Wren Sound Systems today released the first wireless speaker to combine officially certified versions of Apple AirPlay, DTS Play-Fi and aptX Bluetooth. The $499 V5US is an updated version of the V5BT (Bluetooth only) speaker I reviewed last year. The V5US keeps the same look and drivers of the previous model, but adds these enhancements:
- Internal power supply (no more external brick)
- Three-position bass EQ switch to adjust for room boundary effects
- Reset-button (eliminates any need to unplug and re-plug if connection gets weird)
- Upgraded remote (extruded aluminum housing)
- Multi-room, multi-source compatibility – connect up to 8 Wren speakers
- AirPlay, DTS Play-Fi & aptX Bluetooth Compatible
- Spotify Connect available soon as wireless upgrade
- Lossless audio playback
The Wren V5US boasts near-universal device compatibility to enable WiFi streaming from Apple iOS devices, Android devices and PCs running Mac or Windows. For the first time, every household member can wirelessly transmit lossless audio from a wide range of smartphones, tablets and PCs with no impact on sound quality. Users can also connect up to eight different Wren speakers to one network, and enjoy perfectly synchronized music in multiple locations throughout their home or office. The V5US allows listeners to stream music to different zones from a single device as well as allowing multiple users to stream different songs to different rooms via separate mobile devices.
The combination of DTS Play-Fi and Apple AirPlay in a single speaker opens lossless WiFi streaming to a broad array of popular smart devices. Play-Fi works with smartphones and tablets running Android 2.2 and later, PCs running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 and Apple iOS devices (iOS 6.0 and later) with the Play-Fi iOS app. AirPlay works with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with iOS 4.3.3 or later, Mac with OS X Mountain Lion or later and Mac and PC with iTunes 10.2.2 or later. For other smart devices, the V5US offers Bluetooth with CSR aptX.
“In a world of plastic speakers, Wren offers a genuine alternative for those who prefer real wood with rich finishes, subtle curves and sophisticated styling. You’re going to live with it, so we think you should enjoy looking at it,” said Wren’s President and CEO, Mike Giffin.
Price and Availability
The Wren V5US is available now in either almond crème anigre (white) or espresso wenge (black) finishes for $499 at wrensound.com. Although, the V5BT is currently on sale for $250 at Amazon.com.
Wren V5US Technical Specifications
- Dual-band router operates on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
- Intersil D2 Audio DSP controlled stereo class D amplifier with 25 watts-per-channel
of real power
- Three-position Bass EQ switch supports a variety of speaker placement options
- Acoustically inert half-inch internally braced MDF cabinet
- 4mm low durometer silicone pad to stabilize the chassis and absorb cabinet vibration
- Inputs: AirPlay (wireless); Play-Fi (wireless); Bluetooth (wireless); 3.5mm stereo jack
- Switching power supply
- 24V, 2500mA
- Two 3-inch throw drivers with 4-layer voice coils augmented by stereo bass-reflex design
- Two 19mm edge-driven wide dispersion soft dome tweeters
- Height: 6-1⁄8 inches /15.56 cm
- Width: 4-¼ inches /10.79 cm
- Length: 16-5⁄8 inches /42.23 cm
- Weight: 6.6 pounds /2.99 kg