I felt a surge of excitement as soon as I clapped eyes on the box the courier was delivering. I’ve seen ads for Urbanears on Instagram for a while, and I instantly fell in love with the design and the concept. The Stammen speaker looks beautiful, sounds wonderful and is effortless to use.
Do you need to read on? Its beautiful and its so satisfying to use – job done.
Well, OK, here’s why I love it so much. If you buy this as a gift, the recipient will feel like they are getting a real treat. There’s a delightful reveal when you open the box, with a charming welcome message and simple instructions. When you lift out the product, it feels like it will last a lifetime. Wrapped in a tactile linen-esque fabric, there’s an essence of 1960s HiFi about it. There are just two minimal, colour-matched knobs for controls. Micro LEDs are the only sign showing that it is switched on, or indicating which mode you have it in.
It’s a Bluetooth/WiFi/Chromecast/AirPlay enabled super machine. We’re an Android house (yes I know, gasp!), but the Urbanears iOS app is all things Apple, too. The speaker is connected to our WiFi router – the app takes care of it, all you have to do is type in your WiFi password. The app lets you choose Internet radio stations and connect to Spotify and iTunes. The joy of a WiFi connection is that you can continue to carry your phone around the house, without dropping connection – such is the curse of a Bluetooth connected speaker. That said, a guest that’s desperate to play you something from their phone can easily pair with Bluetooth, too. Record Deck in the house? There’s an AUX input for cables, too.
But what about if I don’t want to faff with an App on my phone?
Well this is where the simplicity and convenience comes in. One of the knobs on the speaker lets you select from seven customisable presets. Stammen is connected directly to the internet, so we have instantly accessible presets for Internet Radio stations, and various Spotify playlists. I like to listen to music while I cook, and I normally burn the onions while I’m distracted pairing my phone to the kitchen speaker. The preset selection knob feels old fashioned and has transformed the way I access music in the house. I love it.
Next time you’re in one of those out of town electronics retailers, take a couple of minutes to look at the Stereo section. There are some hilariously bad testosterone-fuelled designs. Flashing lights, mega blaster horns, god knows what else. It’s like that episode of the Simpson’s when Homer designs the ultimate every man’s car.
Quite apart from the sexy minimalist styling and the intuitive controls, the speaker sounds great. The rooms in our little house are filled with clear and crisp sound, even at low volume. With two 3/4˝ neodymium dome tweeters, and one 4˝ woofer, there’s great range and great quality. I love it. Did I say that, already? If you live in a large house, or you’re having a party, you can connect multiple speakers together. They can either play the same thing at the same time, or something completely different. There’s a larger sister model called Baggen, too.
Our Stammen speaker is Concrete Grey, but there are five other cool colours to choose from. Another Swedish design classic? I think so.
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Collaboration Note: We were kindly gifted the Stammen speaker for the purpose of this review. All words and thoughts are by Dan Taylor. Styling and images by Lou Archell. Thank you for supporting the posts that make this blog possible.
Dan Taylor is one half of Littlegreenshed. He writes and photographs with his wife Lou Archell.
When Dan isn’t being Dad, he can be found on micro adventures, mountain biking or in his workshop tinkering. Dan writes articles on adventures, the great outdoors, tech, cars and family life.