Like all of Carved’s products, the company’s Acoustic Acorn is crafted from responsibly sourced wood and is created and assembled in Elkhart, IN. It is offered in two wood types, including Walnut or Bamboo. The natural wood exterior makes each speaker unique since no two speakers will ever have the exact same wood grain pattern. The design is minimalist with a smooth, polished acorn-shaped shell and an unobtrusively engraved logo beneath the speaker’s lower rim.
A charging port and status LED are the only embellishments along the wooden exterior — there are no buttons or controls on the speaker’s housing. The power button and pinhole reset are hidden on the bottom of the unit, recessed in the rubber foot. Playback, volume, and track navigation are controlled from your mobile device after pairing via Bluetooth.
The 600 mAh battery needs 2-3 hours to charge and lasts up to 7 hours of playback depending on playback volume. The decision to use a barrel style plug for the charge port makes the port on the back of the speaker look clean but also means that the charging cable isn’t as ubiquitous as a microUSB cable, so you’ll have to take care not to lose it.
The speaker uses a single 2.5” driver with a frequency response of 120Hz to 16kHz to pump out audio up to 85 dB. This setup, of course, will not be able to produce audiophile caliber sound performance, but for a speaker this size and price, the clarity is pretty impressive. The sound leans heavily on the high-midrange and treble registers, resulting in a bright sound and forward vocals. However, as you might imagine, the sub bass and low bass response are both lacking and tracks with richer production can end up sounding thin and boxy. At max volume, there’s also bit of distortion at the top and bass heavy tracks cause the speaker to vibrate heavily — enough to shake it off a table or countertop if you’re not careful.
In general, the Acoustic Acorn is better suited for sharing music with a few friends in small personal spaces rather than blasting dance playlists at parties. And while it won’t be winning any audio awards, the premium look and feel of real wood could make this speaker a great gift for a nature or outdoor enthusiast. Priced at $59, the Acorn can often be found online for as little as $39, which makes it a pretty good bargain.