Here’s What We Like
- Great sound quality
- Small, sleek design
- Stereo functionality
And What We Don’t
- Little voice functionality
The Beyerdynamic SPACE personal speakerphone promises to bring convenience and power together in a way that isn’t usually found in portable speakers. The SPACE is equipped with a 1.5-inch full-range speaker, 360-degree microphone technology, and spatial stereo playback to achieve this goal.
I used a pair of SPACE Speakerphones for about two weeks. They arrived in neat little cardboard boxes with a USB-C cable (C-to-C), a drawstring bag, and a USB-C to USB-A adapter. The boxes themselves were compact enough to use as storage. The bag has a coarse, durable feel to it, and the speakers themselves are about 132mm in diameter and weigh 354 grams. Notably, there wasn’t a charger in sight.
After setting everything aside, I noticed how smooth the speakers were; their surface was barren. There were no grips, and the operational buttons were almost flush with the cloth and plastic. I always had to look at the speaker when operating it. It’d be less frustrating if the speaker had any voice commands—the power button is submerged, and everything else is represented with an icon. Instead of the speakers beeping or clicking when you adjust the sound, this light on the panel starts to form a circle.
That light is the SPACE’s primary way of communicating to you; it turns blue when connecting to voice and red when its battery is low. The light is good, it just would feel better if there was something to press. Every function works fine, but I’ve had to stare directly at it to find the volume buttons every time I’ve wanted to adjust it on my desk. A more conventional knob or button would feel better. As it stands at release, the user experience is a little lacking.
But that’s a mild grievance—otherwise, the SPACE is a great portable speaker. It connected to my devices easily, and I could move them anywhere in the room without issue. Unfortunately, the signal broke a handful of times over the weeks I’ve spent with them. And one of them began to crackle after a few days of usage which was frustrating. It stopped after I turned it off and reconnected a few times.
The speakerphone also has an impressive 20-hour battery life and charges quickly. I would leave it on overnight to help me sleep and find that it still has more than half the battery left the next morning.
The SPACE speakerphones were also marketed as having superior audio when compared to competing portable speakers, and they do. While I found them not quite as powerful as your standard bookshelf or stereo speakers, they are certainly competitive. While using a single speakerphone the sound was more than sufficient. It’s just that at $179.99, the speaker is as expensive as it sounds. So much so that there’s actually a slot on the underside of each speaker for a lock.
While it is costly, you can pair two SPACE speakerphones up to work in stereo mode rather than two mono sources. The setup part was a little frustrating for me, though. The manual doesn’t ever tell you how to do this—I plugged them both into my PC, but it would only ever play out of one until I followed a guide. Hopefully, an update lets you connect them to each other before syncing them to another device. As it stands at release, I could see a lot of inconsistency with this feature.
So far, I’ve talked about the speaker part of the SPACE Speakerphone; it’s a great choice for a portable speaker, but it’s also a functional phone. With what Beyerdynamic calls “multi-point operation”, up to eight devices can be linked to a speakerphone simultaneously. I’m not sure if this number increases if the speakerphone is linked to another—the whole feature isn’t explained too well in the manual. All you really have to do is connect your device to the speaker, and then it will use one to source your music from and pick up calls from any other connected devices.
It’s a nice, hands-free option to have—I could see this being useful in workshops and offices, anywhere that people are working with their hands because the speakers target people’s voices and filter out background noise. And with its Omni-directional speaker, you don’t have to worry about dead zones.
However—the speaker itself isn’t smart. Every feature requires input either from a connected device or on the speakerphone itself, a detail that hinders the practicality of the speaker. When you can get something like an Alexa smart speaker for a fraction of the cost, I don’t see much reason to purchase this for its phone function. The call functionality is nice, but it feels half-baked. The speakerphone’s portability and power are its best features.
Beyerdynamic’s SPACE Speakerphone is a great speaker and a solid device to have on hand, and it’s among the best sounding speakers of its type. I mostly used mine for music production and home audio.
The quality improves exponentially when it’s paired with another speakerphone. But what you get when you buy one is a great speaker and an okay phone, which makes its price hard to warrant. If there was a version that dialed back the phone functionality, I think it would be an easy buy. But as it stands now, I would only consider this if you’re in a shared SPACE with many people and won’t miss having an extensive set of smart features.