Fugoo Tough and Style Bluetooth speaker review
I get emails almost daily asking me to review the latest Bluetooth speaker and, as you can imagine, it has got to the point where something has to jump out at me.
One such device stood out and it was called Fugoo.
The Fugoo (named after Fugu, the rather risky Japanese puffer fish delicacy) is waterproof, mud-proof, drop-proof and shock-proof in its naked ‘Core-X’ format. So a tough Bluetooth speaker, that’s been done before right? Well, it’s not only tough but also adaptable thanks to its three jacket options – Style, Sport and Tough.
Like the puffer fish, the Fugoo looks a bit odd in its naked Core-X self.
The thing is, the Fugoo Core-X is built to take knocks already. Its construction includes a reinforced case with co-moulded seals and shock absorbers to protect the internal drivers and tech.
The end caps, for example, are able to absorb impact on all eight corners while the seals protect the speakers from the elements such as water (to a depth of up to 3ft), snow, dust, and sand.
The Fugoo has top-mounted controls shown here on the Tough and then Style jackets.
The Fugoo promises a 360-degree sound experience.
I am glad to report that it does work and sounds pretty good. Thanks to those drivers, the Fugoo does go louder than you’d expect something of this size should with the output apparently able to hit 95 decibels.
Those bass radiators enable the Fugoo to handle a frequency range from 60Hz-20KHz, the lower figure means that you do get a decent bass punch from this little speaker.
Going from New Young Pony Club’s ‘Jerk me up’ to ‘Torch’ by Soft Cell, the lows are defined and high-hat hits sparkle just as you’d want your pop songs to come across.
It’s not just pop that the Fugoo enjoys though.
‘Cowboys from Hell’ by Pantera crunches and grooves through its awesome 4:03 minutes, whereas the bass rumbles nicely on the opening bars of ‘Celebrate your Mother’ by Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster.
I was really impressed by the separation on more complex tracks such as ‘Inertiatic Esp’ by The Mars Volta with all the interweaving lines clearly discernible.
For those who want to use the speaker as a speakerphone rather than just for playing tunes, the Fugoo is full-duplex capable.
Sound is clear and the omni-directional microphone with echo cancellation and background noise reduction means those on the other end can hear you loud and clear.
The Style jacket is really lightweight and hardly adds any bulk to the Core-X speaker. It also looks great in the silver mesh finish and the Fugoo label is nice fashionable touch. It really works sat on a shelf in the kitchen or living-room.
The Tough, on the other hand, does add weight as well as girth but there is no denying its purposeful appearance. As it boast all kinds of superpowers (withstanding 3 foot drops, etc) I had to test some of these out.
I am happy to report that being dropped on to flagstones from my eye-level (6 foot) didn’t bother it at all. Neither did a dunking in the bath with Bluetooth still connected and playing ‘Here Comes Your Man’ by the Pixies without missing a beat.
Having all this portable power and punch requires a decent battery. Thankfully this particular speaker has the legs to last for 40 hours of playback from a single charge.
From empty to fully loaded, the speakers are fully charged again in 3.5 hours via the fast charging Micro-USB charger, which is included in the box.
A really neat addition is that your other devices can sip juice from the Fugoo by simply plugging them into the speaker which will then double-up as a kind of battery pack.
Fugoo review conclusion
For me, the speaker that the Fugoo had to beat is the Damson Vulcan and looking at the size of this little speaker I very much doubted that it could come anywhere close.
What surprised me is that where the Vulcan does look and feel more powerful, the Fugoo has a more flat and true response than the Vulcan. Where the Damson speaker leans a little more to the low mids and bass, the Fugoo achieves a clearer presentation thanks having a tighter mid-range and a clearer treble.
Add in to the mix its waterproofing and ultra-tough build as well as being about half the size of the Damson then the Fugoo is definitely one to consider, although the latter is at least £50 more expensive.
I also like the fact that you can change how the Fugoo looks thanks to the jackets . I can testify that the Style really looks good with its silvery mesh and the Tough looks and feels bomb-proof.
If you want decent sound, in a small package, wrapped up in a good quality build then trying this Fugoo is probably a better decision that trying the other variety.
Fugoo price and availability
You are able to choose which jacket comes in your Fugoo box:
You can then purchase the remaining two jacket options individually should you wish. There are also a variety of straps, mounts and remote controls available too. Check out the Fugoo website for more details.