Grain Audio’s inception began as a Kickstarter project and now nearly 6 months later, the audio company has delivered the goods.
Grain Audio’s pledge was to deliver impressive sound from solid, wood crafted speakers and headphones. This was going to be minimalist design at its best. Being fans of the current reclaimed wood trend, Grain immediately caught our attention, not only as home decor aficionados, but also as audiophiles who want their speakers to both look and sound awesome. Grain’s Packable Wireless System manages to do both – very successfully.
Enclosed inside a slab of walnut, the Packable Wireless System would make a woodchuck cry. Its clean lines and wood grain pattern make it a delicious addition to your Restoration Hardware influenced home. It would even look good next to that IKEA Besta cabinet you’ve had for five years.
The PWS can certainly be tucked away out of sight, but why would you? This little speaker packs a wallop in both looks and sound. Just place it anywhere, and listen to how the powerful Waves MaxxAudio helps the PWS fill the room.
We put the PWS through the ringer – testing tunes ranging from Bluegrass, to New Age, to Jazz, and Pop. It excels in all genres, but especially the more acoustically tuned. The speaker really highlights strong vocals, highs and mids. Unfortunately, bass is a bit weak on the PWS, but it still provides a warmth and body, just not an overwhelming amount.
Pairing the device to computers and smartphones is a breeze. All you need to do is hold down the ‘G’ button when it is turned on and the speaker will tell you it is ready to pair. From there, you just look on your media devices for the Grain speaker that is waiting to connect. If for some reason you can’t utilize the Bluetooth speaker in its purest form, there is also an AUX jack. The speaker will charge via Micro USB too. So no proprietary cable required.
Instead of just being another copycat, Grain Audio has broken out of the box and ditched the plastic for a well made and handsome looking speaker. This compact system will look great just about anywhere you put it, and despite its weak bass, it still performs very well with all sorts of genres. Does it get loud? Yes. Does it look impressive? Yes. Will Your wife like it? YES! A speaker that pleases both sexes is a keeper in our book.
The Grain Audio PWS retails for $249, making it pricier than the average portable bluetooth wireless speaker out there, but between its great sonics and handsome good looks, it’s worth it.
The Good: Great sound quality – one of the best we’ve experienced on a compact wireless system. Looks really impressive with its walnut wood grain finish. Also, looks like a piece of furniture and not a clumsy wireless Bluetooth speaker. Style and function at its best. Carrying case included.
The Bad: The name could be better – I mean, who is going to remember Packable Wireless System. Lacks strong bass.