When the Fugoo XL arrived, there was already a good chance that it would be viewed in a positive light thanks to the fact that the much smaller Fugoo Tough reviewed in this column a little over a year ago was so dang awesome. Conversely, I suppose it is possible that this Venti version wouldn’t live up to expectations, but that hasn’t been the case. Simply stated, the Fugoo XL definitely fits into the bigger-is-better category.
Firstly, the battery life on the Fugoo XL is unparalleled. The competition can’t even come close. The 35 hour play time means almost never having to be bothered to plug it in with its proprietary power adaptor. When it does need to be plugged in, it takes less than four hours to get a full charge. Since the XL has plenty of juice to go around, Fugoo was nice enough to include a USB port, so it is possible to charge other devices with the XL.
What makes this battery life even more impressive is the fact that the XL is pushing 38 watts of power through eight acoustic drivers. These drivers push sound out all the way around the XL, and to keep the tunes filling the air instead of bouncing off the surface on which the XL sits, the speakers are canted up at an 8° angle. What all this means is room-filling sound that is both loud and clear. Nicely done!
The Fugoo Core+Jacket system allows the XL to dress appropriately for the occasion. Available in “Style,” “Sport,” and “Tough,” the XL can go from the couch to the quad or the bedroom to the beach with a quick change of its jacket. If there is another company out there doing something as cool as this, they are not making much of a ruckus about it.
Lastly, the Fugoo XL is about as lifeproof as a piece of consumer electronics can be. Instead of being splashproof or water resistant, the XL is 100% waterproof to a depth of one meter. As luck would have it, the depths are something that will never have to be faced since the XL is designed to float when dressed in its Sport or Style jacket. Since this is a review, and despite my better judgement, I have actually submerged this three hundred dollar speaker into a tub of water. The results were eye-poppingly cool. Instead of something bad happening, the speaker just continued to play, splashing water away as the beat-heavy Chemical Brothers streamed off my phone. Since the speaker is waterproof, big chunky stuff like dirt, sand, and muck also has no effect.
The big Fugoo XL is available directly from Fugoo or Best Buy. Prices: $279.99 for the Style, $299.99 for the Sport (tested), and $329.99 for the Tough. Standalone jackets should be available in the future. For more information about Fugoo and its lineup of amazing speakers, click here.
**Full disclosure: this speaker was provided at no cost for editorial consideration, to think otherwise would be unsound.