We’ve seen the portable speaker designed as a clutch done before, but this might be the best crack at it yet. To that effect, the Fugoo Style isn’t just a looker – but it has some seriously good audio chops that make it one of the better portable Bluetooth speakers out there.
For a speaker this size, we’re accustomed to seeing two, maybe four individual drivers. The Fugoo Style has six – two tweeters, two midrange drivers, and two passive radiators. Altogether, the Fugoo Style hits the whole range of sound, and is constructed to emit audio in 360 degrees. It’ll get pretty loud for its size, too, maxing out at 95 dB. And despite all its power, the Style promises a pretty impressive 40-hour battery life. When it comes to the audio experience, the speaker rocks very strong highs and treble, but unfortunately the audio is not very balanced and its bass is on the very weak side. Overall though, it’s a solid performer for a speaker of its size.
Pairing the speaker is extra easy thanks to a built-in voice prompt that lets you know when you’ve connected and disconnected your device. There is also a dedicated Bluetooth button on the side of the device, as well as a set of convenient volume controls on top of the device.
Thanks to an omnidirectional microphone, the Fugoo can also be used as a speakerphone, and it has support for Google Now and Siri. During phone calls, callers came through loud and clear to us, but we were told that they couldn’t hear us as well as they could through our phone’s own speakerphone.
All of the Fugoo Style’s tech is wrapped in a resin shell and a waterproof cloth covering, so the Style should be able to withstand the elements, too. Fugoo claims their speaker is mud proof, snow proof, shock proof, and waterproof to 3 feet depth for 30 minutes. So while you might not want to consider it your extreme speaker of choice (if for no other reason than you want to keep it looking pretty), you could do worse if you need a outdoorsy portable speaker.
We had never heard of Fugoo until we tested their Fugoo Style, but color us impressed – they have come out with a very solid portable Bluetooth speaker offering in a market which is crazily over saturated. We especially appreciate the fact that this little speaker manages to be so rugged and waterproof, without looking too sporty. Instead, the Fugoo Style manages to be a super stylish speaker that fashionistas will be proud to rock out with. Users will also appreciate its incredibly long battery life and the fact that it can be clipped, mounted or strapped. That means that you can take it just about anywhere, and that includes even mounting it on your bike.
The Fugoo Style is separated into two parts – the exposed core and the outer jacket. The jacket is the part with the resin shell and cloth covering, so you’ll want to buy both together. Both the core and Style shell together are $200. Buying the Speaker with the Tough jacket will cost you $229.
The Good: Rugged and waterproof – yet very stylish with changeable jackets, works as a speakerphone with Siri / Ask Google Now support, dedicated volume buttons, very long battery life, can be clipped, strapped – or mounted, optional wireless remote available, and built to last.
The Bad: No NFC, audio is not very balanced, very weak bass, and a bit pricey.
Update 7/20/2014: Fugoo’s firmware 1.00.36 is available in Beta to provide additional loudness and sound quality to handle the wide range of music people listen to, from streamed music to personal music collections. The update optimizes loudness based on song recording characteristics so that distortion is limited and sound quality is great.