Review: FUGOO Tough Rugged Bluetooth Speaker

Autumn has well and truly arrived here in the UK, and for me that means three things: Trails, Travel and Cross-Training. What do all of these things have in common? They all often feature a pumping soundtrack...

To be more specific: My autumn mountain biking means I spend more time exploring trails, but also more time washing down mucky bikes. My autumn travel this year, came in the form of a week-long, 700 mile exploration of Mallorca. Then, my autumn cross-training, has come about because of some recent medical tests, which suggest that resistance training, rowing and running could be of huge benefit to me. Whether it's washing down bikes, lifting weights, or relaxing after a Mediterranean century ride though, they're all activities that are often improved with a nice bit of background music. Enter the FUGOO Tough!

FUGOO is an American brand, which has focussed all of its passion and enthusiasm for the great outdoors, into producing the ultimate portable Bluetooth speakers. Their range of six speakers is designed to cater for everyone that loves spending time outside: there's the sleek and minimalist 'Style', the waterproof 'Sport', and the hardy 'Tough'; as well as three models that are their 'Bigger Brothers', the XL series. All three models (of the same size) use the same core speaker unit, but with interchangeable 'jackets' and accessories.

For me, the rigours of bike washing, touring, travel and training, meant that the waterproof and drop-proof 'Tough' seemed like the ideal rugged option. Over the last few months, I've been testing it out...

Designed to be 'Tough'

The Tough 'jacket' for the FUGOO is made from fibre-reinforced resin and aluminium; straight out of the box, this looks like a serious speaker that will handle some serious abuse. The Tough design also has features including strapping points, carabiner anchors and an ultra-stable base. It is an outdoor 'Utility Jacket', for sure!

Core-X Technology

The Tough jacket is just the outer casing to the real technology and durability though. The heart to all the FUGOO speakers, their ruggedness and their performance, comes from the Core-X inner. 

The Core-X contains six speakers, in the form of two tweeters, two mid-drivers, and two base radiators. Combined together, they emit 95dB of clean, crisp and bassy sound. It is perfect for drowning out the roar of a bike jet-wash, or the clang of weights during a gym session. The speakers are also positioned at a slight angle, on all sides of the Core-X case; this means that despite the Tough's small size, it provides great sound dispersion and a surround-sound profile.

As well as the impressive speaker capabilities, the FUGOO Tough also has microphone technology. A multi-directional microphone and Bluetooth connectivity, allows you to use Siri® or Google Now™ on your phone, as well as providing the ability to answer calls directly from the speaker. Conference call whilst bike washing anyone?!

The Core-X protects all this technology within an IPX-67 waterproof casing, which is also 'shockproof', 'drop-proof' and 'snow-proof'. You never know, we might get snow this year; we'll certainly get a few knocks, drops and rainy days... so those are all great attributes.

'Eternal' Life

Great 'out-there' electronic technology, is only as good as its battery life though. Fortunately, the FUGOO range backs up its sound quality with a good quality battery. Charged up with a simple micro-USB cable, the battery will last 40 hours at a moderate volume, which is enough to get a serious adventure in!

The larger Tough-XL actually also allows you to use the unit as a powerbank, and discharge to your phone or tablet as a power source. Another significant benefit 'out in the field'.

Combining the durability of the FUGOO Tough's design, with its long lasting battery, means this unit should really last the test of time. During two months of my own use and abuse, in numerous challenging conditions, it has certainly continued to excel. 

It's a Tough little cookie, which will add a thumping beat to any monotonous task!

View the FUGOO range at (Link)

Simple, well concealed buttons

The unit charges via a micro-USB, and also has an AUX-in port (for non-Bluetooth users)

Nice cables are provided, in a handy sack; as well as a hex key, for removing the Tough Jacket

The microphone allows you to use the unit for outdoor phone calls!

A beautifully designed, compact speaker unit

Ideal for bike washing!


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