Provo, Utah - Startup Braven launched a trio of Bluetooth speakers that double as hands-free speakerphones and charge mobile devices via USB.
The three speakers in the Braven Six series can also be daisychained to boost output.
The speakers are the $149-everyday Braven 600, the $179 625s, and the $189 650. They are available for pre-order at
and begin shipping at the end of June. The company is targeting online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
Braven was previously known as Spar, which in 2011 launched Zephyr-branded Bluetooth speakers that were later discontinued to focus on new models made in a different factory to offer higher sound quality, a spokeswoman said. The company changed its name and the brand name, she added, because "they wanted more unity between the brand and product as well as something that connoted the strength and sophistication they feel characterizes who they are."
The Zephyr speakers also doubled as hands-free speakerphones and featured USB charging but lacked daisychaining capability.
The new series have two extended-range drivers, two passive woofers, 3-watt output and battery life ranging from 14 to 20 hours. An internal duplex microphone allows for hands-free speakerphone calls with most Bluetooth cellphones. The speakerphone feature is compatible with FaceTime, iChat, Skype and other voice applications. The speakers also feature 3.5mm audio in and out jacks.
The $149 Braven 600 is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and features up to 14-hour battery life. It's available in gray and red.
The $179 625s is encased in a ruggedized, shock-absorbing exterior with aluminum grilles and comes with USB flashlight and waterproof bag. It's designed for sport, travel and outdoor use. Battery life is up to 16 hours.
The $189 650 features AptX and AAC audio decoding, up to 20-hour playtime and an aluminum body.