The Versatile Escape P9 Wireless Omnidirectional Speaker Concept

April 19 2019, 01:10
The audio industry is rethinking traditional concepts due to changing habits of consumers. Portable audio devices have changed the way consumers listen to music, using streaming services, phones and tablets as a primary music source. But apart from the mid-sized portable speakers available, there are not many quality options that will appeal to a consumer willing to invest more, without going for the high-end luxury segment. Escape Speakers is a European project created to answer those needs and the Escape P9 wireless speaker is the company's first development.

"Don't just think outside the box - build a new one!" is a sentence we found in the company's website. And that's what the Escape Speakers BVBA team of entrepreneurs have done with the Escape P9, creating a 360° omni-directional sound solution implemented in a high-quality portable loudspeaker system that is able to run for 8 hours on batteries and is also weather resistant, so people can take it to the patio or swimming pool area. And the design certainly includes some clever ideas.

As the company describes, the Escape P9 delivers detailed sound reproduction using 4 individual 3-inch full range drivers utilizing polypropylene (PP) cones with aluminum dust caps, linear flat spider, vented voice coil and a powerful optimized magnet structure. A single 8-inch subwoofer features a custom designed composite fiberglass reinforced basket, oversized magnet, polypropylene (PP) cone, linear flat spider, vented voice coil for both powerful and deep accurate bass performance. The entire system is driven by an extremely efficient 100 watts digital amplifier and its sound is both tailored and user adjustable, including advanced bass management, with its on-board dual 24-bit DSP processors.

The electronics also include a Bluetooth 4.2 module (CSR 8670) with support for Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), Qualcomm aptX and SBC audio codecs and A2DP 1.3.1 profile. The system supports stereo pairing allowing the use of two Escape P9 speakers in twin mode. On the top of the speaker, users will find a set of local controls even if daily interactions can be provided by a dedicated iOS and Android app. Hidden under the top controls users will find two USB ports for using a USB Flash Drive with music files, and also a 3.5mm jack input for connecting an external music player. Removing the keypad top plate, users will find a weather-resistant compartment with a second 3.5mm auxiliary input, which the manufacturer suggests can be used to install a ChromeCast audio module, using an optional adaptor kit.

On the base of the speaker, there's an AC universal input (240 V / 50 Hz, 110 V / 60 Hz), which when connected also charges the built-in rechargeable Lithium Iron Phosphate battery (LiFePo4). This battery can be user-replaced when the performance degrades. Underneath the speaker, where the bass reflex port is also located, there's even an anti-theft anchor point to secure the speaker with a steel cable.

The Aarschot, Belgium, -based company responsible for the Escape P9 was founded by two experienced professionals with a long experience in audio products distribution, determined to experiment with creating original products that they felt where needed in the market. "There is nothing we love more than being able to develop products that we want to own ourselves," they state.

On the design perspective, the Escape P9 speaker will certainly appeal at first look. It's considerable size and clean lines, the use of powder-coated die cast aluminum with matching extruded trims, with a choice of three finishes and matching fabrics, will immediately convey the confidence of a high-end product, even before users understand this in fact a complete wireless audio system. The P9 weatherproof design (IPX4) uses a combination of durable and luxurious materials, with a stylish grill made of multi-filament polyester yarn with a soft look to create a natural material effect. All available for 999,00 EUR (retail price).

Escape also offers an Escape P9 travel case in light-weight ABS/PC-Polycarbonate (99,00 EUR) for taking the system away on the weekend, and there's even a matching aluminum 32GB P9 Flash Drive (€19,00). It clearly shows the brand's founders understand well the mindset in the retail channel and its potential market.
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