One of the speakers, the 600 model, is a $150 Bluetooth amp and speaker that also works as a speakerphone. The 625 model, which costs $180, adds a durable rubberized cover and the ability to charge your phone from its battery. The 650 model, at $190, adds APT-X, a higher fidelity type of Bluetooth, which you can’t currently use with Apple iPads, iPods or iPhones, although it will work with the newest operating system for Apple desktops and laptops under some conditions.
The speakers can be daisy-chained together, so you use cables to connect an array of Bravens, even using mismatching models.
In a blind test, we compared the three Bravens to a $200 foxL Bluetooth using an audience of seven ranging in age from 15 to over 50. The foxL edged out the Braven 600 and 650. Yet there was unanimous agreement the midpriced 625 topped all three. Although the foxL had a bit more bass, theBraven 625 had better balanced tone, and there was more detail in the music; it was easier to pick out individual instruments.
But that didn’t make sense, because all of the Bravens share the same amps and speakers.
A call to the engineers revealed that at 6.3 inches, 1.8 inches, 2.5 inches, the 625 has a minutely larger cabinet than its siblings, intended to create a robust sound for outdoor use. Apparently the slight difference was enough to get an effect.
The 625 also comes with a few outdoor accessories that the others don’t, including a waterproof carrying bag and a flashlight attachment.
So unless you want the high fidelity Bluetooth of APT-X (and you aren’t using Apple pods, pads or phones), the 625 is the best value of the Bravens, indoors or out.