Antec SP1 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Review

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The SP1 shares a striking similarity to those gold bars you see in movies all the time.  This isn’t a bar of gold, but it’s probably the next best thing when it comes to portable audio hardware.  Portable speakers are nothing new; the first one I believe I saw was the Sansa Shaker with which you could change tracks on your mp3 player by simply…what else?  Shaking it!  Antec doesn’t recommend shaking the SP1, but you can still have a lot of fun regardless.

As the title suggests, you don’t have to worry about a pesky bundle of cable or tripping over one.  We’re instead going to err on the side of bluetooth for easy use with your choice of iPod touch, iPad, smart phone, or even your computer if you happen to have a bluetooth adapter.  If you don’t already have one, they’re easy to find and well worth the cost.  

 

As usual: a word from the company…

Founded in 1986, Antec, Inc. is the leading global brand of high-performance computer components and accessories for the PC upgrade and do-it-yourself (DIY) markets. Antec pioneered this fast-growing category at retail and has quickly achieved a market-leading position in each country as our products have been introduced throughout the world. Antec has achieved equal success in the distribution channel meeting demand from quality-conscious system builders, VAR’s and integrators.

Antec’s commitment is to provide innovative and visually appealing quality PC components that give computer users higher performance and more flexibility. Superior customer service is central to Antec’s philosophy, as exemplified by the three-year warranty on our entire product line and free technical support.

The company’s enclosures and power supplies are No 1 sellers in North American distribution and retail channels, and have been for five years running. Antec products enjoy superior brand name recognition with sustained advertising and publicity across a broad range of media.

Antec’s enclosure technology line-up includes a wide variety of cases, such as its quiet and stylish LifeStyle series, enhanced Performance Plus Series, and cost-effective Solution Series. The company’s solid rack mount cases address the demanding ISP, telecom and networking markets. Antec also offers cutting-edge power supplies, including the award-winning quiet TruePower range and the SmartPower Solution Series, as well as a variety of popular computing accessories such as our patented LED Fans.

Antec is headquartered in the Fremont, California, with additional offices in The Netherlands, Europe. In order to better respond to the growing demand for its products in Asia, Antec has also established partnerships with distributors in the South-East Pacific region. Antec products are sold in over 30 countries throughout the world.

 

 

Features and Specifications

What would technology be without a lot of knobs and buttons?  Easy?  Well yes, and that’s what you can expect here.  No fancy gimmicks or overly-complicated switches, just follow the relevant bluetooth settings on your device, set the speaker switch to ON and hold the big center button until the light flashes.  That’s about it; just plug-and-play, so to speak.Did I mention it also has a microphone?  Well, it also has a microphone.  As if it weren’t enough to play music wirelessly, you can also have a conversation on your phone, Skype, and various other communication programs. 

That’s quite useful for a number of reasons, not the least of which being the always-annoying scenario of not knowing where your phone is when it rings.  As long as you’re synced with your phone and it’s within a 30-ft radius you only need to locate your speaker whenever you receive a call.  Not a hard task since it stands out like a sore thumb.

 

Be free

Stream all your digital media from your Bluetooth enabled device and take control wirelessly. The a.m.p SP1 allows up to 30ft (10m) of wireless connectivity, giving you the freedom to roam while sharing your favorite tunes.

Ready, Set, Go

Move from room to room, beach to park – SP1 is always ready to go! Its convenient size lets you throw it in your backpack, purse or travel bag giving you maximum freedom. With up to 10hrs* playback time, the SP1 is always ready when you are.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Fill the room with amazing sound. SP1 brings stunning hi-fi audio in a small and portable package. The dBs1™ technology allows the SP1 to bring rich vocals, warm mids, and deep bass in a small and powerful package.

Let’s Chat

Stay in touch. Never miss a call. A built-in microphone lets you pick up or place calls – seamlessly convert from listening to your favorite jams to a conference call. Pair it with your laptop for even more convenience when using Skype, Google Voice, Viber, and more!

Limitless

Don’t get trapped in the world of inadequate sound. Remove the bounds of your small tablet, smart phone or laptop speakers and feel your media come to life. Whether it’s listing to your favorite song, watching a movie, or playing games, the SP1 will let your media express its true self.

 

 

A Closer Look

 

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The SP1 comes in seven separate color schemes (two solid and five multi-color).  I received a pale blue-on-white model and it’s pretty nice to look at even though that’s not my primary concern.  The speaker face itself is well-protected and has a stencil design similar to what you might see with a graph/level effect on your typical media player.  It’s simple, yet appealing. 

But how does it sound?  Honestly?  Very good.  Well beyond what I was expecting for one of these.  I’m sure you’ll agree that a lot of the speakers you find in convenience stores and the like give you a quick and cheap way to enjoy your tunes on the go, but they can also sound weird or tinny.  Not so much with the SP1.  Even wiith the volume at maximum, it doesn’t sound muffled or garbled.  I tested it with several different styles of music from classical to hardrock and never felt short-changed or that I was sacrificing quality for portability.  The sounds were clear with the appropriate amount of bass. 

Now for the packaging.  It seems speakers are following the trend of mp3 players with mostly form-fitting cases and a clear cover.  I like it; it gives you enough room for the product and all its accessories without wasting space.  Not to mention it looks smart.

 

 

The body is padded with tough, yet flexible plastic to protect it from accidental spills or other outside forces, so you don’t have to worry anymore about it falling off a table or other platform.  I wouldn’t advise throwing it against a wall, but it’s very sturdy and can take most of the abuses of daily life. 

 

 

Verdict and Conclusion

Even though I’m really more of a headphones kind of guy, I do enjoy having quality speakers when I’m watching a movie or listening to (loud) music, especially with friends and/or family. 

I think going with bluetooth really was a great move because wireless capabiltiy doesn’t really require a lot of good press.  Whether you like changing tracks from the comfort of your couch, or if you just want to leave your iPod on the dock while you go outside and observe nature (while listening to nature tracks?) it’s a real luxury to have freedom of mobility and still have good sound.

 

 

Oh but there’s something else I feel needs to be mentioned: it’s Antec!  I guess that shouldn’t come across as terribly surprising since a lot of companies like to experiment outside of their main product line, but it’s quite ambitious to explore this area.  And I think it’s paid off nicely.

 

Final words.

Speaking of paying off…you all knew this was coming.  The Antec store website lists the SP1 for $100.00 USD, and that seems to be about right for most 3rd-party sellers (with the exception of sales).  If that’s a little out of your price range, I’d understand, but at the same time I don’t think it’s that much to ask.  You get what you pay for and you get a lot, so it doesn’t feel like much of a dent in your wallet.  Overall: Good job.

SCORE

 

8.5/10

 

 

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About Nick G 34 Articles
Nick is from the south-east United States. He’s been into PC and hardware for a good number of years, and become a member of the Funky Kit staff from October 2011. Since then, he has met some interesting people and gotten to not only report the news but also learn about it himself, so it’s safe to say he’s enjoy doing what he does.