Defunc is a Stockholm, Sweden-based company that is relatively new to the audio product market. Its motto? To combine DEsign and FUNCtionality, hence Defunc.
I’ve been using the company’s ‘Home’ speaker, which launched last year, and it’s safe to say it’s packed with smart features, is highly customizable, and can deliver powerful sound.
The Defunc Home, as the name suggests, is a home speaker that serves well in multiple rooms in your home. It’s a versatile speaker that works great as an assistant speaker on your night table, on your kitchen counter so you can listen to music, podcasts or recipes while cooking, or you can place it in your living room to control other electronics with its Alexa integration. You can even use it as your TV’s speaker.
The smart speaker is round in shape and features a mesh fabric grille on the front that protects it from dust and scratches. In my opinion, the speaker’s design looks great. I have the black coloured Defunc Home, but it’s also available in white.
Despite the speaker’s rear being made of a glossy plastic material, it still looks very premium and sturdy. Handling it reveals that the speaker is well-built and not flimsy at all.
The speaker, although bigger than Apple’s HomePod or Amazon’s Echo Studio, doesn’t look bulky, and I feel it adds to the room’s decor.
It comes with metal Y-shaped feet in a golden accent that complements the speaker’s black colour and holds it in place. The power connection port is hidden at the back of the speaker, and so is the 3.5mm AUX port and a button to change connections.
A simple yet considerate action that Defunc took was to include several different power plug attachments in the box. Plug shapes, sizes and sockets vary in different countries, and having multiple attachments for your gadget available straight out of the box is a huge plus.
The speaker also has an easy-to-use interface with capacitive touch buttons on the top and LED indicators on the front. Top-placed buttons include a volume up and volume down button, a play/pause button, a button to activate Alexa and a button to turn off your mic and stop the device from eavesdropping.
The main selling point of the Defunc Home, however, is its aesthetic customizability. While the speaker is available in only white and black, its front is interchangeable with different coloured fabric grilles.
The company’s website sells the front grille as an accessory in eight different colours: ‘Barley,’ ‘Clementine,’ ‘Concrete,’ ‘Linden,’ ‘Mud,’ ‘Ocean,’ ‘Sand,’ and ‘Taupe.’
The speaker’s interchangeable fronts let you change its appearance to match your home decor and suit your style and mood. However, at $299.99 for the speaker, I wish Defunc had given customers an option to choose at least one extra front grille of their colour choice for free at the time of ordering. Further, the interchangeable fronts come in at $54.99, which isn’t a cheap price to pay just for colour customization.
Defunc also allows you to upload an image to its website and create your own pattern or design for the purchasable front grille, essentially letting you match the speaker’s colour with your walls, carpet, or cushions and making the speaker blend in. Unfortunately, though, the personal design option isn’t available on the company’s Canadian website.
Speaking of customizability, Defunc has corner mounts, wall mounts and a floor stand for the speaker available separately, so you don’t always have to be limited to keeping the Defunc Home on a flat surface.
In my experience using it, the Defunc Home sounds better than the HomePod Mini. The speaker delivers impressive sound quality that fills whichever room it is kept in with rich and balanced audio.
According to the company, it developed the speaker alongside a top Swedish audio engineer and acoustics expert, Henrik Isaksson. It has a 19mm (0.75-inch) tweeter and a 102mm (4-inch) woofer for bass, which produce impressive sound for the speaker’s size.
When listening to music on the Defunc Home, the audio experience is well-balanced with clear highs, detailed mids for surprisingly good vocals, and a shocking amount of bass, considering the speaker’s compact dimensions.
While the speaker sounds great for all types of music, it is exceptionally proficient at reproducing vocals, making it an excellent choice for enjoying vocal-heavy music and podcasts.
While the speaker won’t replace my Hisense soundbar for TV audio, if you don’t have a dedicated soundbar and want to upgrade your TV audio experience, the Defunc Home isn’t necessarily a bad choice.
Most of the speaker’s settings are controllable through the Defunc Home app. The setup is not convoluted at all and takes barely five minutes from the get-go. You can adjust EQ settings from the app, allowing you to fine-tune the audio to your preferences and different music genres.
There’s also a ‘Placement EQ’ option in the app that adjusts the speaker’s bass, treble and sound depending on if it is mounted on a ‘ceiling corner,’ ‘wall corner,’ or if it is kept on a table/shelf/floor stand. The app is overall intuitive and easy to use, and offers setup for multiple music services, including Amazon Music (built-in interface), Apple Music (with AirPlay 2, iOS only), Deezer (built-in interface), iHeartRadio (built-in interface), Spotify (with Spotify Connect) and more.
With Alexa commands, however, you’ll only be able to play music from Deezer, Spotify and Sirius XM. The rest of the music streaming apps need to be accessed via your phone and then played on the Defunc Home.
Having Alexa support means you can control the speaker completely hands-free, ask the speaker to play/pause music from select services, control your smart home devices, answer your queries and more. However, no Google Assistant support might be a bummer for some.
Defunc, being a newcomer in the audio market dominated by long-time players like Sony, Sonos, Bose, and JBL, has made a notable impression with its ‘Home’ speaker.
The company successfully lives up to its motto of combining design and functionality with the Defunc Home. Its well-built, aesthetically pleasing design, with interchangeable front grilles, makes it a great choice for those who prioritize both form and function.
While the price for customization options is a bit steep, which may deter potential buyers looking to match the speaker to their decor, the audio quality delivered by the Defunc Home with its compact form factor is impressive.