[leadin]Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen. The FUGOO Sport XL is distinguished by its size, durability, and its big, rich sound.[/leadin]
Need a tough speaker made for use outdoors? The FUGOO Sport XL is a big brother of the FUGOO speaker we reviewed last spring, and it delivers plus-size sound in a rugged package able to stand up to almost anything out there.
It’s not cheap — at $199 this is a mega investment in sound. It’s marketed in a category alongside the Bose Soundlink and UE Megaboom, each of which is a similar-size Bluetooth speaker, and all retail for $199.
The FUGOO is the rugged option in the category. It also has longer battery life, playing without a recharge for twice as long as some of its competition, making it more appropriate for road trips, boating, or bringing it off-grid in the outdoors.
Bigger, Better FUGOO Speaker
Despite drowning, dropping, and running over the original FUGOO Tough speaker, it never skipped a beat. The XL version is similar in its durability, including being waterproof and able to float if dropped off the bow of a boat.
The XL, like its smaller sibling, is built to be used with interchangeable cases that add to the durability of the speaker. The speaker core is built with an impressive sound quality that rivals Bose, Jawbone, and other brand names.
It has 8 acoustic drivers, 2 tweeters on each side, and 2 bass drivers that kick out a total of 38 watts of sound power.
I could get technical about the type of woofers, and tweeters, and whatchamacallits packed into this speaker. But all you really need to know is that it sounds damn good. It produces a window-rattling bass and sound volume up to 100dB that you will need to control in public places.
We’re not the only ones who think so. Audio-review blog SoundGuys gave it an overall 9.2 out of 10 rating and said the FUGOO had “the best sound we’ve heard yet from a rugged speaker.”
Big But Portable
All the audio goodness can’t be packed into too small a case. This speaker measures about 12 x 4 x 4.75 inches, or a bit smaller than an average loaf of bread.
Unlike the smaller original model, the XL is not a lightweight — keep it in your truck bed, have it at the cabin, or bring it on the boat with you, but this isn’t something to take hiking or biking. It weighs more than 4 pounds.
Fugoo XL Battery Life
The company claims 34 hours of battery life at 50% volume level. We never got quite that far, only able to eek out about 30 hours, which is still impressive for a speaker of its size.
The XL comes with an AC charging port for a quick two-hour charging time. It has micro-USB and USB ports for charging other devices, too.
Final Word: FUGOO Sport XL Speaker
The XL is waterproof, dust-proof, snow-proof, and it can withstand a beating. We dropped ours off a truck tailgate (unintentionally) and tipped it from chest-high (intentionally) onto a floor without it ever missing a beat.
After months of testing, we were happy to find it didn’t drift from its durable roots. It’s still tough as nails, sounds great, and provides all requisite functionality to play wireless audio from your computer or phone.