A genuinely innovative portable speaker that sounds as good as it looks
The Spaced360 wireless portable Bluetooth speaker is an effortlessly distinctive looking piece of kit. No matter which way you rotate it, you’ll stare down the barrel of one of three speakers. The Spaced360 company is a spin-off from the well-known home cinema speaker manufacturer OrbitSound, and the first don’t stop there. The Spaced360 speaker uses a three-driver system that’s the first of its kind in a portable device. The Spaced360 shares OrbitSound’s airSOUND system, which is designed to create great sound regardless of where you sit in relation to the speaker. It does this by having a different audio signal routed to each of the three 2in drivers, with right and left channels combined into a single mono channel, along with spatial channels which play only elements of the sound which are not common to both right and left.
The Spaced360 can also make use of the high-quality aptX codec when streaming via Bluetooth, assuming you have an aptX compatible device.
The end result of this design is to create a 360-degree bubble of sound, effectively avoiding a single sweet spot that you must sit in to get the best audio experience. There are also three passive bass radiators on each side of the speaker, helping to the round out the lower end of the sound. The Spaced360 has a frequency response of 75Hz to 18KHz, and although it doesn’t produce a particularly deep bass rumble when pushed we were pleased with the tightness and clarity of low tones.
The speaker is fairly small, and it’ll sit neatly on an iPad 3 without extending past the edges of the tablet. There are always going to be audio quality limitations in such a small device, but the Spaced360 does a remarkably good job of producing good-quality audio. It’s also one of the most stylish Bluetooth speakers we’ve ever seen. The Spaced360 really wouldn’t look out of place in a sci-fi film.
There are some things that inevitably challenge little speakers. Play fast, busy, non-linear music such as extreme heavy metal through small speakers, and it’ll almost inevitably sound a bit muddy, and that’s the case here, although we were still able to clearly pick vocals and instrumental leads out of the busy mid-rage. Virtually everything else we played sounded good enough to give some similarly priced desktop speakers a run for their money.
Hard rock, acoustic folk music and guitar-based pop sounded particularly good, thanks to a clear treble and high mid-range that really brought out amplified strings and female vocals, which can sound over-bright on some small speakers. The rich orchestral tones of Vaughan Williams’ Norfolk Rhapsody filled the room beautifully, as did our euphoric trance test tracks.
|RMS power output||60W|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption on||5W|
|Analogue inputs||3.5mm stereo|
|Digital inputs||Bluetooth (SBC, aptX)|
|Satellite cable lengths||N/A|
|Controls located||main unit|