Testing & Results
The Antec SPZero was tested for about 2 weeks with a variety of Bluetooth devices. Devices that were tested and paired with the SPZero included: Sony Xperia P, Samsung S3, Nokia E63, iPad (4th generation), and an older model iPod touch. To test the audio quality several genres of music were selected to delineate what type of dynamic range the unit could provide. It is important to note that the SPZero sounds best positioned parallel to solid reflective surfaces to enhance the low end more; however, please consider that the results are subjective.
Initial pairing of the SPZero was slightly baffling due to the fact that the power button (which you hold and depress until an audible voice proclaims that it is on) has to be held in an additional 5-8 seconds uninterrupted after the power up. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but may have been addressed a little more clearly in the manual. Once Bluetooth pairing has become initiated, the small white LED will pulse rapidly until an appropriate Bluetooth device is found and authorized. The distance is rather limited to approximately 10 meters (which fits the specs) and works best when the Bluetooth source is in the same room with in line of site.
The micro USB port allows for charging through a standard USB interface. When plugged directly into AC the initial charge took less then 2 hours and the playback exceeded the 8 hours listed at medium volume. This was a smart move by Antec due to the mere fact of charging versatility. If one chooses to use the wired auxiliary input instead of the Bluetooth interface, it may be even possible to squeeze another hour or two of playback time out of it.
The SPZero utilizes a proprietary driver for the speaker that provides excellent clarity at about 80% volume in the high and mid-range frequencies. It will provide some of the bass, provided it is right up against a wall or placed in a corner. At maximum volume harmonic distortion becomes very evident, so it is important to max or tweak the source first before adjusting the SPZero’s volume.
If the SPZero is paired with a phone, it can be used as a speaker phone to take incoming calls via its built in Omni-directional microphone. At best it is slightly better then a phone’s already built-in speaker, (when used in this way) but is convenient if the speaker is closer to you then your phone; just a press of a button allows a call to be passed through.