We’re big fans of Moshi’s gear here at Public Access Gaming—after all, they’ve been making quality Apple gear for years. So, when I got my hands on their Spatia speaker I knew I was in for a great listening experience, complete with thoughtful design details and a killer sound. This speaker does not disappoint on either front.
Spatia AirPlay Speaker Design
The Spatia carries Moshi’s signature design trend of minimal, well-thought-out details, from the single multifunction button to a handy cord tamer built into the base. It’s a bit awkward to turn the speaker over to connect the power cable during setup, but once completed the lack of visible wires more than makes up for the hassle.
An LED on the front shows current operating status: green means go, no lights means the Spatia is asleep. An arc of white LEDs around the volume/power/input mode button shows the current volume level.
Spatia’s design language has something of a dual personality: the front’s oak veneer is warm and inviting, while around back the dramatic, glossy black swoop is straight up sci-fi.
Operation is dead simple—the push of the button on top turns the speaker on, changes input mode, and rotates like the old iPod click wheel to adjust volume. Moshi has nailed the functionality, however, with the perfect level of remote control. The Spatia goes to sleep but stays connected to your WiFi network, so it’s always available in the AirPlay menu. To start cranking tunes you simply select it from your device and control the volume from there. This is the only speaker I’ve ever reviewed that doesn’t ship with a remote and truly doesn’t need one!
Modes of operation available include AirPlay, WiFi Direct, or Aux In. For most use AirPlay will be sufficient; if a wireless network isn’t available the Spatia creates its own, which your devices can join (but you can’t stream from online sources when connected via WiFi Direct). The Aux In works just as you’d expect. There’s a Spatia app on the App Store which allows you to customize the equalizer, and also play white noise for a predefined period of time
Spatia AirPlay Speaker Sound
To put Spatia through its paces for us gamers I ran the Jurassic Park test (a highly unscientific but very fun way to test speakers): Spatia caused ripples on the surface of a glass of water sitting on the same table as the speaker like when the T-Rex clomped towards the stalled Ford Explorers, interrupting Jeff Goldblum’s classically odious pickup lines. Moshi’s guiding principle for bass here seems to be “best felt and heard.” This rumble effect makes gaming particularly engaging as hits are accompanied by both audio and tactile sensations.
But because audio isn’t just about gaming (music and movies are important, too), Spatia offers an expansive soundstage with its five driver, dual-amplifier setup. I tested stereo separation by watching the opening of Star Trek: The Next Generation; the Enterprise rumbles by at warp perfectly detailed as it swoops left-to-right and then right-to-left over the credits. Music is room filling and, unless you’re sitting right in front of the speaker, never seems to be coming from a single point in the room. The sound was initially a bit bass heavy, though I was able to get a more natural sound by using the Spatia app’s equalizer settings.
If I had to find one drawback in the Spatia, it’s the lack of Bluetooth support. Apple-only households won’t have a problem, but throw an Android or Windows device into the mix and that poor user’s stuck with the Aux In option, meaning this is no longer a wireless speaker. It’s not a huge drawback, but for a $399 speaker that seems like a feature that could have been added. Not a problem here, but drop our grade to a B if you stumbled into Public Access Gaming without an Apple device.
Provides: Wireless and wired audio in a dead-sexy bookshelf speaker
Compatibility: All AirPlay-compatible devices, any device with a standard headphone jack
Availability: Now at Moshi and Amazon