Three words you’ll rarely read in the same sentence are audiophile, wireless and battery. That’s about to change, as the Atlanta based company Audality aims for a home audio trifecta. They’ve invented an audiophile-grade wireless audio protocol called WiC which accompanies a new line of battery powered wireless speakers. Not only does it simplify a stereo setup, it can sound better than other wireless solutions. And with no wires to worry about — not even power cables — speakers can be placed anywhere.
“Our WiC® technology is a game changer in the wireless audio equipment market. It was created to marry the portability of wireless audio with true audiophile sound. Over the years, Bluetooth systems have increased portability, but significantly sacrificed audio quality. We give consumers both convenience and extraordinary audio, simultaneously.”
Paul Raley, CEO of Audality
At the heart of their solution is a new wireless 24-bit audio technology called WiC (short for Wireless Audio Communication) capable of sending/receiving uncompressed music. It’s not Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It’s supposed to be better. Not only better sounding, but be easier to setup. Although it does require an extra USB transmitter, the receiving unit is built-in to the speakers. Upon successful pairing, WiC establishes a private 2.4 GHz network between a source device (computer, smartphone, CD player) and speakers. Range is supposed to be even greater than Bluetooth or Wi-Fi at up to 500 feet line-of-sight, though less through walls.
There are currently four speakers in Audality’s S Series line-up and a fifth one on the way (S9, the biggest one). Speakers can be bought individually, or as left/right stereo pairs. As an audiophile, it’s the stereo setup that intrigues me most. Can they really get the synchronization right over a wireless connection? We’ll have to wait an see until we test them.
The built-in battery is one of the unique elements to Audality’s speakers, because that truly means no wires once charged. The speaker need not be tethered to a wire of any type — not even a power cable. There’s no wire between speakers either, which is common among other active speakers. Each speaker works independently and contains its own amplifier, crossover and battery. So move them into any room, even outside.
The S Series speakers are constructed with bamboo cabinets, 4-inch ribbon tweeters, 100-watt or 225-watt Class D amplifiers (depending on speaker), high quality woofers and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery claiming over 20 hours of use on a single charge. Crossovers are purely in the digital domain which should maximize efficiency. We’re eager to learn how they sound. Stay tuned.
Audality is not the only player in the wireless audio space, but one of the few to target an audiophile audience with higher quality HD sound. Sonos has been the category leader in whole-home wireless music for years, and WiSA is another new technology for wireless home theater (currently up to 7.1).
Although the Audality brand name is new, the company has been around since 2010 and was previously known as PRA Audio Systems. WiC technology was first proven in the professional audio market through a wireless solution for electric guitar players. Now it’s being applied to home audio for the first time.
WiC could be licensed to other brands. In a call with Paul Raley, Founder of Audality and inventor of WiC, he said their goal as a company is to be a supplier to other OEM’s (original equipment manufacturer). So there’s a chance we’ll see more WiC compatible speakers in 2021.
Price & Availability
- S1 $399/each or $749/pair
- S3 $599/each or $1149/pair
- S5 $899/each or $1749/pair
- S7 $1299/each or $2549/pair
- S9 TBD, available Q2 2021
|$399 each||$599 each||$899 each||$1299 each|
|Frequency Response||55Hz-15kHz, |
|Maximum Output||110 dB @ 1m||112 dB @ 1m||121 dB @ 1m||121 dB @ 1m|
|Power||100W continuous (class D)||100W continuous (class D)||225W continuous (class D)||225W continuous (class D)|
|Drivers (each speaker)||–||4” ribbon tweeter||4” ribbon tweeter||4” ribbon tweeter|
|4” woofers (x2)||6” woofer||–||6” woofer|
|–||–||10” woofer||10” woofer|
(per full charge)
|20 hrs||20 hrs||20 hrs||20 hrs|
|Dimensions||12” X 6” X 7.25”|
(30.5 x 15.2 x 18.4 cm)
|14” X 6.5” X 8.25”|
(35.6 x 16.5 x 21 cm)
|17” x 9.625” x 12” |
(35.9 x 15.6 x 21.3 cm)
|Height: 24.25” (61.6 cm)|
Base: 14” x 10” (35.6 x 25.4 cm) Top: 11.25” x 8.25” (28.6 x 21 cm)
|14.75 lbs. |
|Transmitter||All speakers come with HD Audio Transmitter|
Transmits up to 4 speakers
Transmits to left/right stereo pairs
|Enclosure Material||Bamboo, 12mm thick|
|Transmission Range||Up to 100 meters. |
Superior wall penetration
|Battery Information||3,000 or 6,000 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery|
20+ hours of battery life per charge
Battery life gauge on cabinet rear panel
Full charge in 2 hours from empty
|Connectivity Information||Simple one-touch connectivity |
Automatic radio channel selection
|Certifications||FCC, Europe, Industry Canada, Australia/NZ|
|Included Accessories||Wall Charger (24V)|
USB-A HD audio transmitter iOS or Android phone adapter