I've been a fan of Moshi for a while now, starting with their simple approach to Apple charging cables to their latest endeavors into headphones. This company has a passion for design and quality and what's even better, it's targeted at Mac users. The Mac snob in me loves that, sorry not sorry.
Upon first glance, the Moshi Spatia looks like it belongs in a sophisticated post-modern apartment with views over the East River. It's just big enough for a 300 square foot room and brings and full and rich sound for something of it's size, more on that later.
To start with, this is not a BlueTooth speaker like many presume, this speaker relies on Apple's Airplay wireless audio protocol. You can stream songs from your device via a WiFi network, directly via WiFi or an auxiliary cable if you are going old school with vinyl or reel-to-reel (you hipster you).
Let's just say Apple's AirPlay is kind of well, shitty. While testing the speaker at our offices, the speaker suffered from some clipping and full on cut-offs. The technology works, but you really need a great Wifi signal to get a consistent connection.
One of the big reasons for considering this speaker is it's wireless connectivity so just note you are going to need a strong WiFi network for it to function properly. I later moved the speaker to my house and found that if functioned much better there with a less cluttered network.
I like the Spatia because it's a good alternative for people that don't want to take the Sonos plunge and you really only need one in a small apartment to satisfy your musical desires. The design of the speaker is also light years ahead of most of the black boxes out there, and let's face it a lot of people consider design first over sound, with Spatia you get both.
The speaker is about 7 pounds and measures 19.57″x 7.2″x 7.64″, so it feels just beefy enough to make you feel good about it. The five speakers and two amps that power this little beauty give it the extra heft and punch that you want for spending four hundred bucks.
Setting up the speaker was fairly straight forward but to the technologically challenged it might present a few road blocks, unless you are just using the AUX cord, then it's simple.
The App is a nice touch and lets you play ambient noise instead of music, use different EQs to customize your sound and to control the volume. The only frustrating thing is that you constantly have to engage AirPlay to get the audio, so if you get a phone call you have to set it up to stream to the speaker again. Not a huge deal but some people might find it annoying. Think of it as a pair of really nice boots that have laces that are kind of a pain in the ass, but MAN do you look good in those boots so it's worth it.
The key thing to remember is that when using AirPlay you can stream Spotify, etc. but when you are using Wi-fi direct mode you are stuck with what's on your device. So for me, Wi-Fi direct just is pointless as I don't keep much music on my phone anymore, just gigs of stupid pictures that I should delete, but never do.
If you are looking to fill a small and fashionable space with music, the Spatia is a great bet. Its modern design warms up your room just as much as it's rich and full sound and being wireless is super convenient so you can move it around pretty easily. It won't break the bank at $399 and delivers the sound quality and functionality you would expect at that price point. The extra features on the app are also a really nice touch, it's kind of cool to pop on the ambient noise after a long day at the office. Crack open that nice bottle of cab and sit next to your handsome little speaker, you two will look great together.