Assessment: The Kube speaker is overpriced and underwhelming


This speaker is large. It’s the scale of a cooler an individual would take tenting for every week. It weighs 48 lbs. And for an excellent cause, too. The Kube speaker from Thomas and Darden is stable and full of energy. The corporate says it will probably put out 122 dB of sound. But it surely’s not an excellent sound. That’s the rub.

It is a huge speaker that will get actually loud however doesn’t sound nice at any quantity. This speaker prices $2,999. It’s not value half of that.

Let’s begin with the nice.

The Kube speaker feels and appears prefer it’s value its multi-thousand-dollar price ticket. It’s as stable as a tank and appears prefer it belongs poolside at a boutique resort I can not afford. I really feel like I have to drink cocktails round it. The corporate says the speaker is marine licensed.

The middle is skinned in aluminum whereas the 2 ends are encased in a soft-touch rubber. The handles are metallic, and the controls glow with a sexy heat.

There’s a battery within the Kube speaker. The corporate says it will probably final for 50 hours at medium quantity and recharge USB gadgets. I didn’t check it.

The ample house between the 2 audio system is a storage compartment. The audio system themselves solely have small speaker cupboards on both finish. I assume it’s useful to make use of a part of the large speaker as storage, however it could be higher if that house served as a part of the speaker. The Kube is perhaps as massive as some automotive subwoofer containers, however it doesn’t act like one. And that’s the issue.

Right here’s the unhealthy.

The Kube speaker’s sound high quality is common. It has the identical audio constancy of most wi-fi audio system with boring mids, sharp highs and boring lows. At excessive volumes, the mids overpower all the things, leaving a muddled mess with no bass and straining highs. I need this $three,000, 50-pound speaker to pound. It slumps.

The corporate says the Kube speaker has 350 watts from a digital amp able to outputting sound at 122dB. I can attest to the loudness. It will get loud however the sound high quality degrades as the quantity will increase. A person cranking this speaker shouldn’t count on to have clear tunes.

Regardless that it will get loud, this isn’t a speaker for a DJ. The lows are pitiful and flat. Nation music sounds one of the best on it adopted by some rock. Hip-hop and home music are painful at any quantity.

I attempted the speaker in and out, in a small room and an awesome room and on my deck exterior. It carried out greatest in a smaller place, seemingly as a result of with the audio system mounted on both finish, the smaller house offered partitions for the sound to bounce off. Outdoors, the place the Kube speaker is meant to excel, the audio was not targeted and wanted to be turned actually loud to compensate. I’m positive my neighbors beloved it.

The audio is extremely directional. Ignoring the left and proper channels is tough. The Kube speaker has a tough time making a cohesive soundstage although putting it in a smaller room helps.

The speaker sounds greatest by a direct three.5mm connection, and Airplay sounds higher than Bluetooth.

With that a lot energy and costing $three,000, an inexpensive particular person would count on the sound high quality to be above common at high and low volumes. It’s not, and the Kube speaker is an efficient reminder that prime energy output doesn’t at all times translate to excessive sound high quality.

The sound is offered by two three×5 audio system with small ported enclosures. It’s a disgrace, too. The Kube speaker is huge, and a lot of the house is relegated to being a storage compartment as a substitute of an array of drivers and null house that might give the sound room to breathe and develop.

I requested the founder why he made this product and he responded that there was nothing else in the marketplace that gives the identical kind of energy with the storage functionality. And I assume that’s true. But when an individual doesn’t want a spot to carry their vinyl data or Fiji water, different standalone audio system provide related energy output however with high quality sound. Marshall makes incredible audio system that look and sound the half. For a similar $three,000 value because the Kube, Devialet sells the Phantom which provides wealthy tones at any quantity, although, I assume, you wouldn’t put a Phantom on the aspect of a pool.

Skip this speaker. Right here’s the primary problem: It doesn’t do something effectively. It’s not an excellent speaker at low volumes, it’s not an excellent speaker at excessive volumes, and it’s foolish to spend $three,000 on a storage container. As an entire bundle, it’s overpriced and there are numerous different choices for higher high quality sound at its value. If the speaker was obtainable at a fraction of its $three,000 value, the sub-par sound high quality might be ignored. I simply can not suggest a speaker that prices a lot and sounds so insufficient.

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