Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System: Thoughts & Summary
Panasonic recently sent me the new ALL3 Wireless speaker to take a look at (featuring Qualcomm AllPlay technology) or to give it its full name and part number the ALL3 SC-ALL3EB-K. This speaker is also part of the latest Panasonic Wireless speaker range).
The ALL part of the speaker is possibly a clue to its origins as the ALL3 can be used independently or as part of a multi-room setup (you can use additional Panasonic ALL speakers and group them together or you can use Bluetooth speakers that have been routed through the phone).
The speaker also allows you to stream a range of music from either an iOS or Android device via their Panasonic Music streaming app – which is the primary method of controlling playback.
This app can even tap into multiple network sources which include those running on the DLNA protocol such as Windows Media Player or it can pick up Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Additionally the speaker works with the music subscription service Spotify.
Box Contents & Design
Before we come back to this I’ll just quickly mention the box contents and the design. First of all the box contains a few small pamphlets which comprise of a quick setup and firmware upgrade guides. Additionally the latter quick-start guide contains a web link/QR code to take you to the full manual.
It would have been nice though to have had a full manual from the off and the Android side made life easier to access the online manual because it was in a PDF format which for some reason my iPhone 5s could not open. Then again I have to admit that from exploring Panasonic's support page - for the speaker - it revealed a few handy setup videos which I found were pretty useful!
This is the best link I could find for the speaker as everything you need is under the one roof……
Additionally in the box you get a mains lead which plugs directly into the back of the speaker, so at least there is no additional power bricks to worry about.
However that’s about it for the box-content, it would have been nice to see a remote control included - as the device does offer an Aux port. Then again the nature of the product does lean towards its wireless app support for controlling playback.
As for the ALL3 design itself, well it is a fairly compact speaker (248 x 131 x 155 mm), weighing 2.5kg. Its design reminded me in some ways of a cut-down centre speaker. The version I had to look at was kitted out in a space grey finish and it has a practical (“I mean business!”) finish that offers robust build quality – which you would expect given the asking price of £229.
I have to be honest and say the design certainly grows on you, it does not have all of the fancy glossy finishes I’ve seen on recent speakers that I have tested, but it certainly has the quality when it comes to the output! Which is the main thing (more on this later).
Additionally what I like is that the speaker can be positioned vertically or horizontally, thus if you want to place this in the Kitchen or on your desk it does not take up as much room.
I noted there are two screw holes at the back. So by the looks of it there is an optional method of mounting the speaker if needs be.
At the back you get an Aux-In and an Ethernet RJ45 port which for me would have benefited from a set of LED’s as there is no indication that the cable is working properly unless you look at the router. On the flip-side though at night at least there is no annoying flashing lights flicking at the back.
However if I was being picky it would have been nice as well to have been supplied with an Aux-cable, but then again the speaker is designed foremost to be used on the network, so Panasonic I feel are trying to make you utilise the core functionality. At least the Aux option is included.
At the top of the speaker you will find a serious of touch controls for selecting the Aux connection, the power on button, a WPS button (if your router supports this function for the wireless setup) and the volume controls.
You actually use a series of button presses to perform firmware upgrades on the speaker as well. This is detailed in the small pamphlet and it advices that you update the firmware once the speaker is linked to the network - just to make sure the firmware is at the latest version (to avoid any technical glitches that may have been fixed since the speaker's release).
However the process of checking the firmware was not that difficult to be honest. Plus once you have the device configured on the network you can use the IP address in your browser to upgrade the firmware or do things like change the device name – don’t worry about this yet though.
From the front grill you can just about make out (in certain light conditions) the built-in speakers inside. By default you have 4 speakers (two woofers and two tweeters) with 40W of total RMS power. There seems to be a passive base radiator at the back as well.
Main Specs Panasonic ALL3 - £229 rrp
- Front: 20W per channel (1kHz, 8ohms, 10% THD)
- Configuration 2-way 2 speakers system (Bass-reflex)
- Speaker Unit [Approx.] Woofer 3-1/8" (8 cm) Cone type x 2
- Speaker Unit [Approx.] Tweeter 1" (2.5 cm) Semi-dome x 2
- Double Layer Nanosized Bamboo Cone Speaker
- LincsD-Amp (2nd generation)
- XBS Mater
- Formed Mica & Super Low Distortion Subwoofer
Note: As mentioned earlier the speaker does not support Bluetooth directly, but once the device is setup you can access a Bluetooth/All Play speaker connected to the phone via the Panasonic music stream app (more on this later).