i did a post a couple of months ago about nixon's tps speaker, part of their most recent collection. while i knew nixon for their watch designs as well as their ear and headphones, this was the first speaker design i'd seen from them.
what caught my eye at first was the very simple design, which looked like something inspired by dieter rams. compared to the recently reviewed jambox, it is similar in size but feels like a very different thing. the key difference is that the jambox is a bluetooth speaker, while the tps is wired. what this means is that while the jambox can be a standalone unit, placed anywhere and moved about as much as you want, it is not as clean a form with it's buttons on the top and the side and requires a bit of setting up. not a problem for the lone user who has spent time setting up their preferences, but not as simple as it should be.
the tps feels much more inviting. on the top is a large on/off button, and that is it. simple, clear, and functional. on the bottom is a removable cap, which houses a 3.5mm jack to plug into your music device, and a usb for charging. the cable management is very simple; the wires wrap around the bottom and come out of a hole at the back. you can decide how much cable you need to come through and neatly hide away the rest.
no set up required, and no volume buttons, leaving you to control that through your device. it looks good both on it's end or on it's side, and the aluminium enclosure feels strong and robust. not requiring any extra buttons, the anodised exterior both looks and feels really high quality.
the tps charges through the integrated usb, and it's lithium-ion battery will last up to 6 hours, which is less than the jambox but definitely enough for a decent outing before running low.
i found the sound quality better than that of the jambox, with clear bass and trebles coming through. you can also interconnect two units to increase volume and enhance stereo separation. as with other similar speakers, it won't rival you're hifi for sound quality, but as an improvement for your laptop speakers or something to have in your bag or take on holiday it is great.
the tps is available in three colour options: green, silver and black. at $80 they cost less than the jambox, and personally i think they both look and sound better than them. head to the nixon site to see the other colours, and buy direct from them.