In the last few years, wireless speakers have exploded onto the scene with prices ranging from sub-$100 utility speakers up to a few thousand dollars for large home theater packages. A fairly new competitor, Wren, is trying to place itself in the ever more lucrative high-end bookshelf market. With a lineup of 3 wireless speakers priced at $399 each, the company is trying to take some attention away from the current leader, Sonos. Having spent a bit of time with the V5PF, the model intended for use with Android devices, I'm definitely impressed with the quality and looks, but the control app turned out to be a disappointment in an otherwise fantastic package. Read More
Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth? It's a question that most audiophiles have answered resoundingly when it comes to wireless sound: Wi-Fi, of course. Uncompromised fidelity (from the original audio source), more stable connection, fewer interruptions, and did I mention fidelity? In the last year or two, though, we've basically seen Wi-Fi speakers pushed into a corner of the market, as a niche product, while ever more ubiquitous Bluetooth speaker systems have taken the lead.
The reason for this is quite simple: Wi-Fi is hard, Bluetooth is easy. And not just in the setup sense, but in terms of actual audio playback. Wi-Fi speaker systems, like the well-known Sonos, are basically limited to whatever kind of functionality Sonos decides to implement as part of its player software. Read More