo Tough XL (which shares the same “core” making it functionally identical to the Style XL in audio performance) has been my reference model for testing large Bluetooth speakers for the past two years.
I would recommend any of these Fugoo speakers if you’re in the market for portable audio. The big question, from my perspective, would be whether you’d prefer the bass performance, extended battery life, nuanced audio, and extras of the Style XL or the easy carrying and two-speaker stereo capability that the Go and Style-S offer.
At time of writing, Fugoo was offering a deal that might tip your decision in favor of the two speaker option, with 20% off a second Go or 30% off a second Style-S.
Whatever your choice, Fugoo offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try the speakers out without risk.
Disclosure: Fugoo provided sample speakers but had no editorial input into this review.