Speakers Guide

Antec a.m.p. SP1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker review

Antec a.m.p. SP1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Looks Could be Deceiving

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Launch SRP S$129

Overall rating 6/10
Design:
8
Performance:
5.5
Features:
6.5
Value:
7
THE GOOD
Attractive design
Easy to setup
Affordable alternative to the Jawbone Jambox
THE BAD
Poor audio performance
Skipping/hopping when volume is turned up
Rubber surfaces attract dust and lint


Introduction & Setup

Diversification - The Act of Expansion

Founded in the mid 80s, Antec has since established itself as one of the leading players in computer chassis and power supply units. However, much like its key competitors in this market segment, Antec has recently began diversifying its business to include mobile accessories under its new a.m.p. (Antec Mobile Products) line.

As we’ve reported back in Computex last year, one of the key products in Antec’s a.m.p. line-up is the SP1 portable Bluetooth wireless speaker.

In terms of looks, the Antec SP1 is a doppelgänger of the arguably more famous Jawbone Jambox, leading us to believe both companies acquire their speakers from the same OEM. From the dimensions and the weight, right down to the positioning of the buttons, switches, port and jack, there is hardly any difference between two, save for its design. In terms of design, it is clear that Antec has opted for a more sporty look for their speaker, whereas Jawbone has gone off on a tangent, deciding instead that their Jambox speaker should have a more modern design and feel.

The Antec SP1 has mostly rubberized surfaces, except for the front and rear-facing panels, which are presumably aluminum and perforated to act as speaker grilles. Peeking from underneath these perforations is colored speaker grille fabric. Since we are on the topic of colors, the SP1 is offered in three shades - black, white and green - and will have matching speaker grille fabric. For example, our black unit had striking red speaker grille fabric - white will have hot pink while green SP1 speakers will have white fabric.

Antec is revealing very little about the hardware within its SP1 speakers, but we do know it features something Antec dubs dBs1 technology, which promises “rich vocals, warms mids and a deep bass in a small and powerful package”. We will definitely be putting this claim to the test, but first, let’s go through its setup procedure.

 

Setup

To use the Antec SP1, you would need to pair it first like any other Bluetooth wireless speaker. To do so is easy, though not immediately apparent. All one needs to do is to hold onto the middle button for around six seconds until the on/off switch LED indicator flashes white constantly. When it does, it means that the speaker is now in pairing mode. Simply pair the speaker with your device and you are good to go.

The Antec SP1 also features an in-built microphone, so it can be paired with Bluetooth-enabled phones to take calls too. There’s no mention of noise-canceling technologies, but the Antec SP1 works well enough as a speaker, although we heard quite a substantial amount echo of noises.

Additionally, one can also play music using the SP1 via its 3.5mm input jack and Antec has also conveniently supplied 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable. However, while doing so, we found that its volume was terribly soft. Even at max volume, it was considerably softer than what it would have been had we streamed music via Bluetooth. Our guess is that when using the 3.5mm jack, the signal does not go through the SP1’s amplifier circuit to prevent double amping.