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Fugoo Tough and Style Bluetooth speaker review

Fugoo Style

9.1

Build quality

9.5/10

Design

9.0/10

Portability

9.5/10

Looks

9.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Very portable
  • Looks great
  • Balanced sound
  • Awesome battery life
  • Swapable jackets

Cons

  • Bit pricey
  • Some might want more bass

Fugoo tough and styleThe Fugoo speaker has the ability to dress for any occasion thanks to a range of natty looking jackets. I have been sent the Fugoo Tough along with a Style jacket.

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.

Fugoo design

Like the puffer fish, the Fugoo looks a bit odd in its naked Core-X self.

Fugoo tough deconstructUnbolting the Tough jacket to get to the nitty gritty core just takes an Allen key and the removal of four hex screws.

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.

Fugoo tough angleWrap that all up in the Tough jacket and you get an ultra-rugged portable speaker. This protective layer is made up of a fibre-reinforced resin and aluminium frame.

The Fugoo has top-mounted controls shown here on the Tough and then Style jackets.

fugoo tough topFugoo style topAs well as the + and – volume controls you might have noticed the mic which is more obvious in the Tough pic above. This makes it good for hands-free speakerphone action.

fugoo toughIn total there are six drivers – two tweeters, two mid/woofers, and two passive radiators – that are strategically placed around all four sides of the product to deliver sound in all directions.

Fugoo tough controlsAt one end you’ll find the on/off button and the one for pairing Bluetooth.

Fugoo tough portsFlip it around and there’s the Aux in and the USB charging ports.

Fugoo bundleThe Fugoo comes bundled with a USB and Aux cables in their trademark colour, which is a nice touch. You also get a neat carry bag too!

Fugoo performance

Sound quality

The Fugoo promises a 360-degree sound experience.

Fugoo style angleThis is handy as this means you can take it the park or a festival, shove it in the middle of your group and you will all be able to enjoy the omni-directional tunes.

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.

Fugoo style portsRegardless of which jacket the Fugoo is wearing it kicks out respectable bass and clear highs with a really focused midrange.

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.

Jackets

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.

fugoo labelThe 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.

Stamina

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.

Fugoo Tough and Style Bluetooth speaker review

by Jay Garrett time to read: 5 min
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