Chances are, if you’re a music lover who’s invested in the most advanced laptop, smartphone, or tablet, you’re not relying on its built-in speakers to pump those heavy-hitting beats of yours into the world. Instead, you’ve spent the time finding the perfect speaker to accompany those devices – something that will produce quality sound, is easily portable and wireless, and relatively affordable. While there are a plethora of options that exist, the SP1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker from personal electronics company Antec Mobile Products may be a new top contender. PSFK has spent the past few days putting this ultra portable speaker through its paces and can say that we were impressed by the unit’s overall performance.
The SP1′s design is the first thing people are going to notice when they encounter the product. The speaker is smaller than it appears in pictures, and we were surprised at how compact it was after we unboxed it. At 1.6 x 6.2 x 2.4 inches and 1.3 pounds, the SP1 is smaller than a brick and substantially more lightweight; to give you a better idea of its portability, we’ve been carrying the speaker to and from work in our front jacket pocket and still have room to spare.
Perforated metal grills adorn the front and back of the SP1 and a durable rubber coating lines the top, bottom and sides. The right side features the on/of switch, a AUX output as well as a Mini-USB input for charging the device. The speaker tapers towards the back, so when viewed from a profile, it appears to lean back slightly. The top of the SP1 features three slightly raised buttons: two volume buttons and one pairing button. All in all, the speaker feels extremely durable, and while we haven’t put it through any physical stress tests, we wouldn’t agonize about accidentally dropping it.
To pair your portable device to the SP1, simply hold down the pairing button and the speaker becomes recognizable to any smartphone/tablet/computer within about 30 feet. Pairing only takes a moment and a chime from the SP1 alerts you when it’s ready to play music.
We tested the SP1 at home and were pleased to find that the sound was loud and clean. There were only small amounts of distortion when we had it and our iPhone set to full blast, and the only shortcoming we found was with the bass response on some songs. While the bass levels are generally good for a speaker of this size, they sometimes sounded overloaded and muddy. That said, the bass ceased to be a problem when the sound down on a few clicks on the phone, but it’s something to take note of if you’re one who usually turns the volume up to 11.
When used outdoors the speaker has more ambiance to compete with, so don’t expect it to pack as big of a sonic punch as when you’re using it inside. The speaker also features an internal microphone and can be used as a base station for conference calls via your smartphone, tablet or through a platform such as Skype.
A.M.P. contends that the speaker’s battery can last up to 8 hours with the speaker playing at full blast, which is pretty solid when compared to similar products. The SP1 is definitely worth looking into if you’re in the market for a portable speaker, and at roughly 89.99 it’s cheaper than similar products on the market.
For its size, the speaker produces quality sound at respectable volume levels without too much distortion. Head over to Amazon.com to read more reviews about the SP1 or to buy one for yourself.
Send Us A Vine Video To Win An SP1 Of Your Own
We were sent a brand new SP1, and we’re giving it away to the person who can shoot the best 6-second Vine music video. See an example of what we’re looking for below and don’t be afraid to get creative. Hashtag the videos with #psfksp1 so that we can find you. We’ll announce a winner early next week.
— PSFK (@PSFK) January 30, 2013
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Antec. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Antec.