Finding a decent Bluetooth speaker is pretty easy these days. Walk into Best Buy, Target or any large retailer and you’re presented with dozens of options that range from $15 to $300. The problem is that most Bluetooth speakers, even the good ones, don’t offer a fully immersive audio experience due to the left and right channels being so close together. We wouldn’t call this a flaw in design, but rather a limitation based on the need for these Bluetooth speakers to be portable. If you’re looking for superior audio quality and don’t have the urge to move the speakers, the Thonet & Vander Kürbis Bluetooth speaker should be right up your alley.
Power output: 60W RMS (30W + 30W)
Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
Acoustic box: Wooden box HDAA 276 x 181 x 222 mm
Driver size/material: Woofer 5.25-inch, Aramid Fiber
Impedence/power: 6 Ω 30W
Tweeter size/material: 1-inch, Silk
Impedence/power: 4 Ω 20W
Antimegnetic shield: Yes
Controls: Volume, treble, bass
Inputs: Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5 / RCA stereo
Color options: Black, white
Build Quality: Weight isn’t always a great measure of quality, but the 12.3 pound weight of the two speakers is a direct reflection to the attention to detail that Thonet & Vander put into the Kürbis. As you can tell from the pictures, the Thonet & Vander Kürbis isn’t your traditional Bluetooth speaker. The Kürbis is styled like traditional studio monitors with two speaker boxes built with HDAA (High Density Acoustic Absorber) wood, which helps reduce distortion for a more authentic sound. Each box sports a 5.25-inch woofer made of bright yellow aramid fabric that resonates smooth, low bass. The tweeters are built with silk, allowing the treble to resonate perfectly.
Design: The Thonet & Vander Kürbis was designed to stand out. While most Bluetooth speakers fit neatly on a shelf and blend right in with your home decor, the Thonet & Vander Kürbis has a bit of a hard time not sticking out like a sore thumb. The black speaker boxes look great when flanking a computer monitor on your desk, but they would draw too much attention away from your TV if placed in your entertainment center.
Sound Quality: Like it or not, the size of a Bluetooth plays a huge role in the quality of the sound that it produces. The Thonet & Vander Kürbis’ unabashed 276 x 181 x 222 mm boxes allow for a 5.25-inch aramid fabric and 1-inch silk tweeters. Portable speakers like the Jawbone Big Jambox and Grain Audio Packable Wireless Speaker offer a rich audio experience, but they both come up short when compared with the Thonet & Vander Kürbis. The highs, mids and lows are breathtaking.
When the volume is turned up, the bass is distortion-free yet powerful enough to vibrate every object on my desk besides my monitor. Fortunately, Thonet & Vander built the Kürbis with volume, treble and bass knobs into the side of the left speaker, giving you full control of the audio with a few simple twists. Adjusting the audio profile on a phone or computer can be a hassle, but I found myself adjusting the treble and bass settings based on the type of music I was listening to. Not because the speakers needed to be adjusted, but because a quick turn of a knob would allow me to tailor the audio more to my liking.
The Not so Good
Connectivity: For the everyday consumer, the Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm and RCA stereo connections should be more than adequate, but the lack of XLR or 1/4-inch input options may hold a few pro users at bay. Another item that’s missing is a built-in microphone, which means you will not be able to use the Thonet & Vander Kürbis as the world’s most powerful speakerphone in your home office.
Portability: Let’s be honest: if you buy the Thonet & Vander Kürbis, you will not be taking it to the beach or packing it it up for this weekend’s picnic in the park. Not only is the Kürbis extremely heavy, but it doesn’t have an internal battery. If you want music to come out of the Kürbis, you will need a standard wall plug at all times. Then again, the two speakers are large and sturdy enough to be used as a small stool. So Thonet & Vander Kürbis may be the perfect picnic companion after all.
The Thonet & Vander Kürbis Bluetooth speakers are available online for $199. That’s a bit higher than most of the speakers we have reviewed in the past, but well worth the money if you’re looking for studio-quality audio with wired and wireless connectivity for your home office.