[section_title title=”Testing and Performance”]
Testing and Performance
The very first thing you are greeted with is the mixture of rough black mesh and silky smooth rubber when you take the Fugoo Sport from the packaging, the mesh itself reminded me of hessian sacking, and wasn’t all that pleasant to the touch, but it’s something I’ve learned to live with as it gives great traction to make sure you don’t drop the speaker too many times when you’re carting it around with you.
Once charged I was ready to feel the full force of the six speakers, yes, two in front, two at the back and another on each edge to give full 360 degree sound. Power it up and you are given an audio prompt to tell you the speaker is on, a nice touch and a theme with this speaker, as it not only tells you when it’s powering down as well but will also tell you how much charge is left on your battery at the push of a button – very swish, but perhaps not enough to sway me to the price tag just yet.
Pairing the Fugoo was a very simple affair on both my Galaxy S5 and my desktop computer, but in case you don’t have a Bluetooth enabled device you can use the flat anti-tangle, gold plated audio cable to connect to any 3.5mm jack and I didn’t notice any difference between the level of quality from either option. Oh yes, and that voice was back to confirm when the speaker was connected as well and not just when the Bluetooth was connected, it also confirmed the wireless option was off and the cable connected to an audio source too – again, very cool.
Another toy you get to play with is the integrated microphone that allows for handsfree calls as well as Siri / OK Google functions, sadly these only work over the Bluetooth connection to your phone, but if your phone doesn’t have Bluetooth then it probably doesn’t support this function even without the speaker. Getting this to work was a bit of trial and error as the vast manual is actually quite short, being not only repeated in multiple languages but also repeats more or less the same information for each of the possible jacket kits. This means that without chopping down half a rainforest they have to leave some information out but I still think it could have been better implemented. After figuring out that OK Google required a double-press of the O control button, I was away, getting map info and dialling friends and family but since I’m not really a massive user of this Android function it didn’t get a lot of use. Saying that however, the microphone must be reasonably clear as not only could friends and family understand me while on speaker phone but I was able to make appointments and calendar reminders and the typical Welsh names came up correctly on my phone instead of looking like a take-out order from a hipster cafe.
Changing Jackets is another important aspect of the speaker, as once you have purchased your first Fugoo you can get the extra Jackets on their own to fit with other accessories or on their own depending on how you want to use your speaker. It took a broken nail or two to get the hang of changing between the Sport and Style Jackets but once it got the hang of it it was plain sailing. If the Style Jacket is not your cup of tea there’s an alternative available in the form of the highly protective Tough Jacket, for around $80 or £60 at Amazon. If you don’t know what I mean, here’s a video from Fugoo…
Of course, while all of the above is nice to have, it only goes so far towards the rather substantial price tag, for that only sound, and great sound is going to part you from your hard-earned cash and so that’s where the bulk of my testing was focused. Listening to everything from the cool, soulful lyrics of Enya and moving on all the way through to the harsh guttural tones of Mudvayne and as much varied music as I could get my hands on in addition to spoken word. Sheer volume is available in excess considering the unit is only around 8 inches long and only 2x3in wide and tall, but those 6 speakers have a lot to do with that, packing audio output all around the Fugoo instead of just on the front face. It’s not just volume though, the inclusion of tweeters, mid/woofers and bass radiators means that you get clarity that simply blows you away and cannot be compared to the entry level £40-60 speakers.