When the Qube speaker by Matrix Audio was unveiled at CES this year we were pretty excited – a speaker small enough to fit in your pocket yet loud enough to fill a room was a concept that we could definitely get behind. When we found out that the company making them was Canadian, we absolutely had to try one out.
The first thing you will notice about the Qube is the impressive build quality, with it measuring about the size of a golf ball yet being double the weight of one. It boasts a simple, straightforward design with a brushed aluminum finish, neatly beveled corners, a plastic speaker grill on the front while the back includes a port for the audio cable, a power button and an LED power indicator light.
Given the Qube’s small stature, it’s easy to be skeptical of the ‘rich, stunning sound’ that it boasts to provide. Lucky for us we were wrong. Using passive vibrating bass, this tiny speaker packs power far beyond the sound that you would expect from a mere 3 watts, easily outperforming the internal speakers on our laptop computer. It provides a pretty well balanced sound spectrum, with the bass support being the most impressive as it thumped away nicely and with little distortion (unless you try to max out the volume of course, but that is expected with almost all portable mini speakers). This is easily the best sounding on-the-go speaker we have tested making it perfect for ‘picnics or spelunking’, a few of the suggested activities that Matrix Audio provide. Given the 8 hour built-in battery life however, we thought that running this little dude at our desks during the entire work day was more appropriate, much to our co-workers chagrin.
The Qube is compatible with pretty much any audio device that has a headphone output jack, while the included cable acts both as a the USB charging mechanism and the audio output. We did find that trying to charge the speaker from the USB port on our laptop while playing music from it at the same time resulted in some feedback issues, so you might be advised to have it run only one task at a time. Also included in the box is a nice little travel bag, very appropriate given that we could see us taking this thing with us on every road trip or on travels abroad.