Fugoo's Bluetooth speakers have long been favorites of ours, delivering excellent sound and features for a reasonable price. But picking a Fugoo is difficult.
Despite the similarity in appearance between the company's $130 Style-S and $170 Style XL models, each speaker has its unique pros and cons, and understanding the differences can help make your choice clearer.
Fugoo Style-S vs. XL: Specs compared
|Fugoo Style-S||Fugoo Style XL|
|Size and Weight||8.3 x 2.9 x 2.5 inches; 1.7 lbs||11.3 x 4.5 x 3.8 inches; 3.25 lbs|
|Frequency Response||90 Hz to 20 KHz||50Hz to 20KHz|
|Battery Life||15 hours||35 hours|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, 3.5mm auxiliary input||Bluetooth, 3.5mm auxiliary input|
The speakers in Fugoo's Style line share the same aesthetic: rectangular units wrapped in tan, mesh fabric. But at 11.3 x 4.5 x 3.8 inches, the Style XL is much bigger than the 8.3 x 2.9 x 2.5-inch Style-S. The XL is also significantly heavier. The XL is portable in name only; you wouldn't want to throw it in your backpack for a long hike.
Another key difference between the two is how you charge the battery. The Style-S uses micro USB, while the Style XL comes with a power brick and DC charger. That means you have to bring a specific charger with you when you move the XL, while the Style-S can use any micro USB cable.
Both models can handle the elements well, whether that's water or dust. I submerged each speaker in water with no ill effects, and they took drops from waist height without sustaining any damage.
Both the Style-S and XL support a range of accessories, including bike mounts and strap mounts, that can be attached to the bottom of the speakers.
If sound is your main concern, you'll like the XL, which produces a much fuller audio experience than the Style-S. The XL has rich bass and sharp treble, as well as full midrange; it's one of the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speakers you'll hear.
The Style-S' sound isn't too shabby either, especially for this speaker's size, but in a side-by-side comparison, the Style-S doesn't come close to the overall quality of the XL. Part of that is because the XL has eight drivers, including one on each side, producing a wider sound scape. The S has four drivers.
On Radiohead's "Bodysnatchers," the XL's superior bass delivers a much fuller sound overall and better differentiation between the vocals and distorted guitars. But on an acoustic song like Fleetwood Mac's "Never Going Back Again," the Style-S' sharp treble and rich vocals sound almost as good as the XL's.
Winner:Fugoo Style XL
One of the things that sets Fugoo apart from other Bluetooth-speaker makers is the excellent battery life on its models. The Style XL gets an impressive 35 hours on a full charge; the Style-S, on the other hand, gets only 15 hours. You can also use the XL's battery to charge USB devices.
Winner:Fugoo Style XL
Wireless and Setup
The Style-S and Style XL have the same easy setup: Push the Bluetooth pairing button on the side and connect your device. Both have a strong wireless connection with long range.
Neither offers an app to access features, so you have to rely on voice prompts and pushing a combination of buttons to make changes. For example, you can change the voice prompt level by holding the + and - buttons when you start the unit, or you can enable loud mode (aka, Outdoor mode) by holding the play button on the XL or the circle button on the Style-S.
One advantage the Style-S offers: You can pair two units together to spread out the sound. That feature isn't available on the Style XL.
Winner: Fugoo Style-S
You really can't lose with either the Fugoo Style-S or Style XL. Both are reasonably priced compared to similar Bluetooth speakers, and the two have similar features. The decision comes down to what is most important to you in a Bluetooth speaker: sound quality or portability.
If sound matters most to you, get the Style XL. But if you plan to carry the speaker around with you a lot, the Style-S is a better choice.