Geneva Model M Wireless Speaker – Great room-filling audio for the design-conscious [Review]

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Finding great accessories is something of an obsession for me, particularly when they enhance an area I really love (sport/music/movies). For great audio experiences, I’ve used a load of different speakers ranging from small portable ones less than $100 to full-on custom hi-fi setups. The most recent to grace my home office is the Geneva Model M wireless.

Geneva Lab is well-renowned for its focus on classic design and brilliant sound, and the Model M brings both in to the modern age while keeping hold of some features you’d come to expect from a regular Hi-Fi. Aesthetically, the Model M is a clean and glossy box. Construction is first class. It has a real-wood surround finished in white, black or red piano lacquer. What I love about it is that it doesn’t impose itself on any room, visually. It could be given its own pride of place on a bespoke stand, or stowed unobtrusively on a book shelf. Somehow, it has the aesthetics perfectly suiting it to be either pride of place or hidden away. It’s a classic look. The front is covered entirely by a metal grille, hiding the inner speakers and components as well as a basic LED display.

On top of the box, at the top right corner, is a set of touch sensitive controls. In this regard only, the form was considered more important than function. I found the touch sensitive buttons to be temperamental in response. Either they’d not respond at all, or they’d be too sensitive and action before I’d properly place my finger on any of them. Thankfully, the unit is shipped with a remote control, albeit a particularly brick-like one. For a speaker that holds so much aesthetic class and appeal, the remote is just plain ugly, but it works well and features buttons for all the functions you could possibly need. You can adjust bass and treble levels, volume, input source as well as setting up to 6 preset radio stations and alarms.

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In terms of features, it can do almost anything you’d expect it to. It supports DAB and FM radio, Bluetooth 2.1 A2DP and has a 3.5mm jack input for plugging your device in. Each function works adequately. One thing I will say is that once you plug in the FM radio antenna, the clean minimal look disappears. Although, it did hit me with a serious bout of nostalgia. The aerial itself isn’t the usual, modern, simple thin cable. Instead, it’s quipped with an old-school telescopic metal one. You know the ones you’d rip off your cassette players as kids and play sword fighting with? Unless, that was just me? Its LED display is unmissable when switched on, but does once more add to the nostalgic/classic look.

Inside the cabinet is where the magic happens. There’s a pair of 1-inch tweeters and a pair of 4-inch woofers. Each is powered by its own, individual 60 Watt RMS amplifier. Combining this power and tonal performance with the wooden cabinet and twin acoustic chambers makes for an incredible sound. And one that you can change to your preference thanks to the equalizer options built in to the remote control. It is incredibly loud. It may only be 60 Watts, but, those 60 Watts are all riding on flaming buffalo and stampeding towards your ears with the sole purpose of blowing your head up. When I initially set it up, it must have been set to full volume, as it almost knocked me back off my chair. Still, I was suitably impressed.

All in all, it’s hard not to recommend the Model M. Its classic design, clean lines and room-filling sound make it not just a great modern speaker, but one that is built to last you for the rest of your life. While your Beats Pills and Jambox’s will look out of date in a few years time, the Model M will continue to look like belongs. At £499 GBP/$599 USD, it’s not the cheapest of speakers. But, considering it could last you years, it’s a healthy and worthwhile investment. I’ll be sad to see it go when I have to hand it back.

US buyers can grab hold of one from Amazon. UK & Canada buyers from Geneva direct.

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