As we’re such huge fans of Soundmatters’ range of diminutive audiophile travel speakers, we just had to get our hands on the US company’s latest addition. And here it is, all 12cm of it. The new Moment is about 12mm shorter than an iPhone 6, 5mm narrower and about 10mm deeper. Let’s just say it’s small enough to tuck into a shirt pocket and take up absolutely no room in a shoulder travel bag. The Bluetooth-only Moment features a carbon-poly acoustic driver and a carbon fibre-infused body and, like its brethren, the superb FoxL and the lower-profile DASH 7, it feels weighty and substantially engineered throughout. An extra bonus comes in the form of a magnetic back so you can stick it to the fridge while whipping up a meal.
Like its aforementioned stablemates, the Moment is optimised for near-field listening. That means it’s best when positioned in front of the listener about one to five feet away. Of course, its soundstage can quite easily fill a room but just don’t expect a ton of bottom end clout because that would be asking for the impossible. That said, this little thing still kicks out a decent level of bass; it's just more pure sounding and less, well, bassy. In fact, when you hear this little speaker for the very first time, your initial response might well be: ‘ooh, that’s a bit thin sounding’.
However, that opinion changes after about 15 minutes of listening to it. Really, once you’ve acclimatised to the smaller sonic stature, you’ll come to really appreciate the Moment's amazing clarity, exceptional tightness and uncoloured tonal range. Acoustic-based and sparsely produced music are this speaker’s best friends. It sings with jazz, folk, country, classical and even subtle electronica like ChillOut. Vocals, too, sound exceptionally lifelike, almost as if the singer’s in the room with you. We tried it out with I Am Kloot’s ‘Sky at Night’ album and it sounded captivating. In fact, the more we played this little speaker, the more addictive it became.
The Moment goes loud, too, and with no evidence of distortion. And because it's quite heavy for its size and its back is rubberised – and magnetised – the bass response increases if placed on resonant surfaces – occasionally to the detriment of the sound but most times enhancing it. Experimentation is the order of the day.
Soundmatters also provides an optional magnetic 'Energizer' charging stand ($49) and we highly recommend adding it to the shopping list (there’s a $30 discount if both items are purchased at the same time). Not only does the stand angle the speaker towards the listener but it somehow adds a little bit more bottom end and a slightly fuller sound. It also prevents desk stuff from rattling about, which can happen if you place the Moment flat on a cluttered desk and wind up the volume. Expect up to seven hours of battery-powered playback on a single three-hour charge.
If you’re in the market for a really small, high-end Bluetooth travel speaker – or just something to accompany your laptop – then we implore you to put this sonic pocket marvel at the top of your shopping list. It’s just so small, portable and easy on the ear. Really, if Bilbo Baggins were an audiophile, this is what he’d choose as his main hi-fi system.