Sublime beauty in a small package.
Speaking of functionality, it’s time to get into the critical part of the review and see how the Model M performs. Going for the more hands-on approach first, the control panel on the Model M, including that on the remote, has got the playback buttons, directional controls and a Mode and Menu button. Obviously the slight depression on the top right is the power button.
The Mode button basically lets you choose the desired input: FM/Line In and iPod. The Menu control was a little disappointing though. On my iPhone 4, this button would only function if I was inside the iPod menu (on the phone). I wish it would automatically take me to the iPod when the iPhone 4 is showing the normal screen, or is on any other app. Even then, the functionality was somewhat limited, as Menu simply cycled the different categories, like Albums, Composers, etc. Of course, once inside a sub-menu, I could navigate to a specific song and play it. I guess the Mode button would work perfectly on a regular iPod, but on the new iPod Touch, it would be a similar experience to the iPhone 4.
The Geneva Model M has stereo speakers built in, like all the other Geneva Sound Systems. Model M specifically has two 1” tweeters, two 4” woofers and two bass ports on either end; totaling a power output of 100 Watts RMS.
At 35cm in length, it may seem that the stereo speakers are pretty close together, but each side has a separate acoustic chamber and driver. Using some patent pending tech inside, Geneva Lab has successfully managed to provide a surprisingly wide degree of sound separation between the two stereo speakers.
The way the bass ports are designed on the Model M, if you’re sitting right in front of it, you can feel the thump of a beat, but not so much the boom. Moving further away, you will start feeling the bass more and more. I would also like to mention at this point that increasing the bass on the higher side (from 3.0 to 6.0) feels less perceptible.
The overall sound on the Model M seems a bit warm, where it feels like the treble is not enough; yet the mid-ranges and high notes were extremely crisp. In fact, the sound was always clear no matter how loud I went, with hardly any distortion at the loudest levels. At that point though, I would suggest lowering the bass as it starts to overwhelm the entire track.
My listening experience on the Geneva Lab Model M felt like a really rich experience, without any compromises. The sound, at all levels, was clear and vibrant. The bass may not be as impactful as I would like from an external stereo speaker system, but it’s loud and plentiful if you’re listening to it in a medium to big-sized room. Appealing as the touch-sensitive buttons are, I would rather navigate my music library on the iPhone 4 itself, given the somewhat limited functionality of the Menus.
I can easily recommend the Geneva Lab Model M to anybody who likes to listen to music from their iPhone/iPod for its convenience. Anybody who indulges in keeping their house a bit on the stylish side will absolutely adore the Model M. Best of all though, the Model M sounds gorgeous, making it a very compelling package.