With literally thousands of Bluetooth speakers out there and a ton of attention-getting big names like Beats, Bose, and JBL, it takes a lot to stand out. That’s exactly what Fugoo XL Speaker does, from its name to its line of durable, high-performance Bluetooth speakers and accessories.
With the Fugoo XL speaker, the Fugoo brand has filled a void with a speaker that literally belongs everywhere – the beach, camping, swimming pool, snowboard, industrial garden, and even the bedroom. Its quality sound, durability, ability to customize your style, and incredible battery life are simply unmatched.
The Fugoo XL speaker is one of the successors of the smaller Fugoo loudspeakers from the previous year. Each Core speaker can be purchased with a Style Jacket (plastic and fabric construction, available in colors), a Sports Jacket (like the Style, but with shock-absorbing rubber edges), or a Tough Jacket (aluminum construction, thick rubber edges).
Each jacket is attractive and functional and allows the user to customize the speaker cabinet to suit their intended use. The Style XL weighs 3.8 pounds. Interestingly, the price also differs depending on the jacket. Fugoo Style XL is the cheapest; Sport XL adds a glow in the dark to the control buttons, and the robust Tough XL has an aluminum coating and stainless steel sieves. Other accessories available include a variety of mounts suitable for almost any activity.
A Descriptive Review of the Fugoo XL Speaker
Appearance and Functions
The Fugoo XL speaker literally looks like the original Fugoo, only bigger. It shares the same general design, has a variety of jackets to make it more or less sturdy. Completely water, snow, mud, shock resistant, and has speakers all around for 360 degrees sound.
Since it is larger, it of course has eight instead of six speakers and also offers more controls on the top. While the original only has dedicated play/pause and volume controls (although the “action button” can control tracks when paired with the appropriate volume control), the XL has Google Now (or Siri for iOS users) controls directly from the speaker, the buttons glow even in the dark.
The Fugoo XL speaker has the Bluetooth 4.0 version which offers wireless connectivity up to 33 feet. You also have the option of pairing an additional Fugoo speaker to create a stereo pair. This can be done with any of the Fugoos outdoor Bluetooth speakers of the 2nd generation (Style 2.0, Sport 2.0, or Tough 2.0).
In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, the Fugoo XL speaker also has a standard 3.5mm stereo direct connector for a wired connection. The Fugoo XL speaker also allows you to access Siri or Google Now using the speaker’s built-in microphone.
Sound Quality and Battery Life
The Fugoo XL speaker sounds great. The audio quality is full and clear; the bass is very present without being obtrusive, the highs and mids are impeccable – it’s just a very balanced speaker. It also has a dynamically adjustable EQ that adjusts the curve as the volume is adjusted so you never get that bass rumble that destroys the speakers. Overall, this is a well-designed speaker from the listener’s point of view.
Sound functions features
- 4 neodymium magnet tweeters
- 2 neodymium magnet aluminum dome woofers
- 2 passive radiators
- 38 watts (19 watts per channel)
- 50Hz – frequency response 20 KHz
- Digital signal processor with dynamic equalization
In addition, the speakers are positioned on all four sides so that the Fugoo XL offers 360-degree sound and they are inclined 8 degrees upwards for better sound distribution.
Listening to the Fugoo XL speaker showed how well these drivers are doing their job. There are lots of lows without exploding, which can happen with speakers that emphasize the bass too much. The mids and highs were also well represented. In general, it was a well-balanced sound with more than enough volume to dominate a living room or to hang up at an outdoor meeting. The size of the speaker (with a width of 11.3 inches) as well as the eight drivers contained inside give the music more depth than is typical for portable speakers.
When it comes to battery life, the Fugoo XL is an absolute beast. Fugoo claims the XL has up to 35 hours of battery life at half volume. As with many large speakers, the XL’s battery is charged via a DC adapter instead of a micro-USB, which is more commonly used by small speakers.
With the Fugoo XL battery, you can charge your mobile device via USB. Charging other devices will of course limit the playback time you get on the speaker.
Configuration and Software
The XL quickly teamed up with iOS and Android devices. It has a stated range of 120 feet, a giant leap over 9 meters from the original Fugoo. The signal was strong at over 100 feet, which gave it the best range of a Bluetooth speaker.
Fugoo doesn’t offer an app to control or customize the speaker as UE and JBL do. Instead, you use keyboard shortcuts on the device to make adjustments. If you hold down the play button for three seconds, you can switch to “outdoor” mode, which increases performance (and also drains the battery faster). You can decrease the volume of the voice prompts by pressing and holding the + and – buttons while switching on the loudspeaker. But there is no equalizer and no way to connect two Fugoo speakers like the latest UE and JBL speakers.
Interchangeable Jackets and Accessories
By now, you’ve probably figured out that Fugoo speakers are different from the usual Bluetooth offering. Another way to stand out from the crowd is to have a wide range of accessories.
It starts with the concept that the Fugoo and Fugoo XL are “core” speakers. Different sheaths (removable covers) are available for each core, which not only change the appearance but also the capacity. The jackets are available in both sizes in Style, Sport or Tough, whereby Style is offered in several color variants. Style and sports jackets are easy to remove and even the tough is just a handful of screws. So, once you have a core speaker, you can change its look or bring it to the top of the Tough XL by changing your jacket.
Pros and Cons of the Fugoo XL Speaker
- The best sound we’ve ever heard from a rugged speaker
- 35 hours of battery life
- A jacket system means that little visual feedback is possible
The Fugoo XL is probably the loudest super-rugged speaker you can buy right now. It sounds better than the UE MEGABOOM and is more durable than the JBL Xtreme. It’s kind of the perfect balance between sound and durability, and it has incredible battery life.
In short, this is a bigger and better version of the original Fugoo. That alone makes it one of the best BlueTooth speakers on the market. The price may put it off, but if you’re looking for a speaker in this price range this should definitely be on your shortlist.