Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

KEF Gravity One Review

KEF, in partnership with Porsche Design, launched a trio of audio products last year: Gravity One, Space One and Motion One. This post is a review of the Gravity One Bluetooth portable speaker, and I’ll have a review of the Motion One Bluetooth earphones in a later post.

You’re perhaps not familiar with KEF, and maybe Porsche Design too. The latter is the lifestyle arm of that German sports car company. KEF, on the other hand, is a British-based hi-fi speaker company, renowned for their very premium speakers. Very premium indeed, considering their flagship Muon speakers which cost some US$200,000 a pair.

Fortunately, the Gravity One, as well as the Space One and Motion One, are priced far more down to earth, but still well-placed in the premium category. I think the Gravity One is a hard sell, but then again, I’m sure it will appeal to certain sophisticated customers.

The Gravity One screams premium. From the moment you open its packaging, you’ll probably see rightaway why it costs more than your usual Bluetooth portable speaker.

A single piece of seamless gun metal gray aluminium wraps around the sides of the Gravity One body. It looks reminiscent of an Apple-designed product. In fact, the Gravity One will look good alongside a MacBook Pro, or even an iMac.

The Gravity One is surprisingly heavy for its size, weighing in at 780 grams. Measuring 56 x 215 x 63 mm (H x W x D) in size, the Gravity One isn’t very compact, though comparable to other good-sounding portable Bluetooth speakers.

The speaker grills are on the top of the Gravity One, concealing the upward firing Uni-Q drivers beneath which emanate music omni-directionally. There is a panel of buttons positioned in the centre. There are a total of six buttons: power, Bluetooth, mute, volume up, call/play/pause, and volume down. There are LED status indicators beside the first three of those buttons. A built-in microphone lets you use the Gravity One for phone calls.

The body has a sort of an overhang design, supported in the centre, and both the left and right sides raised off the surface that the Gravity One sits on. Twin bass radiator ports make clever use of this overhang design, and all the cable ports are tucked under one side of the overhang.

There’s one 3.5 mm auxiliary input port, one Micro-USB port used for charging the Gravity One, and a USB Type-A port which you might use for charging your smartphone off the Gravity One. The space for the ports is a tight squeeze though, so you might need to be picky about what sort of cables you plug into the Gravity One. Those supplied with the Gravy One, of course, work perfectly.

The Gravity One supports Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX codec, and has a range of up to 10 metres. It can pair with up to 8 devices, and connect to up to two devices simultaneously. The built-in lithium-ion battery is rated for up to 10 hours of listening.

There is no doubt that the Gravity One looks really good, but of course it’s equally important to sound good. This is a speaker from KEF, after all, and you’d expect nothing less than excellent listening experience. I think the Gravity One largely fulfils those expectations. It’s one of the best sounding Bluetooth speaker in its size category.

KEF’s Gravity One marketing speaks of tight clean bass. That is correct. The bass is tight, and it is clean, though it doesn’t reach deep. It is not something you so much feel, as you hear. As much as KEF tries to achieve with their bass radiators, a speaker of the Gravity One’s size can only do so much. It is a good effort though.

The mids and highs come across clear and detailed, with an overall presentation that is well-balanced across all frequencies.

The Gravity One is mostly an excellent Bluetooth speaker in every way. However, it’s value proposition will be a tough sell. You can find numerous other Bluetooth speakers with similar features and audio quality for significantly less than what KEF is asking for the Gravity One. But if good looks and build quality are very important factors to you, the Gravity One may be worth your consideration.

In the box, the Gravity One comes with a USB charger, a variety of interchangeable plug heads, a braided Micro-USB cable, and a carrying pouch.

The KEF Porsche Design Gravity One retails for S$59 at KEF Singapore flagship store, and selected authorised retailers including Analog+, Best Denki, CK Tangs, Cumulus, Decibels, Nubox and Robinsons Singapore.

Conclusion

The Gravity One Bluetooth speaker from KEF, in partnership with Porsche Design, not only sounds great, but also has looks and build quality to match.

Pros:

  • Stylish design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent sound quality

Cons:

  • Ports are a tight squeeze

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