KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE - Review

April 24, 2017

What do you get when you blend a British audio company with German product design?  
That's where the KEF Porsche Design trio of products come in. Late 2016 saw the launch of three such collaborations - the SPACE ONE headphones, MOTION ONE neckband buds and GRAVITY ONE portable speakers. Out of these, we take a closer look and do a full review of the GRAVITY ONE. 


Origins - 
For those who aren't too familiar with KEF, it was founded in the 1960s with origins in the 
loudspeakers business in none other than the grounds of Kent Engineering & Foundry (yes, that's how the name was derived). As for Porsche, the 911 supercar comes to mind but its Design Group was founded in 1972 as a premium lifestyle brand.

KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Type - Wireless Portable Speaker 

Price - USD 380 / GBP 329 / SGD 599

I had the chance to review a unit which I duly brought along on a staycation with my family in KSL Hotel & Resort in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and spent quite a few weeks just being absorbed with it. That done, here's a full review!
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers
Gravity One packaging - Outer box

Pros (+): Premium product feel; Loud and clear sound delivery; Classy industrial design. 
Cons (-): Bass response somewhat lacking; Tight layout of ports.

In The Box
The KEF speakers come in a single SKU - a premium looking Titanium variant. 

For some products, you can already begin to understand the philosophy behind a brand just by checking out the unboxing process. We had the impression that this was true for the GRAVITY ONE.
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

To illustrate this, sliding off the outer layer exposes a very solidly built black box with the words 'Porsche Design Sound, KEF' in black emboss. 
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Popping this open, you get access to the GRAVITY ONE that sits nicely on a foam deck. Beneath is another layer that contains the accessories and user guides laid out nicely compartmentalized. 

So popping everything out, the packaging contents are as follows:
  • KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE speaker
  • Charging cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • AC adapter
  • 3 x Country power adapters
  • Carrying pouch
  • User guides

KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Design
The KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE (56 x 215 x 63mm) looks undeniably sharp - just try gliding your finger down the top edge to have a gist. These KEF aluminum speakers brim with a premium look that very easily complement equally 'edgy' Apple products like the MacBook Air. Tipping the scales at 780g, it is slightly heavier than the Bose SoundLink Mini II (670g). The speakers are actually upward facing due to KEF's desired omni-directional sound reach. The aluminum sides finished with titanium are smooth and unblemished while the necessary ports are hidden at the base for connectivity purposes.


KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Carrying Pouch:
The drawstring pouch does its part in protecting the GRAVITY ONE from scratches but note that it provides minimal protection. It is not meant to withstand drops at all. 
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Before we move further, here's a video of what the GRAVITY ONE has to offer:

Features
Bluetooth Pairing:
Powering on/off the speakers gives a melodious tune that kinda worked for me. Pairing is very straightforward - when powering it on for the first time, the Bluetooth button pulsates white. Just turn your music device's Bluetooth on, link them and you are good to go. The speakers can support up to 2 devices at any one time, useful if you have a tablet and smartphone to toggle.

Notifications:
The playback controls lie on the right side - two volume switches flanking the play button while the buttons on the left (Power / Bluetooth / Mute) have a corresponding LED notification. Holding Power allows you to view one of the 4 different LEDs that indicate the battery percentage remaining. When you plug in an auxiliary input, there will be a green LED at the Bluetooth button. Overall, they come in very handy.
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Taking Calls:
The KEF speaker appears geared for taking conference calls as the there is a dedicated Mute button to turn the microphone off. You can voice dial a smartphone contact by holding the Call button and speaking 'Call xxx'. Should you want privacy, hold the Call button again and you can talk through your smartphone. 
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Connectivity:
Most portable speakers these days include two ports - an auxiliary-in for a wired connection to your music player and a charging port, usually in the form of a micro-USB. The KEF GRAVITY ONE does have both and adds one more - a USB port for the practical purpose of charging your smartphone while music is in play. You may want to take note that the ports only support plugs that are not too thick due to the design of the enclosure holding the ports.
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Performance
Sound Quality:
KEF built a signature point source driver they term as Uni-Q, which in a nutshell allows sound to be projected in an omni-directional manner (ie. 360 degrees around), with the objective to optimize the listening area within a room. Having a listen to instrumental tracks like Kitaro's inspiring Sozo is a very calming experience that I could immerse in. The sound intensity comes through equally as long as you're in the same radius. 

Their marketing talks about tight, clean bass and I'm going to have to agree here after listening to bass-inclined portable speakers like the Bose SoundLink Mini II. The KEF GRAVITY ONE does not deliver the overwhelming type of low frequencies that drown out the highs but instead attempts to focus on a fine balance between the articulation of treble and bass which a sample of U2's stonking Vertigo reinforced.
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Charging:
The Lithium-Ion battery can last a very decent 10 hours on a full charge. I got a good 8-9 hours when used in a living room setting though it will of course fluctuate depending on your usage (An outdoor setting would likely require a higher volume).
KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Overall
The KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE speakers are one classy looking pair of speakers. Sure they may be a tad pricey but KEF has undoubtedly done a great job attempting to focus on an optimal audio experience for folks listening within the same radius. If you're considering a speaker that has a more premium feel in a compact frame, the stylish GRAVITY ONE is one that fits the bill.

KEF Porsche Design GRAVITY ONE portable speakers

Where To Buy
The KEF GRAVITY ONE is available world wide at the following price points - USD 380 / GBP 329 / SGD 599. If you are in the US, you can purchase from KEF Direct. If in Singapore, they can be found in KEF's flagship store at The Adelphi. 

You can also purchase the GRAVITY ONE from Amazon via this affiliate link

Credit to KEF for an evaluation unit.

You Might Also Like

3 comments

  1. Enthusiasts of Bluetooth speakers may recollect the first UEBoom. While that one was very phenomenal, this spin-off of sorts has some of extra highlights. Most amazing of these, is its capacity to be totally submerged in water and still be great as new. It can likewise go about as a speakerphone . So on the off chance that you do a considerable measure of chilling in and around the pool, this is outstanding amongst other bluetooth speakers for that action.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This article is very detailed. I was looking at the unique tips you shown here.Porsche Car Leasing

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for Blogger

recent posts

Pinterest