Thursday, December 7, 2023

Monster DNA One sounds almost as good as the full-size HomePod (at half the price)

The DNA One is an excellent speaker that looks good and has a convenient portable design.

The Monster DNA One Wireless Speaker may not quite the audio quality of the full-sized HomePod, but it’s VERY close. And at US$149.99, it’s half the price. 

(Also, it sounds a bit better than the HomePod mini, though it’s $50 more than Apple’s smaller speaker.) 

Apple’s speakers boasts Spatial Audio (which is very, cool); the DNA One speaker offers what Monster calls Omnidirectional Sound — and it’s also very cool. Four evenly distributed speakers means that you can place DNA One anywhere in the room and it sounds like the audio is coming directly at you.

The audio is excellent. A subwoofer for deeper bass and EQ customization features would be nice, but you can really crank up the volume on the DNA One without any distortion. 

You easily pair the speaker to your Apple device via “Ultrawide Bluetooth,” which has a 30-foot range. Which is nice because the speaker has no auxiliary input.

An interesting feature of the DNA One is that you charge it with an included Qi Wireless Charging base. Monster says its DNA speakers are the first Bluetooth speakers to offer wireless charging compatible with all standard Qi wireless chargers. Fully charged, the DNA One can run on battery power for about 15 hours. 

What’s more, you can fast-charge your devices with the built-in USB-C port and included six foot USB-C cable. I tested it with my iPhone 14 Pro Max and was fulled charged in about 45 minutes.

Monster says the DNA One, with its 1P67, can be immersed in up to three feet of water and still run for up to 30 minutes. And my tests show that’s accurate. Of course, mine was a free review unit; if you pay $150 for one, you may not want to test this. However, you can play your tunes on the Monster speaker near the pool or beach without worrying about it getting splashed.

The DNA One is great for syncing with other Monster speakers. You can sync your music with up to 99 other DNA speakers with the tap of a button for a “party mode.”

I don’t have 98 other speakers, but it worked with two speakers for excellent sound. In fact, with just one playing your tunes, you can easily think you’re listening to two speakers, not just one. 

Available in white or black, the DNA One and Max are crafted from premium materials and high-quality fabric. Their design is much more stylish than you’d expect from a speaker at this price. It comes with a wrist strap to make it easy for carrying. Just note that it weights 2.4 pounds, which may be a bit heavy for some folks.

The Monster speaker has easy-to-access control buttons for volume and playback on its top. They’re encircled by a bright racetrack LED light. The light stays on while the speaker is powered up and can give you a visual indicator of your volume level. It turns blue when in Bluetooth pairing mode, and briefly flashes red when the unit turns off  (it turns off if it’s not been used for 15 minutes).

Overall, the DNA One is an excellent speaker that looks good and has a convenient portable design.

Apple World Today rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★

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Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.