I appreciate the simplicity of technology. That is, to be able to turn a new device on and get it to work with minimal effort. I also appreciate the sleekness of that device, its portability and its capabilities. Pioneer accomplishes all of this with its line of Wireless Sound System Speakers, the XW-SMA1, XW-SMA3 and the XW-SMA4. Each Wi-Fi Speaker System offers similar functions with added features. The A1 features dual 3-inch speakers and a ¾-inch soft dome tweeter and uses a tuned bass reflex port to enhance bass response. The A3 uses identical audio components as the A1, but this model version adds a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery and a tough exterior for added convenience and portability. The A4 features five speakers, including dual 3-inch speakers, a dedicated 4-inch subwoofer and dual ¾-inch soft dome tweeters.
I focused on the A3 for the rechargeable battery option and love its portability. You don’t have to plug it in and can pick it up and move it from room to room. I’m a minimalist and can’t stand seeing wires coming off tables. With the A3, you have a clean presentation on your end table or nightstand. It’s slick, not too large and offers a great sound. It will blend in well with your apartment or dorm room. When you want to move it from one room to another, you can pick it up from a recessed handle in the back of the speaker. The weight of the speaker (7lbs) also makes transition from room to room a smooth process. Another nice feature of the recessed handle is that it can serve as a storage area for the small remote control that comes with the speaker.
Next, let’s talk about connectability. I’m an Apple loyalist. I use my iPhone and iPad religiously in my household. My biggest pet peeve with both devices though has been the sound quality. One can only get so much volume out of his iPad, and I don’t like using headphones with my iPhone when I listen to music. Thus, I’m either listening to music on my iMac or tapping into my roommate’s music box. With the A3, I can connect three different ways, (1) Through a wireless network in my household using my Airport Extreme (2) A direct wireless connect to the speaker or (3) A hardwire connection to the speaker. I tested all three connection methods. The hardwire connection where you can use your iPhone/iPad charger chord and connect directly through a port in the back of the speaker is a very quick and easy solution. The problem is, you are dealing with wires again and if you are not big on wires (like me), it is not the best option. With a little more effort, you can make a direct Wi-fi connection between your device and the speaker. This method works out perfectly. The connectivity is a gem for your device. However, if you have a direct device to speaker connection, you must first download a movie onto your Ipad in order to utilize the speaker.
If you are on the Mac side, such as myself, I found networking with my airport extreme to be a bit challenging. However, once I made the connection, watching a film or Youtube video off my iPhone and iPad was quite enjoyable. The speaker performed perfectly. The sound quality was amazing and the movie viewing experience was very much enhanced by this Pioneer product. All three speaker models were specially tuned by renowned Pioneer sound engineer Andrew Jones to provide high volume output with excellent sound quality, and it shows.
For a college student, the price of these speakers is a serious commitment, but if you want quality and connectivity, you got to pay for it. The A1 will set you back at $299.00. While the A3 and A4 each costs $399.00. Divide the A3 or A4 cost by 12 months, and you are looking at $33.25/month (that’s about 8 lattes at the coffee house per month) to pay for an investment in your future. That is, excellent sound for your dorm room or apartment.
For more information, visit pioneerelectronics.com