8 July 2014

REVIEW: Spaced 360

Spaced out

We've reviewed a lot of Bluetooth speakers in the past, most of which had been designed to be portable, waterproof, barbecue proof, and generally a bit of a novelty. But what about Bluetooth speakers for the home? What about a brand new way of listening to your music that hasn't been designed to withstand a dog chewing it, but rather to be unique and elegant while providing amazing sound? That'll be the Spaced 360.

The Spaced 360 is different from other speakers - as you can no doubt see. Designed with onmi-directional music in mind, the Spaced 360 achieves just that: 360 degree sound. The three speaker drivers point in three different directions, while between each bass radiators add a bit of oomph.

In the hand the Spaced 360 feels reassuringly weighty, while not being cumbersome. Although a perfect speaker for around the home, thanks to the built-in battery you can still take this plucky chap out and about with you. Charging is achieved not by the standard USB cable, but rather by a very clever base plate charger onto which the Spaced 360 can be placed and then easily removed. Just a couple of hours on charge will fully juice-up the speaker, which in our tests of near constant playback provided about seven or eight hours of music. Very very decent.

Connecting your Bluetooth device was extremely simple. The connection is very robust, even beyond the standard ten metre range that most Bluetooth speakers tend to drop out at. You get aptX Bluetooth for HD streaming, as well as Active NFC. And yes, if you're old school, an auxiliary phono cable is also provided. Additionally you can purchase colourful silicone wraps which fit over the Spaced, presumably to add a touch of colour - not necessarily any protection. Personally, we prefer it nude.

Having the speakers facing in all directions really does enhance the quality of sound. At first we thought that placing it behind our PC monitor would be a total waste, especially considering that one of the speaker heads would be facing a wall. We were wrong. Seemingly no matter where you place the Spaced 360 you will always get rich and clear sound.

Putting it in the middle of a room is definitely an advantage though, if only to be able to walk fully around the device without getting that 'speaker facing the other way' feeling you get with most other systems. We also experimented a bit by (very carefully and safely - this thing costs £250 after all) fixing it to a ceiling mount in the middle of a room. Being able to walk under as well as around the source of your music was pretty amazing and we urge the makers to create their own mounts for consumers (because ours was made from cable ties and luck).

Bluetooth speakers really don't come much more stylish and innovative as the Spaced 360, so if you're looking to truly stand out from the crowd, this is the one for you.


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