S5W Review – LOOK DARLING, WIRELESS. BUT NOW FOR REAL / Hifi Video Test
When More Music asked me if I wanted a scoop of Aurender and reviewing their latest product, I naturally thought I had the umpteenth server/player in the house. No, it would be a pair of speakers, wireless. “Yeah, yeah”, I thought. But a scoop is a scoop, and let’s be honest, the products from Aurender are generally very good. We then call this the benefit of the doubt.
We know the South Korean brand Aurender as mentioned from their servers/players/streamers. Colleague Bert Oling has already tested a few, they have appeared several times in the section The hi-fi solution, in short; we are familiar with the Aurender products. Only; they still make servers/players/streamers? Well, it’s a bit more complicated. The Aurender range is quite complete when it comes to playing digital music files. They make music servers without DA converters and with DA converters, in which the music is stored internally and played in cache, they make USB DA converters with built-in amplifiers and they make some format converters (from USB to optical S/PDIF and from USB to electric S/PDIF). Let’s not forget their own app, the Aurender Conductor App, which works particularly well. These Aurender devices together form the Audiophile line.
Then Aurender has the Premium Audio line that consists of a portable USB/DAC and a Chromecast (and more) compatible portable AV unit. The latter line has now been extended with something they have called S5W.
Look before you leap. Logically, the S stands for speaker and the W for Wireless. I just think that it is the fifth iteration of a speaker design by Aurender, which would indicate that these rascals make a decision after careful deliberation. And I strongly suspect that. Because if you are now on the market with a wireless speaker system, I think you give a strong signal. There is quite a bit of competition. Especially when you come with a product like the S5W. It is different than everyone else. If you only take the specifications and
view the system from behind, you run the risk of falling into the trap of presuppositions. I say already now: “Are you considering the S5W? Do not count on the appearance. Or, rather, its format. Or, if you look at the back, unorthodox solutions that Aurender has been
looking for. “Open your mind. Completely wireless?
Now I have to say that I have made a judgment about many things that some people classify as classic. And then they try to be nice. Constricted is a term that I have also heard. But fortunately that does not apply to the full 100% and I can certainly set myself receptive when it comes to music reproduction. I am open to everyone and everything.
Well, as good as. At least for the wireless loudspeakers of this brand. I use them because they are certainly not big with their 220 x 156 x 185 millimeters. The weight is reassuring with 5.2 kilograms. The finish is beautiful in anodized aluminum (in black, red and blue), and the sides act as cooling ribs. At the sight of the back, many of my rock-ridden refugees will at least frown. You see three push buttons.
Fortunately, from shiny metal and not from stupid plastic. One is on/off, the other two for a push of the mid/low and mid/high. The bass port indicates the principle of the design, the antenna says something about the wireless nature. But yes, then you look into a deep hole, in which you have to insert the small plug of the power adapter. That’s weird. It was completely wireless. Or isn’t it?
With battery and dongle Yes it is. What you look at is the hole in which you can insert the optional Bosch 6Ah, 18V BAT622 Lithium Ion Battery. I swear to you, the battery of a screw-driver. How do you get it? The hilarity! Hey, ho; wait a second. Do I now read in the quick start guide that the system is playing 50 hours on the batteries? Hmm.
Well, and that was it also what you see at the back. Furthermore, you will not find any entries on the back. Zero point zero. If you use the Aurender S5W as intended, the power cords are only for when you are charging the batteries and still want to hear music. Charging takes an hour for each battery. This system is really completely wireless. And as far as I am con-cerned, the first of its kind. Because the comparison with stereo switched Bluetooth speakers does not apply here either. Firstly by the retail price of the S5W system, three thousand euros per pair. And secondly, you make contact with the loudspeakers in a very special way. Aurender delivers a dongle at the S5W.
Do you remember? It almost sounds like old school. And that it is for reasons that matter, this solution is taken. Connecting the source, namely a computer, smart-phone or tablet, has never been easier. You connect, with or without an OTG cable, the USB dongle and … ready. Nothing more. No problems with your home network that just is not sufficiënt where you want to listen and no problems with the printer that suddenly no longer works. At least not through these Aurenders. The batteries you have to purchase separately, these are not included in the price.
Anyway, for 250 euros, the importer supplies two batteries and a quick charger. Women’s Acceptance Factor, check Well, suddenly the abbreviation WAF comes to mind. Now a lot of boxes are being ticked off. Small speakers, no wire spaghetti and easy to operate.
Especially after the transition to the batteries. Masculine as a real Bob the Builder you walk through it through your house to finally cautiously caress them in the Aurenders. And then set up The Wall. I listened to the whole album at once, to fall from one bewilderment to the other. Of course you do not have to expect a sublayer, but what comes out is almost three-dimensional, full of dynamism, drafting and finesse. As far as I am concerned, the Aurender S5W is a no-brainer for someone who wants to continue to enjoy both music and his wife. Or she wants to rediscover her library. Then you are screwed… She would take them to her room.
There is only one thing that can throw a spanner in the works and I will have to find peace for that. Listening to the Aurender S5W. These little thunder stones have made me very enthusiastic now. Old school as I am, I start with a session with the DC power adapter. So not entirely without wires. Without giving too much attention to placement, I pop them on my stands where they just fit on and the dongel fires on Apple’s camera adapter cable in my iPhone. It does not deserve a beauty prize and therefore immediately conjures a smile on my face, like: come on guys.
Phenomenal and especially musical image Sorry for my English, but my mouth really fell open. Already at the first notes it becomes clear that we are dealing with a seriously good sounding set here. There is equal image, depth and just quality. I immediately pick up the papers again to read that the dongle passes lossless uncompressed PCM at 16bit/44.1kHz. So CD quality, and there really does not have to be anything wrong with that, is only clear once again. The tweeter is a 1 inch soft dome from Scan Speak and the mid/low unit is a 4.5 inch from Seas. Certainly no rubbish. The frequency range is from 50Hz to 22kHz and the digital crossover is of the fourth order. DSP and class D? It is not specified, but the amplifiers deliver 2×50 Watts. Back to listening. Because Roon now recognizes your phone as a zone, my entire music library unfolds before me and I can fully enjoy myself. Which also happens. Because these Aurender boys are an outright invitation to once again completely root through your music. The musicality is dripping off, and not least the quality that still lurks in the CD. Because it will not be more than the sample rate that is sent by the dongle. I do not miss the 384kHz ‘s, MQA’s and whatever else. And logically also when the quality is normal. It is playing and going. I want to call the image phenomenal, and musically.