Last year Antec announced it was entering the mobile product segment, and at CeBit we were shown a number of new products in this category. Today we are taking a closer look at the A.M.P. SP1, a mobile Bluetooth speaker and speaker dock. It stands out with its stylish design that reminds us of the previously reviewed Jawbone Jambox except that it's more affordable. Also compared to other Bluetooth speaker docks the SP1 is affordable, which makes us very curious about how well it sounds.
Antec, primarily known for its chassis and power supplies, already took one excursion into the world of audio, and that was with the SoundScience Rockus PC speakerset from a couple years back. That certainly wasn't a bad product, but it was too expensive when it was launched. It's sold out in most places, and a successor has yet to be announced.
So this is Antec's second foray into audio, but with a different focus. The emphasis now lies on mobile accessories, which isn't a poor choice considering the steady growth of the smartphone and tablet market. Since the audio quality and battery life are limited even on the high-end models, it's a lucrative market for third-party manufacturers.
Antec created a dedicated brand for this venture, A.M.P., which stands for Antec Mobile Products. It's a project undertaken by the son of Antec's CEO, and should be seen as separate from the main firm. It's a superficial separation, however, because the accessories for the PSU (powerbanks, car and wallsocket adapters) still carry the Antec logo. In due time all these items should fall under the A.M.P. brand. For now the A.M.P. product line is limited to two Bluetooth adapters with in-ear headsets, headphones, and the SP1 that we are reviewing today.
The SP1 costs an average of $89 which makes it one of the more affordable Bluetooth speaker docks. It's comparable to the Logitech Mobile Boombox, while the standard Boombox is more expensive along with the Jabra Solemate and the Jawbone Jambox. The Logitech Wireless Speaker for iPad is about the same price, and bigger. How the SP1 compares you will find out on the following pages.