If you’re in the market for a wireless sound system, you’ll definitely want to check out the speaker lineup from Definitive Technology. The company offers a variety of wireless speaker systems which connect to your Wi-Fi network to provide high quality audio in every room of your home.
I recently got my hands on a selection of their speakers for review, and the first ones I’ll be checking out are the W7 ($399 USD) and W9 ($699), both self-contained sound systems that work well on a bookshelf or tabletop. The W9 is the larger of the two, offering six drivers, and a total of 180 watts of amplification. The smaller W7 has five drivers and 90 watts of power.
Both speakers offer a clean and minimal modern design aesthetic that should look good just about anywhere. Their cabinets are quite substantial, wrapped on all sides with black grille cloth, and a shiny piano black lid with Definitive’s “D” logo embossed into it. It may look great, though I’m not a fan of piano black plastic, it’s a notorious fingerprint, dust and scratch magnet. A small control pod sits at the front right of the matte metallic base, providing volume, play/pause, and input selector buttons. Around back, there are inputs for USB sources, Ethernet for wired networks, and optical and 3.5mm auxiliary inputs.
The W9’s speakers push sound out front and across the sides using a pair of 1″ tweeters up front, two 2″ full range drivers on the sides, and a pair of 5-1/4″ woofers up front. The smaller W7 has a 4″ mid/bass driver and two 1″ tweeters up front, two 1″ tweeters on the sides, and passive bass radiators on the sides.
Sound quality from the W9 is excellent, offering up big, room filling sound and wall-shaking bass. This speaker’s sweet spot starts once you’re about 40% up the volume range, but once you get there, it’s pretty awesome all the way to the peak volume level, with absolutely no distortion I could discern. If there’s any color to the sound, it’s one of warmth and smoothness, so it’s very pleasing to the ear. That said, if you like shrill or overly bright high end, that’s not part of its repertoire.
The W7 doesn’t push out the sort of enormous volume its bigger brother is capable of. It is, however, a very good speaker, offering crisp and clean sound without taking up much space at all, and it offers a surprising amount of low end for its size. Again, no perceptible distortion even the highest volume level, which was loud enough to fill a 15′ x 15′ room at good level for a party.
Both speakers use the same Definitive Technology App to pair with your Wi-Fi network and access music services. You can play tracks from your device’s local music library, from a media server on your network, or stream from services including Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL, Rhapsody, Pandora, SiriusXM and more.
Streaming is built on DTS’ Play-Fi tech, which works well for streaming multi-room audio, but there’s no support for AirPlay, so if you want to stream from other apps not on the list, you’re out of luck. There’s still a good variety of audio sources available, so this really isn’t that big of a concern.
Definitive Technology has made a duo of excellent speakers, both of which could easily form the foundation of a whole home audio system, with the smaller W7 ideal for your bedroom or kitchen, and the W9 better suited to the living room or dining room. In the coming weeks, I’ll be taking a look at the W Studio Micro, their wireless 3.1 home theater system, as well as their Symphony 1 wireless noise-cancelling headphones. Keep your eyes peeled for more details.