You might not immediately recognize Braven's name, but chances are you're quite familiar with the company's sister brands — such as Invisible Shield, Mophie, and ZAGG, just to name a few. Braven is the audio-focused arm of the ZAGG Brands umbrella, and in September 2019, the company unveiled its first-ever pair of true wireless earbuds.
Those earbuds are called the Braven Flye Sport Rush, and they're what's on the table for today's review. The Flye Sport Rush are marketed as rugged earbuds that you can take with you anywhere, as evident by the various pictures of people rock-climbing on the Flye Sport Rush's product page on the Braven website.
True wireless earbuds are a tricky thing to get right, especially when keeping costs low the way Braven's doing. As such, I'm happy to report that the Flye Sport Rush are good. In fact, they're pretty darn great. Even if you don't plan on scaling a mountain anytime soon, you still owe it to yourself to give these a look.
A good first attempt
Bottom line: Braven is the latest audio brand to step into the world of true wireless earbuds with its Flye Sport Rush, and for a first attempt, Braven did a bang-up job. The Flye Sport Rush are built to withstand a trip to the gym or outdoor hike, featuring IPX5 waterproofing and a rugged charging case. Battery life is fantastic, and sound quality is more than good enough for casual music listening and catching up on podcasts.
- Durable build quality
- IPX5 water-resistance
- Excellent battery life
- Enjoyable sound quality
- Inconsistent Bluetooth performance
- Bulky charging case
- Micro-USB in 2019 is a drag
Braven Flye Sport Rush What you'll love
The Braven Flye Sport Rush don't necessarily stand out from a design point of view, but they do live up to the rugged marketing that Braven accompanies the earbuds with. The earbuds themselves are equipped with IPX5 waterproofing to keep them safe through sweat or an outdoor run. We don't recommend you submerge the earbuds in water if you don't have to, but for those times when they happen to get wet, you don't have to stress about them breaking down on you.
When you aren't using the earbuds, you can place them in the included charging case. The case is on the bulky side of the spectrum and the entire thing is made out of plastic, but it also feels like it'll keep the earbuds perfectly safe when thrown in a backpack.
The magnetic lid stays securely shut no matter how much you shake the case, the earbuds have a secure connection inside of it, and you'll even find a flap over the charging port to keep the case safe if it falls into a puddle or sink. There's also a row of LED lights on the front of the case, indicating its current charge status.
The Braven Flye Sport Rush's battery life is superb.
I suppose that's a perfect segue to talk about the Flye Sport Rush's battery life. Simply put, it's top-notch. Braven claims you can get 10 hours of continuous music playback with just one full charge, and that holds true in real-world use. I used the earbuds to listen to Spotify almost non-stop for 4.5 hours, and after doing so, I still had 58% battery remaining. Compared to the 4.5 hours of listening time you get with Apple's new (and much more expensive) AirPods Pro on a full charge, that's darn impressive.
The charging case holds up to 26 hours of additional playback, resulting in a total package of 36 hours of use. To sweeten the deal even more, Braven's "Burst Charge" tech gives you one hour of listening time after placing the earbuds in the case for just 10 minutes. In other words, battery anxiety is non-existent with the Flye Sport Rush.
Looking at the buds themselves, there are a couple of other highlights worth mentioning.
The playback controls work really well. There's a button on both the left and right earbud, allowing you to pause/resume playback, go back or skip to the next song, and activate your phone's digital assistant through a variety of button presses. The buttons are easy to press, have good tactility, and in general, are more convenient than I was expecting.
As for wearing the earbuds, they're quite comfortable. Braven gives you three differently-sized ear and wing tips to customize your fit, and when you find something you like, the earbuds stay in your ear with ease. Even during long listening sessions, my ears never felt irritated or fatigued wearing the Flye Sport Rush.
Last but certainly not least, let's talk sound quality.
I've reviewed a bunch of headphones here at AC, and while my ears are trained enough to tell what sounds good and what doesn't, I've never considered myself to be an audiophile.
To my ears, the Braven Flye Sport Rush are more than adequate for casual music listening or catching up on your favorite podcasts. There's a surprising amount of bass in some songs, you can crank up the volume without any noticeable distortion, and in general, everything just sounds very pleasant.
I did notice that the Flye Sport Rush tends to have a slightly muffled effect compared side-by-side to the Back Bay Duet 50, but listening to them on your own, I think you'll be happy with the sound that comes from Braven's earbuds.
Braven Flye Sport Rush Where it can improve for Gen 2
For this being Braven's first pair of true wireless earbuds, I'm pleased that the experience of using the Flye Sport Rush is as enjoyable as it is. However, that doesn't mean there's no room for improvement should the company decide to release a Flye Sport Rush 2 at some point down the road.
During my time using the Flye Sport Rush, I encountered some Bluetooth wonkiness. A couple of times when I took the earbuds out of the charging case to listen to music, they simply wouldn't connect to my Pixel 4 XL. I had to put the buds back in the case, take them out again, and then they'd connect. The Bluetooth connection is rock-solid once everything is talking to each other as intended, but it does sometimes take longer for that to happen than it should.
Something else that needs to change is how you charge the charging case. Braven decided to equip the case with a Micro-USB port, and in late-2019, it's a bit ridiculous that new gadgets are still shipping with this outdated port.
USB-C is standard on smartphones of all price ranges these days, along with a myriad of other devices. As such, buying something like the Flye Sport Rush and having to revert back to a Micro-USB charging method is a pain in the rear.
Finally, while I appreciate the charging case for its large battery and safety it provides for the buds, there's no denying just how big it is. Compared to the charging case for Samsung's Galaxy Buds, Braven's case looks hilariously huge. You can still throw it in a backpack or purse with ease, but if you're looking for a wireless earbud package that you can discretely carry in your pocket, this ain't it, chief.
Braven Flye Sport Rush Should you buy them?
The Braven Flye Sport Rush are not perfect earbuds. The case is super bulky, they're held back by some Bluetooth inconsistencies, and having to deal with Micro-USB in 2019 is not fun. Everywhere else, however, the Flye Sport Rush perform really well.
Build quality and design-wise, you benefit from comfortable earbuds, waterproofing, and good playback controls. Battery life is also outstanding, and as far as audio quality goes, it's more than good enough for casual listeners.
The $80 price tag is a decent value, especially if you're in the market for true wireless earbuds that can put up with your active lifestyle. There are other (and cheaper) options out there for just listening to music at home, but if you plan on being on-the-go a lot, the Flye Sport Rush are a compelling option.
A good first attempt
Braven is the latest audio brand to step into the world of true wireless earbuds with its Flye Sport Rush, and for a first attempt, Braven did a bang-up job. The Flye Sport Rush are built to withstand a trip to the gym or outdoor hike, featuring IPX5 waterproofing and a rugged charging case. Battery life is fantastic, and sound quality is more than good enough for casual music listening and catching up on podcasts.
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