The market for Bluetooth speakers is well stocked at the moment with a large variety of sizes and styles available for pretty much whatever you want to spend. This can make it difficult for new speakers to get noticed, so how can how can you make a new speaker stand out in the crowd?
Great first impressions
The first thing SoundFace have got right is the important first impression. Rather than being a bland beige box, it’s luxuriously designed white packaging and way of opening certainly gives the wow factor.
The box slides open to reveal the clearly wrapped speaker nestling within, and a box of accessories above. Before I power the speaker up, I’ll mention the accessories that come with it as I’ve often found them lacking in other speakers I’ve tested.
You get the all important power lead, but it comes with adapters for the UK, Europe, and North America so you’re ready for using the speaker on your travels. There is also a 3.5mm headphone cable for connecting phones or devices that don’t have Bluetooth, and a USB cable. Finally, and something I’ve always wanted to see include with Bluetooth speakers, is a carry case. Again, this isn’t just in a standard material, but thick, padded denim – it really looks the part and will protect from scratches and minor bumps too.
A final mention to another feature that will be great for emergencies is the built in phone or tablet charger. Simply connect the USB cable to your phone to gain a precious few extra hours.
If the SoundFace has had a full charge, there is enough power to take a power hungry iPhone 6 from zero to full charge. If the SoundFace is playing music simultaneously or only half charged, you will get less juice for your external device, but enough to help you out of that flat phone situation.
Does the SoundFace live up to expectations?
The speaker itself is a lovely piece of gadgetry. Just the feel of it tells you that real care has been taken in the selection of the materials and the design of the exterior. The brushed aluminium grill covers the entire area of the speaker, and you have the choice of three different grill designs. The ‘Classic’ as shown in the main picture, the ‘Honeycomb’, and the ‘Razor’. SoundFace admit they aren’t particularly imaginatively named, but why do they need to be? They tell you just what you need to know. The only thing you might have trouble with is choosing which one you want. They all look very good in the flesh but given the choice I’d go for the ‘Razor’ which has a cool retro feel about it
The speaker also has a very good weight to it – at 600g for something only 180mm wide it feels like a quality item as soon as you first hold it.
At one end of the speaker there are three connection sockets. A USB output so you can charge your phone from the device, a USB charging input, and an auxiliary 3.5mm speaker input.
At the other end you have a switch power button, volume up and down buttons, a Bluetooth connection button and battery level check button. These are all nicely textured and tactile, and the clever usage of a power switch rather than button will help prevent accidental power-ons.
Connecting and using the SoundFace
Connecting is a breeze. Simply push and hold the Bluetooth button and you’ll hear a series of nice beeps to confirm connection. It also allows NFC pairing if your device supports it.
For a speaker so small it does pack a very respectable punch, and it’s surprising just how loud it goes. Whilst it wouldn’t be enough for a big party, it does have the clever option of being able to pair with another SoundFace speaker – giving you twice the sound.
The sound quality of the speaker is very good, and with five speakers packed into the device it’s not hard to see why. There is a 55mm woofer providing the more than adequate bass, 2 x 40mm full range speakers and 2 x dedicated passive radiators which combine to give a powerful sound. In fact when I put a bass heavy track on max volume, the SoundFaces weight and rubber feet could not prevent it moving to the music on a polished surface! That gives an indication of the power of the little speaker.
But power isn’t everything and turning the volume down but shows that the SoundFace does deliver a very balanced and pleasing sound overall. It does seem to work better with more demanding music, but dealt with the subtleties of more instrumental and classical music well too.
- £19.99 at Amazon.co.uk »Free UK Delivery on all orders sold by Amazon.co.uk