York-based audio specialist Damson gave a UK debut to its Oyster wireless speaker at the Gadget Show Live 2013, and we took the opportunity to get hands-on with the new product (see slideshow, bottom).
Originally unveiled back at CES in January, the Oyster is an affordable home audio solution that delivers big sound for its price point - not a bespoke offering on a par with the £599 Sonos PlayBar, but more than capable of disturbing the neighbours well into the early hours based on our experience.
The Damson Oyster features a pair of 2in, 10W front-facing drivers plus two 1.5in, 10W side firing drivers, and one rear passive radiator. It carries the Sonic Emotion "3D Sound" moniker and delivered an impressive calibre of audio that confidently cut through a commotion-filled NEC.
In terms of wireless specs, the Oyster offers a range of around 10 metres and supports Bluetooth with A2DP. Playback time is cited by the manufacturer as approximately 12 hours, and there's also a 3.5mm audio jack for those wanting to go the wired route. Elsewhere, there's a built-in microphone, so you can also utilise the Oyster as a speakerphone for voice calls if that's your thing.
Probing the Oyster in the flesh, we liked its clean ovular design, while detachable speaker grilles mean that there's considerable scope for aesthetic customisation. Measuring 230 x 100 x 116mm, the Oyster would be a medium-sized addition to your counter, shelf, or desk - not as compact as some of the diminutive cube-shaped speakers currently in vogue, but considerably smaller than a full hi-fi installation.
Following its time in the limelight up in Birmingham, the Damson Oyster is currently available via the manufacturer's website for £179.99 including free shipping. Delivery time is estimated as three to five working days, and the Oyster is offered with either a white or black horizontal band across its top.