Lofree is back with another new hardware accessory on Kickstarter. This time, they’re bringing their nostalgic design chops to a category we’re all familiar with: Bluetooth speakers. The new Lofree Poison packs a punch for its size and we got to go hands-on before its official debut.
I’ve spent the past two weeks playing with the new Lofree Poison speaker after the company had shipped it out to me. I began using it everyday as my default wireless speaker, and honestly just because it looked so quirky. From the FM radio dial display, to the color choices, to the front-facing grill, aesthetically the Lofree Poison is reminiscent of a 1950’s car. It’s a unique speaker design choice, that calls attention to it no matter where it’s placed in the home.
On first impressions, this thing is loud. Loud enough that I would rarely move past the first volume level on my iPhone or Mac. No matter what song I threw at it, or what volume level I set it to, the audio never seemed to distort. It remained as clear on the highest volume levels as it did on the lowest. Although I prefer the audio profile I hear out of my Wonderboom at mid-level volume, the Poison absolutely demolishes it in overall audio equalization. At louder volumes the Wonderboom struggles with songs that contain a lot highs, whereas the Poison speaker keeps on kicking with no distortion.
The Poison speaker also features something I have yet to see in a wireless Bluetooth speaker: a large exposed diaphragm. This diaphragm lends itself to giving the Poison a deep, loud, and warm bass. Lofree took this one step further an even added rubber feet to help cushion and stabilize the speaker no matter how much the bass is kicking.
While I’m a fan of the Poison’s large diaphragm in the back, I’m concerned with it getting damaged. It’s an exposed area prone to being grabbed when moving the Poison from room to room. The diaphragm also has this shiny metal plate that easily picks up fingerprints, but not something you’d worry about considering it’s normally positioned away from you. The front-facing grill is also a plastic material that feels fragile to touch. Possibly to help from damaging the speaker, Lofree includes a leather carrying strap for the Poison.
Like nearly all Bluetooth speakers, the Poison uses a multitude of sound alerts informing you when you’ve paired another device, disconnected, or powered off. The qualm here is that each of these sounds is so unique from one another that they don’t even sound like they came from the same audio source. The voices that indicates “powered on” and “powered off” are two obviously different female voices. It’s probably the smallest, but most obvious oddity of the Poison speaker.
Lofree’s Poison blends together an era of past design and new technology. Adding it to any desk or table will surely call the attention of any passerby. At its early crowdfunding price of $64, I’d say the Poison is worth the money. The rich bass, intense volume levels, and aesthetics can fit into just about any room. Though at an MSRP of $119, you might be better off looking for a more physically-durable speaker.
The Lofree Poison speaker is available now through Kickstarter at early pricing of $64 in multiple color options. At launch, it is expected to retail for $119.