Make sure those Spotify playlists are in check, because when the inevitable clanger drops at your next gathering, the Spaced360 will make it impossible to ignore and render those guilty pleasures unforgivable. Featuring airSOUND, a new patented sonic technology that envelops your space in 360 degrees of sound, this is a portable speaker system that maximises the acoustic potential of even larger rooms and reveals the true detail in your music.
Unboxing the speaker (The packaging had all the hallmarks of a premium tech product) I was struck by its incredibly tactile 3D formed grilles, an unusual shape that breaks from the norm and begs to be picked up and handled. Space-age doesn’t quite cut it when describing the aesthetic of the 360, the term ‘Space-age’ has the ring of the ultra-functional, often ugly utilitarianism of the USSR’s space programme circa 1969. The Spaced360, with its pleasing curves, LED’s and reassuringly solid feel has the sleek, polished look of a sentient AI companion that’s straight out of a sci-fi video game. One half expects it to start levitating and chirping with helpful advice about your home’s energy usage. From a product design point of view, it’s stunning.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.”
Just about fitting in one hand, it was smaller than I expected – which, when it comes portability, can only be a good thing – making it all the more surprising when its sounds began to fill the room. Three separate 2″ airSOUND drivers work together to dynamically distribute sound with no phasing issues. The three bass radiators at the sides offer impressive bass that booms without overpowering the vocals.
I tested it on everything from the syncopated beats of Jon Hopkins, to bass-heavy hip-hop and R n’ B from Common and the sometimes tinny-sounding hits of 60’s girl groups, The Shirelles and The Supremes. The 360 came through with a clarity that genuinely surprised and was well suited to numerous musical genres, making it a stand-out choice for those house parties where everyone’s standing by, itching to play their favourite track.
When charging, the Spaced360 sits upon a flat charger which acts as a base, a neat way of preserving the clean lines whilst it powers up (a full charge takes just 2 hours). When it goes portable, the Spaced’s battery life really shines, boasting 4-14 hours music playback on a single charge. Come summer, this is the perfect bit of kit for your BBQ. The days of routing multiple extension leads and hopelessly tangled wires through the kitchen window are done.
Pairing my phone with the Spaced360 was strikingly simple. Touching my bluetooth enabled devices to the speaker had me ready to go in seconds. Connectivity was stable to 10 metres and due to the added acoustic innovation of airSOUND, it roundly outclasses most Bluetooth speakers on the market, wherever you choose to place it. If for some reason you’ve got a irrational distrust of invisible signals, it’s reassuring to know you can always switch to the old school with a wired AUX input (the cable for which I was delighted to find included in the packaging).
At this price point, it jostles with the best of Bose. £250 puts it in the higher bracket for a portable speaker system while still significantly undercutting the bigger names. One of the greatest draws for us is the the brand’s UK heritage; it always feels good to buy British, more so when your splurge is justified by a superior product. For peace of mind, the system carries a 2-year guarantee in addition to a 30-day money back trial.
You’ll want to keep your Spaced360 looking factory fresh for longer and, due to its price tag, protect it from a few knocks around your backpack. There’s an array of soft rubber cases available from the company, designed to add a splash of colour to your speaker and protect the casing while on the move. The model itself actually comes in 2 colours, black (pictured) and grey (see below).
Its lightweight portability and surprising performance for a speaker of its type make the Spaced360 an affordable alternative to a multi-room sound system. For that alone, we feel it’s a machine deserving of a 5 star rating. Check out the dozens of positive reviews on John Lewis and see why they’re flying off the shelves…
Spaced360 is available from John Lewis priced at £250.00