Bluetooth speakers are increasingly growing in their popularity. While this is partly due to an increase in the number of consumers who see the value in Bluetooth accessories, this is also due to the variance of Bluetooth speakers that is becoming available. In fact, it now seems that whatever your budget is, there is a Bluetooth speaker to match it. However, with such availability on offer, it can become increasingly difficult to know which speaker to go for. Even more so at the premium end of the market. Well, Grain Audio is one of those companies who are hoping they can tempt you with their premium product. Here we will take a quick look at the Grain Audio PWS.01.
The PWS.01 (Personal Wireless Speaker) is not a new addition to the market and became available back in 2014. That said, this is one of those that is not scared to position itself as a high-end product and one that comes with a high-end price tag. As such, and with the price coming in at $249.99, this is one which looks to stand out in the crowd and compete with the other premium Bluetooth speakers in the over $200 market.
In terms of design, the Grain Audio PWS.01 is very much a premium product. A lot of thought was put into the PWS.01 to ensure that it does appear and feel like an upmarket product. This begins with the overall wood effect which adds a really aesthetically pleasing look to the speaker. This is also further enhanced by the sanded down smoothness of the device on all sides. The general deign of the device and inclusion of wood finish results in a unit which rather nicely fits in almost anywhere around the home.
Moving away from the wood aspect and the rest of the device is coated in rubber, which although limits the 'premiumness' of the speaker, does at least provide some sturdiness and protection to the devices. These rubberized aspects of the device extend to the controls as well as the input/outputs positioned around the device.
In terms of the negatives of the design of the PWS.01, it was felt that the device was a little limited in terms of functionality. For instance, the controls on the PWS.01 are strictly limited to power on/off volume down and up. There are no additional controls on offer and as such no ability to skip forwards or back on tracks. This has to all be done by the source streaming the music to the speaker. Which in truth, was a little disappointing for a product at this side of the pricing range
The PWS.01 is a good quality product and overall the sound quality is what you would expect from such a premium device. That said, it is not without its flaws. Overall, the PWS-01 is a small unit (compared to some of the others) and therefore, is limited in its overall ability to produce significant frequency ranges and especially at the lower spectrums. As such, the PWS.01 does suffer a little in terms of bass response and due to its size, can actually begin to vibrate a little at higher volumes, which in turn also impacts the quality of the bass even more. As such, this is not a device you would want to pick up for bass. That said, most Bluetooth speakers are not designed to handle bass so well and that aside, the PWS.01 does provide a decent level of quality for both the mid and top frequencies. As such this is an ideal bookshelf or low volume high-quality audio product.
The overall stereo sound is further increased by the PWS.01 coming with both front and rear-facing speaker grills which results in a much richer all-round sound. One nice addition to the speaker is the audio information that is provided by the unit when trying to pair the device. Unlike many other Bluetooth speakers (including those at the high-end) this one will audibly tell you that the device is in pairing mode and as such there are no moments of confusion when trying to pair or unpair the device.
The PWS.01 is a mixed bag when it comes to summing up. It is an excellent little speaker and provides a very clear and decent level of audio reproduction. That said, due to its size, the bass was a little limiting compared to other options in this price bracket and the overall volume louder does not compete with some of the other options available. However, in terms of design, the PWS.01 is a winner and is really well thought out. In fact, Grain Audio did not only stop with the product design, but also looked to make sure the packaging was as premium as the rest of the device which was good to see. As a result, even unpacking the device added to the overall experience. At a price of $249.99, the Grain Audio will not be for everyone but if you are in the market for high-end device which is compact, well built, designed nicely and performs well, then the PWS.01 is certainly one worth considering.