I'm back again with another one of Fugoo's 2017 offerings: the Go. This little Bluetooth speaker is built to withstand whatever you throw at it and go with you wherever you might tread — and sound good while doing so, of course. The Fugoo Go represents one of the best bang-for-your-buck Bluetooth speakers right now. It's IP67-rated, it's rugged, it has a mounting strap, and best of all it's $80.
A few days ago, you might have seen that I was left quite disappointed with the Style-S, a larger, more expensive speaker from the same company. Luckily, most of the problems I had with that device did not follow over to the Go. It's not perfect, but it sure is worth the asking price and more.
|Portability||The Go is compact and portable with its awesome included bungee cord for mounting to different places. It's great to sling around your wrist, carry around the house or outside, tie to a bike, or hang in the shower.|
|Sound||The sound quality is spectacular. For an $80 Bluetooth speaker, I was very impressed. Volume range is excellent and the output is pretty dynamic.|
|Durability||With an IP67 rating, the Go is durable and able to withstand a ton of punishment. Drop it, dunk it in water, leave it in the rain... it doesn't matter.|
|Value||For $80, you are getting a lot of speaker. No better way to put it.|
|Sound (again)||While I am impressed by the overall sound quality, the bass is sadly and unsurprisingly lacking. The focus was clearly on power and the highs/mids.|
|Battery life||At an advertised 10 hours of life, the Go can last long enough for most people... except when that 10-hour mark is an average at best.|
Design & build quality
The Fugoo Go has a somewhat familiar design, mainly because it looks much like most waterproof Bluetooth speakers on the market. The body is a simple black plastic, the buttons are large and rubberized, and the speaker itself has a cloth covering. It ain't pretty, for sure, but looks aren't everything. We learned that with the Style-S. For you audiophiles out there, the Go packs two full drivers and two full radiators.
I mentioned this already, but the Go is IP67-rated, meaning that it can withstand 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. Dust, mud, and snow don't bother it, either. But perhaps the most unique aspect of the Go's design is the attached bungee cord, which allows you to mount the speaker to many different places. During my time with it, I hung it up in the shower and tied it to my bike. Fugoo, of course, recommends attaching the Go to the frame of an ATV or the front bumper of a Hummer (in the marketing materials, mind you). I mean, why not?
Fugoo sent me the plain black unit, which meant that this was the only color to be found on the Go (minus the status lights and a light grey for the logo) — there are models with blue and red accents, too. It's a very spartan design, but I like it. The speaker can either be laid flat to point up or angled to face whatever direction you want for a direct sound experience. Right smack dab in the middle of the top is where you'll find the volume up/volume down and action buttons. The latter is how you control play/pause, track skipping, or call answering. On one of the longer sides are the power and Bluetooth buttons. Finally, close to the bottom is the charging port beneath a waterproof door.
Using the Go is not inherently intuitive and required me to look at the manual (or recall my experience with the Style-S). To skip a track, you need to hold the action and either the volume up or down buttons together (depending on which way you want to go). Holding the Bluetooth key is how you put the speaker into pairing mode. Pressing and holding the Bluetooth and volume up buttons in tandem is how you put the Go in "Pair Up" mode, which allows it to sync to another Go for double the sound or stereo.
Overall, the Go feels and looks sturdy.
Sound quality, battery life, features
The Fugoo Go packs some surprising and impressive sound into its small frame, but it's not all roses and rainbows. Bass is problematic; it's just not that good. It's somewhat responsive, but there is no impact, no "boom." That's to be understood, since there is not a lot of room for the woofers. The rest of the audio profile is good, though; highs and mids sound great. I tested my Go units with different music styles and podcasts, getting the same impression with each thing I tried. One of the strong areas of the Go is its ability to fill a small/medium room with sound. You can set it on its back for a 360° experience or aim it in your preferred direction for a more focused output.
It's a very versatile, adequate speaker, but mids are where it shines. Highs don't suffer from distortion at normal, indoor volume levels (40-50%), though they can feel a bit over the top in some circumstances — I had some trouble with a few songs.
You can pair two Go speakers together, exactly like the Style-S. In this "Pair Up" mode, you can either have both speakers on the same channel for some extra volume, or go with the stereo option. I absolutely love the latter for my office. It's a super cool listening experience and definitely the one I recommend if you grab two of these. Outdoors for a party or something is where I could see the double loudness mode being useful. This being Fugoo, figuring out the pairing sequence and changing the sound mode were not the most user-friendly processes. I had to refer to the manual for those.
Fugoo advertises the battery life for the Go to be ten hours (at 50% volume). I kept both of my units at about that level, sometimes lower depending on the time of day. My experience was that the 10-hour claim is more of an average than anything. Most of the time, my units got about seven to eight hours, which is a workday for me, give or take — other days gave me eleven or twelve hours. I did all of my testing using the LG G6 with both different streaming services and locally stored audio.
Fugoo created an excellent, affordable little speaker with the Go. It's dust/mud/snow-proof, which makes it great for outdoorsy people (looking at you, my fellow Coloradans). The Go may not have the best sound profile, but its bungee cord and rugged durability more than make up for that. I loved taking it with me when I was biking on some of the trails in town.
For $80, you get a lot of sound in a small package — honestly, this is a tremendous value. The lack of bass response and inconsistent battery life are both kind of disappointing, but expected. At this price, however, I think you would be hard-pressed to find better. And for $128 (Fugoo knocks off 20% if you buy two of them at once), you could get a really cool Bluetooth stereo thing going. Sure, there are other weatherproof Bluetooth speakers out there that have better bass and/or can pair with another unit, but they will cost you quite a bit more than what Fugoo is asking for the Go.
Honestly, for the casual listener or outdoorsman, I feel comfortable recommending this speaker. If you want to get one for yourself, you can find them at the buy link below.