British engineering may have gone the way of British Rail and British Steel, and pretty much any manufacturing industry we could be proud of (sad face), so when I received the Kitsound Hive 2 I confess that I didn’t get very excited. If it was designed in Germany then it would be functional and probably excellent, if it had been Scandinavian then it would have been beautiful, and if it had been conceived in Japan then it would have been a technological marvel. But British? Well, it was built in China as so many things are nowadays but they can only go as far as the engineering blueprint.
Yet, mine is not to reason why, or so that saying goes. I made a cup of tea, and glared and this small plastic box and wondered what to make of it. Then I made another few cups of tea while it was charging and finally plugged it into my computer while pretending I was back in the glory days when ‘Made in Great Britain’ was a stamp of excellence. I fired up the first random track, Metallica’s One, and my oh my God it was glorious. Take into account that this is a truly portable speaker that you could fit into the front pocket of your jeans and still sit down and also its very attractive price point – currently discounted on both sides of the Atlantic – and you still get very respectable sound reproduction.
Now that I have your attention, I’m afraid that’s all the spoilers you’re getting… Here instead, you can acquaint yourself with the specs and then we’ll take a closer look at what £35 will buy you before we break into my experience of this little gem.