The #Zeon III from Singapore's very own speaker brand #Elysium is an interesting take on portable speakers. Until now, most speakers are either rectangular or cylindrical, but this comes in a unique shape! But will this actually improve performance at all?
The Zeon III is a well built speaker that looks like a big fat Toblerone. It’s got a nice brushed metal chassis and you can really feel the weight of its solid construction. It’s got bass radiators face out from the sides and two speaker drivers that are forward facing, tilting upwards for better audio dispersion. Very unique. You also have to flick a switch to turn the speaker on, and with that I never had to worry about the speaker switching on accidentally in my bag. It's got a speakerphone button and buttons that double up as the volume and skip track controls which I found quite handy. You won’t find any indication on the box about the battery life at all, but in our tests playing the Zeon III at 50% volume on bluetooth, the battery life actually lasted for 9 hours, longer than expected! It charges by USB, and it even comes with a cloth bag to protect the speaker, which is always a nice thing!
One more thing worth mentioning is that when you start to play music or change tracks from different albums, the speaker starts from low volume and ascends to your desired volume level in 2 seconds. This creates the sensation that the audio is being eased in rather than suddenly shocking the listener with loud music. Nice!
In our listening tests I found that the speaker has pretty good clarity of vocals and instruments, with the mids and highs projected nicely. It also had a pretty wide soundstage and diffuse quality! Bass sounds quite rich in Michael Buble's 'Fever' although there are speakers that can hit lower notes with better bass resonance. And since the drivers are angled at 45 degrees, the sound projects well in my living room! Sometimes, the speaker can sound too sharp and grainy with wind instruments, such as when I was playing 'March of the Resistance from 'The Force Awakens' album. Track separation is decent with regular songs but struggles when playing orchestral tracks, and suffers even more at high volumes. Overall,the speaker sounds really good for the price.
Although this is a well built speaker, I'm not sure whether I can call it stylish. If clean aesthetics is important for you, this won't score very high. The USB charging port and audio input jack is weirdly located on top in a not so elegant way. It also lacks water resistance but clearly Elysium is not targeting this speaker at the active lifestyle crowd.
Save for the aesthetics, I never thought I would say this for a local brand but for the price of $199, this speaker totally rocks when it comes to its spacious, rich and clear sound quality. Overall I do enjoy listening to the Zeon III. The battery life is decent and the speaker is pretty portable. Very suitable for the home or the office and very good value for money! Honestly, good job Elysium, and thumbs up!