The Escape™ P9…. is a bit like taking a Lamborghini to Tescos, too loud, too wide, not practical at all, but hey, awesome
This is my review of the Escape™ P9. An outdoors, slightly bonkers, Bluetooth speaker that is totally over the top for garden use, but brilliant. The Escape™ P9 in Bluetooth speaker terms is a bit like taking a Lamborghini to Tescos, too loud, too wide, not practical at all, but hey, awesome.
It is a Bank Holiday weekend so our thoughts turn to the Summer, BBQs, patio life and music (a bit of sun would be good). The idea was for me to take this Escape™ P9 to Cornwall last week for a family gathering in a large converted barn. Kids, food, outdoors life and beaches to see the Escape™ P9 in full on music mode. However, a car full of kids, the dog and a weeks worth of clothing meant the Escape™ P9 was left behind in favour of a more practical solution. I guess this is the only weakness with the P9, its sheer size.
I saw the Escape debut at the Bristol HiFi Show and could see immediately the attraction. A big, high quality, Bluetooth speaker for out door use, water resistant (incl. rain proof), rechargeable battery, no wires, good looking and easy to carry about. Brilliant.
The P9 has a powerful amplifier, with a capacity of 100WMS. The sound is generated by 4 individual 3-inch full range drivers utilising polypropyle (PP) cones with aluminium dust caps… a ” linear flat spider, vented voice coil and a powerful optimized magnet structure”. The ported downward firing 8-inch sub woofer 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”. I couldn’t have put it better myself, so I didn’t!
A 360 degree “Omni” sound is delivered by the 4 full range drivers. The frequency response is a solid 20Hz -20KHz. There are two 24-Bit Digital Signal Processors.
- Bluetooth® 4.2 (supporting Advance AudioCoding (AAC), Qualcomm® aptXTM audio, SBC audiocodecs and A2DP 1.3.1),
- a flash USB input and
- 3.5mm normal jack.
If you buy two of these there is a twin mode capacity for combining them in a stereo configuration via Bluetooth. There is an App for this and for the Escape in general.
The P9 has a powerful rechargeable Lithium Iron Phosphate battery (LiFePo4) for 8 hours of listening at a normal sound volume, pretty impressive. Overall the Escape P9 weighs in at 12.3 kg. It is 73 cm tall and 22 cm square in the footprint.
There is travel case, that I have as an extra, it is made of plastic disappointingly but it does do the job because my case has suffered a bang, it is now cracked, but the P9 is in perfect order, no bother. It is wheeled, incidentally, with a retractable flight bag style handle.
The Escape™ P9 is very nicely put together and feels solid and worthy of the price tag, as is the performance. The handle is of a powder coated die cast aluminium construction with the stylish logo machined in the top.
The top of the P9 is a rubber feel water resstant top with rubber water resistant buttons for selecting musical choices in the absence of the source (phone for example), adjusting volume and of course turning it on or off. The soft rubber feel is sufficient to grip a phone placed on it, which is reassuring. Having had the kids help in running in the P9, the top of mine, in white, was looking a fraction grubby, however it has come up again nicely with a clean dishcloth and a tea towel.
The rest of the P9 body is covered by a “multi filament polyester tarn” with a soft feel that is in fact water resistant and would certainly withstand a shower by the look of it. The rubber top supports this.
The P9 is available in Black, Tan or White, have a look on the website. The Tan one looks rather good to me and would merge into a patio nicely. Unless you want it to stand out, like a Lamborghini!
I ran the P9 in, wired with an iPod for a few days, and since then the kids have been knocking it about for a couple of weeks, as I mentioned it didn’t get to Cornwall but it has been outside a fair bit in the weather and it is reliably supporting my podcast listening.
Ergonomically the P9 is very easy to move around. It is pretty heavy though at 12 kilos plus. I’ve had no bother however and you could use it for exercising like those sandbags or ViPRs everyone is using in the gym these days. Just do a few lunges whilst moving it about two handed to get your fix.
On this matter, the travel bag is very helpful with the wheels if you fancy the extra outlay, although as I mentioned above mine has cracked, not a problem really as it has done its job. The retractable handle is of a good standard.
Broadly the Bluetooth seems to me to be very, very good indeed, outside, inside in the kitchen listening to a podcast, it is very good and I have no complaints at all.
There is a free App on Android and iOS. It is very simple but functional. There is an equaliser to turn down the bass with five Eq bands, there are some preset ones too, including Outdoor/ Indoor/ Standard etc, Direct/ Wide.
The App also shows the battery level, but a percentage would help. When the P9 runs low the power button intermittently flashes red indicating it has reached 20% or so. I have run the Escape down to this level, plugged it back in with the supplied power lead which is angled for the floor and it took 2 hours to recharge, fully. You can run the P9 with a power lead no problem.
The App allows you to turn off the P9 and connect etc. There is also a source selector here, though the USB just fires itsef up and plays. I plugged in a flash USB with some 24 bit music and it just played itself, there is no control of the tracks, other than a pause/skip option, forward and back. A file menu selection would have been more useful? But still, great. The jack input is useful also.
I would like a slight lip on the rubber top in the next model, for securing phones/iPods, holding Malteasers in place, etc. when moving short distances.
I’ve been having a think about other uses for the P9, obviously as a coffee table next to the hammock it is spot on. As I mentioned as a musical lunges exercise weight it is also spot on, at 12.5 kg.
It is a single source with a 360 degree sound. I like the overall sound a lot, the bass is strong, a bit uncontrolled but if you like that kind of thing, it will be good for you. I’m not going to suggest this is HiFi but it is overall a good quality, powerful sound, with a good lower end, particularly in the corner of the patio or a room and it will see off those annoying kids with their Bose Soundlinks making shrieking noise everywhere.
I feel at this point I should remind people of their responsibilities when projecting their own music in public spaces. Firstly, if it is rubbish music, don’t do it, secondly if it is Radiohead, really??? Finally, if it can be heard by me, turn it down, it IS totally anti social. Fullstop. Otherwise I’m going to pull out this Escape P9 and rain on your parade, big time.
this summer…dive in rain AND shine, it is winner
The Lamborghini comparison is a good one, this is very expensive for what it is but it goes loud, particularly if you want a stereo image and buy two. It is awesome though to have around, we are currently switching in an out of it with our music and podcasts, etc. It is not particularly practical, but in situ, on the patio in the garden, back in the kitchen it is great. The dog likes it, though he was freaked out when I fired it up! If you’re going for one of these this summer, save up, listen first and dive in rain AND shine, it is winner.
More details here on distribution etc. The Escape™ P9 is retailing near £999 in the UK (May 2019).