The Airpulse P100X is a speaker for your home living area that features a retro-inspired design but is filled with modern tech – allowing you to connect to the speaker with a wire or wirelessly with Bluetooth. The speaker features dual tweeters to provide a stereo sound as well as a mid-woofer to handle the lower end frequencies. The speaker may look friendly and novel, but the price isn’t so much, with this speaker retailing for £499.
The speaker is built around an MDF cabinet, which offers a sturdy construction and still keeps the weight of the speaker down for moving it around – although this is designed to be left in one place. The outside of the speaker features a cherry-coloured wooden look which, alongside the woven speaker grille, offers a retro and vintage-inspired look – if you want a speaker that doesn’t have a modern appearance and looks a bit more “organic” this is a nice option. Unfortunately, there are no alternative colour options at the time of this review, this cherry wood colour is the only variation of the speaker available.
Back to that front grille for a moment and over to the front side, the woven grille has a fabric finish which gives it a silky-smooth feel that isn’t abrasive like a metal speaker grille. The front features some Airpulse branding on the grille but is otherwise plain and keeps things nice and tidy. There are three dials, for controlling volume, bass and treble, as well as an on/off switch for powering on and off the speaker.
There’s nothing to be seen on the top or the sides of the speaker, aside from a rounded top that gives it a smooth and flowing design – but when we move round to the back, there’s not too much there either (unfortunately). The speaker only has one physical input, being an RCA input, and the only other way to connect is Bluetooth. For a speaker that costs £499 that features no smart abilities, I would honestly expect to see more than one input option so it can be used in different setups and situations. Also on the back of the speaker is a figure-eight power connector that plugs into the speaker.
It does look like the speaker grille can be removed to reveal the forward-facing mid-woofer and dual tweeters beneath, although the fit of the grille is quite snug, 0so I was unable to take it off. Also, as the speaker drivers are all forward-facing, it is important to consider the positioning of the speaker within your room to get the optimal listening experience. The speaker does have feet on the bottom to prevent the speaker itself from becoming scratched on the underside as well as the surface that the speaker is placed on.
For the price tag and from my previous experience with Airpulse’s A80 speakers, I expected to be wowed by the P100X as it has the size and form-factor to deliver some powerful and punchy sound – however, I was left a little underwhelmed and if I recall correctly, I said “is that it” when I heard the speaker.
The speaker’s tweeters are 10-watts each with the mid-woofer being 40-watts, delivering a total power output of 60-watts. The tweeters offer very clear treble, as is to be expected from Airpulse speakers, I didn’t notice any sharpness or sibilance and the treble sounded very clean and smooth overall.
The bass, on the other hand, is less impressive and wasn’t as prominent as I would’ve liked. For a speaker of this cost, there are certainly better value for money options out there or better-sounding speakers for the same price. This is particularly noticeable for me as I listen to a lot of electronic and dance music which does need a focus on bass, but if you don’t listen to much bassy music, this may not be as much of a concern for you.
The lack of bass performance is a bit surprising as the P100X does still feature a 4.5” woofer, so it is a decent size driver to be able to offer that performance, it’s just unfortunate that my experience with the speaker didn’t meet that expectation. This could be resolved somewhat with a line out or subwoofer out port on the speaker, but due to the lack of I/O, this isn’t possible.
Features and Accessories
The P100X features Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity with support for aptX HD, the inclusion of aptX is nice to see as it should provide a higher-quality listening experience over Bluetooth with supported devices. Bluetooth 5.1 is also nice to see, as non-portable Bluetooth speakers can sometimes lag behind on older Bluetooth versions, so it’s nice to see Airpulse supporting one of the newer versions.
Like I mentioned earlier during the review, the speaker only has one physical audio input and it would certainly be nice to have more to offer greater flexibility. The speakers also tout wiring made by TRANSPARENT internally.
RCA to RCA and 3.5mm to RCA cables are included within the box, as well as an infrared remote. Unfortunately, like the Airpulse A80, the remote feels quite cheap for a speaker in this price range – but it does offer the basic features and necessities to control the speaker from across the room.
The Airpulse P100X is a great looking speaker with a fun and retro-style design, but I found its sound performance to be severely lacking for the price. If money is no object and you love the look of the speaker, go for it, but if you want something that delivers great sound for the price, I would suggest to keep taking a look at what else is on the market.
The SummaryAirpulse P100X
- Well-made design.
- All connection cables included.
- Cheap-feeling remote.
- Sub-par bass performance.