Sony targets audiophiles in latest wireless speaker release
By Paul Ridden
March 19, 2014
Sony has announced the immediate availability of three new wireless speaker systems, one of which features support for audiophile-pleasing high resolution audio. The flagship SRS-X9 promises a total output of 154 W, packs Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and offers the company's ClearAudio+ and advanced Digital Sound Enhancement Engine audio modes. The remaining models benefit from an included rechargeable battery for portability.
Sony says that the Definitive Outline design of the new audio throwers, made up of 12 outlines around a box form factor, is specifically geared to generating the most suitable sound wave possible. The "Ultra Premium" SRS-X9 includes support for the lossless FLAC audio format at up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution, which retains more audio detail during the analog-to-digital conversion process. It can also handle high resolution WAV files, as well as AAC and MP3.
S-Master digital amplifiers in a bi-amp configuration power the unit's two 2 W super tweeters to the top, two 0.75-inch front-facing 25 W super tweeters, a pair of 2-inch 25 W midrange drivers and two 3.75-inch 25 W subwoofers. It includes Bluetooth 3.0 with support for the aptX codec , AirPlay and DNLA compatible 802.11b/g Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, and tap-to-play NFC functionality.
Mobile smart devices running a SongPal app are granted access to online streaming services (like the company's own Music Unlimited, or Spotify, for example) as well as thousands of Internet Radio stations.
The Sony SRS-X9 is priced at US$699.99.
The SRS-X7 is a more compact box than the flagship model, and doesn't support playback of high resolution audio. It does come with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC though, and has also been treated to a built-in Li-ion battery that's reported good for up to 6 hours of playback between charges. This model includes two 1.9-inch 8 W full-range drivers and a 2.4-inch 16 W subwoofer, and comes in a good deal cheaper at $299.99.
Cheaper again is the 20 W SRS-X5 at $199.99. It features older Bluetooth 2.1 technology and no Wi-Fi, though NFC does make a showing. This unit should be good for up to 8 hours of continuous playback between charges of its Li-ion battery.