Heritage P1 Connect
Smaller, portable, with an internal rechargeable battery and a stylish leather carrystrap, the junior member of the Bush family brings the entire raft of abilities from the Heritage II Connect into a highly practical device. Where the original is a tabletop device to be permanently positioned somewhere in the home, this new unit can be shifted from room to room to patio as required — leave its mains pack in its most common location to keep it charged, then enjoy a quoted 10 hours of battery playback elsewhere before it returns to base.
The smaller unit is available in the same real woodgrain or kitchen cream gloss finishes, and it has two knobs and six buttons compared with the larger unit’s eight — it combines the info, back and menu buttons onto one, which didn’t seem to cause us any confusion. Things weren’t quite as intuitive, however, since the button labels here are not backlit, and while they’re clear enough in daylight, they might cause grandma a few problems in lower light situations.
If you take the P1 outside the range of your Wi-Fi network, you lose access to internet radio, Spotify, network streaming and app control, of course, but you still have a DAB+, FM and Bluetooth unit which will work as well in the car, at the park or on holiday as it does at home.
As for its sound, this unit is of course significantly smaller — less than half the physical volume of the larger unit — and so doesn’t project with quite the full-bodied confidence of its big brother. But it nevertheless delivers bigger and more room-filling sound than you might expect from its size, and can even hold its own outdoors. However we weren’t keen on its default sound signature — we thought it very fizzy in the higher frequencies, a trait noted in the larger unit on some internet radio fare, but here being a characteristic across the different sources. Happily you can tweak EQ settings, and switching the EQ from ‘Normal’ to ‘Flat’ was an easy fix for our taste on this smaller unit (we also tried a custom setting which allows bass, treble and loudness adjustment, see grab above right), and we often adopted a noncritical off-axis listening position to soften the occasional excesses further. Given only $50 between the two units, the sonic value is undoubtedly in the larger unit. But if you’re after portability at home and away, the P1 delivers the same impressive abilities in a battery-powered package.