This is a review of Antec SP Zero bluetooth wireless speaker. AMP
, and on amazon: Amazon.com: Antec Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (SP ZERO WP): Computers & Accessories
It looks like Antec, well known in a world of custom gaming PCs, is continuing to expand their A.M.P. line of mobile products with a new addition to the family - SP Zero wireless speaker. After their last year release of SP1, they decided to shrink down the speaker and appropriately named it SP0 (SP Zero). I know what you are going to say, another wireless speaker? don't we have already multiple-dozens of different ones released this year? I do agree, 2013 was saturated with wireless mobile products, but after testing SP Zero for the last couple of days I realized Antec actually came up with something that can make it stand out from the crowd. Here is what I found.
Packaged in a cool looking transparent display box, from a distance you can mistake this little guy for a souvenir or something cute you pick up while on vacation. This actually works to it's advantage since you can place it anywhere in the house without people even suspecting its a wireless speaker. At only 7.9 oz and all around dimensions of approximately 3.5" x 3.5" x 2", it's very lightweight and portable. SP Zero comes in a choice of 7 different color combinations, while my review unit came in white with red grill and handle accents. While the grill shell is actually plastic, the rest of the speaker along the perimeter is covered in thin protective rubbery layer and at the top you have 2 little metal handles. The speaker felt very rugged, and according to Antec is splash and rain resistant. To enhance it's rugged appeal, among included accessories with usb to micro-usb and 3.5mm audio cable you also get a carabiner for attachment to the speaker.
While examining SP Zero further, you will find a set of 3 buttons with volume -/+ and multifunction control in the middle. All 3 buttons are part of that integrated rubbery layer so they are definitely protected from any moisture getting in. Along one of the sides you will find a micro usb connector port for charging the speaker - 750mAh rechargeable internal battery which supports up to 8hr of continues music playback. Next to the charging micro-usb port, you will also find 2x 3.5mm audio ports, where one is labeled as AUX In and the other one as AUX Out. Beside being able to use a wired music source if you can't pair up wirelessly, there is another cool option to daisy chain multiple SP Zero speakers together by using the provided 3.5mm audio cable to link AUX In of one with AUX Out of the other. At the same time, this also enables SP Zero to function as wireless transmitter where you can turn any wired speaker into wireless by simply pairing up with SP Zero and attaching that wired speaker to AUX out port. Very cool bonus!
Regarding the wireless connection, pair up was easy and it was connected to my phone within seconds where it was recognized to be used with both phone and media audio. Using BT3.0, SP Zero supports all the popular A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, and HSP protocols so in addition to streaming music, you can also use it as a speaker phone. I confirmed that to be working good, and the microphone (located at the top between volume- and multi-function button) picked up my voice without any complains from the other side on the phone. After pair up, turning power on and off will be accompanied by a voice confirmation. Also, volume buttons worked as expected fine tuning the level of loudness while you can still adjust it from the phone on top of that. To my surprise, I found a working wireless range to be almost 50ft in an open area. Very impressive for such a small speaker.
But the biggest surprise came from a sound test. I actually found this little guy to be packing a decent bass punch! The front of the speaker with a blinking led is where all your mid and high frequency content going to be delivered. Opposite to that on the back side with a matching speaker grill you will find where all this bass is coming from, probably a dedicated bass port. I mean, we are not talking about a speaker with 10" sub woofer, but for a speaker driver which is about 2"-2.5" it was actually packing some decent sound with a nice bass content. As a matter of fact, Antec mentioned in their spec about their dBs proprietary technology with an enhanced bass sound. I know it will be unfair to analyze SP Zero from audiophile perspective, but these actually have a very warm sound with slightly scooped mid section to form a typical V-shaped sound.
Overall, this is a very unique looking speaker that packs a lot of great functionality and a very good sound quality. Either if you take it with you hiking or keep it outdoors by the pool, or decide to use it during house party - you definitely won't be disappointed with SP Zero.
Here are the pictures.