Mobile Speaker Final Thoughts
The Antec SP1 is not a rapid departure from the visual designs of the popular Jawbone Jambox. It comes in a variety of colors. However picking a mobile speaker today is quite difficult as there are a huge array of items now and as a consumer, finding accurate ratings for products are hard. You can easily find some additional products like the Urge Basics SoundBrick that look the same and seem to offer the same features.
Then there’s a wide variety of true stereo speakers like the Chill Pill or Razer Ferox that offer varying levels of portability and speaker quality.
I suggest that to pick a mobile speaker, consider these first, because most mobile speakers can be bucketed similarly:
- Portability: There are everything from pocket sized speakers that have some “assembly required” for use, to a solid brick like the Antec SP1, to simply small speakers easy to carry but not as easy to be portable. Wireless “brick” speakers tend to be the easiest to carry around. Pocket sized stereo speakers that require wires are good for travel, save space, but wires may be a turn off. Think carefully what type of portability you need.
- Want Bass?: Name brand devices will charge a huge premium for, often, not particularly preferable performance. However the Jawbone and Beats will probably deliver the strongest bass. I don’t feel that’s favorable for indoor usage like LAN parties, but may be pretty nice depending on what types of music you listen to on the go. Strong bass doesn’t equal better sound quality and volume.
- Volume: If you want something loud, do NOT go with a tiny speaker. Brick-shaped speakers will often outperform their tiny counterparts.
Antec SP1 Conclusion
The Antec SP1 has solid all-around performance. Its battery life is similar to competing products, can last around 10 hours at normal volume (65-70% of max). Charging time is reasonable as well, roughly around 2.5-3 hours. The audio quality is great, even at max volume. There is very little distortion or static and the SP1 delivers very balanced audio. Unlike competing products that crank up the bass, the Antec SP1 is suitable for all sorts of environments and usages.
I would group the Antec SP1 as one of the speakers that took inspiration from the Jawbone Jambox, but I feel they did better in some areas. Purely judging aesthetics, I would say it lacks some of the visual impact that the Jambox’s texture has. I recieved the blue version, The rubberized outer shell with a glittery speaker surface works well for me.
The Antec SP1 has a very solid construction. The entire outer shell is coated in a rubber surface that protects the speaker from damages. This allows us to easily carry, store, use, and even throw around the device without worrying about it being damaged from impact. The top buttons are all hidden underneath the same piece of texturized rubber.
Functionality wise, the Antec SP1 delivers the basic functionality of a mobile speaker, including Bluetooth connectivity, 3.5mm audio jack altnerative input, and speakerphone with built-in mic. At this price point, that’s all I’m really expecting to see. What’s key is that the Antec SP1 performs fantastically. Of course altnerative products have a much wider range of functionality, like voice narration, mobile app integration, among other things. However those will set you back an extra $50-$100.
Officially, the Antec SP1 is listed as $99.99, however you can find them for sale online for under $78 (Amazon | Newegg). If we ignore name brands like Bose and Jawbone, which are typically overpriced, this puts them in the middle of the pack.
You may want to check out speakers from other manufacturers before making a purchase decision. The Antec SP1 is perfect for those looking in a easily portable mobile speaker that can be used indoors as a cellphone dock as well as taken out of the house for LAN parties and picnics. If you’re looking for a booming club-style speaker, this is not for you, otherwise the Antec SP1 is a great buy.
+ One of the loudest mobile speakers
+ Extremely portable. Light and durable. Rubberized surface
+ Speakerphone and built-in mic
+ Looks fantastic
+ Bluetooth connectivity
– USB charge only
– Low bass may not be optimal for outdoor settings
Final Score: 9.10 out of 10.
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