Dec 08, 2023
Pantheone Obsidian Speaker Fascinates With Faceted Design
How many wireless audio designs could you say evoke the works of sculptors Barbara Hepworth or Henry Moore? That was our first impression of Pantheone’s initial offering several years back, a
How many wireless audio designs could you say evoke the works of sculptors Barbara Hepworth or Henry Moore? That was our first impression of Pantheone’s initial offering several years back, a minimalist and abstract wireless speaker designed as a captivating statement of sound. The Australian audio specialists’ smaller Obsidian turns down the volume on the abstract end, but still offers a discernibly distinct faceted jewel-like form delivering a similar proposition, now just at a smaller scale (and price).
The Obsidian’s handmade resin cabinet isn’t quite as uniquely sculpted as its larger predecessor, but the faceted form – drawing inspiration from semi-precious stones – does allow the speaker to influence the output in a variety of directions, conjuring a decently immersive 360-degree experience from a single source point. In our time demoing a unit, the speaker performed optimally when situated within a corner of a bedroom or office, versus a large living room where the Pantheone I powered by its two 130-watt Class-D amplifiers is better suited.
A single class D amplifier is tasked within to power 40 watts to the unit’s 5.25-inch woofer, and half that to a pair of 1-inch silk dome tweeters at 20 watts each, with a frequency response of 55Hz – 22kHz.
What’s interesting is Pantheone positioning the Obsidian as a portable speaker. While not prohibitively heavy at about 11 lbs, it’s more likely owners will stake out an optimal permanent spot to use and display the speaker. All for the best. However nice the resin matte finish, it doesn’t make for the most confident grip while carrying the speaker around compared to smaller wireless speakers, requiring a careful cradling.
Pantheone positions the Obsidian as a design that draws upon the lofty inspiration of the “architectural masterpiece of the Oculus within the Pantheon dome in Rome.”
The Obsidian is Amazon Alexa ready, allowing for voice command operation.
In wireless mode and unattached from a power source, the Obsidian is good for up to 15-hour playback, supporting connectivity via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AUX sources. Par for the course, the Obsidian is set to work with all of the major streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, and Apple Music via AirPlay. Whether tethered to power or in battery mode, the Obsidian sounds impressive.
Pantheone’s semi-precious jewel design is priced at $1,399 and available in black or white at pantheoneaudio.com.
Gregory Han is the Managing Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.
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