Hi-Fi Corner: Slim down your sound with Def Tech’s W Studio Micro sound bar
The entire sound bar category is predicated around the idea of creating big sound from a small package in an effort to enhance your home theater experience without cluttering up the room. But there’s small, and then there’s the new W Studio Micro from Definitive Technology. At a mere 1.75 inches tall, this sleek slab of aluminum is crafted into an ambassador of sound that strikes what is, quite possibly, the smalles sound bar profile available.
Def Tech has packed this micro bar with plenty of weapons in an effort to bring you powerful sound in a tiny package. Inside the compact cabinet, the 3.1 channel bar boasts seven discreetly powered drivers, including a four-pack of 3 x 1-inch midrange drivers along with three 1-inch aluminum dome tweeters to better present the finer details of the left, right, and center channels. The top panel is made of military-grade aluminum in an effort to offer more rigidity for less distortion as well as to offer heat dissipation from the amplifiers.
The slim bar is countered with a hefty wireless sub, built around Def Tech’s familar block design, and armed with an 8-inch down-firing cone that promises to cover the bottom end with rigid pressure for musical delivery of big-time bass. The full system fetches a price of $900 — definitely not a drop in the bucket, though we’ve enjoyed previous high-end iterations from the brand, including the Solo Cinema Studio, which is worth its hefty price for serious listeners
However, the W Studio Micro has a few more tricks up its sleeve. The bar supports DTS’ open Play-Fi platform, a DLNA-based Wi-Fi system that allows for multi-room sound in the tradition of Sonos speakers. But unlike Sonos, Play-Fi works with a variety of speaker manufacturers, including Polk, Wren, Paradigm, Martin Logan, Harman Kardon, and others, all of which can work together, or separately, to source music from smartphones, storage devices, and tablets throughout the home over a single app. The Play-Fi system even supports hi-res audio files, Spotify Connect, Sirius XM, and Pandora, though Apple Music isn’t supported at present.
As for hardwired connections, the W Studio Micro offers dual optical inputs, though we were surprised to find Def Tech doesn’t mention any analog or HDMI connections, meaning, among other things, that the system doesn’t incorporate ARC support to automatically follow your TV remote’s basic commands. That’s something we usually expect from a bar just shy of the $1,000 line, but given its multiroom functionality, we’ll give it a pass.
Other features for the bar include three DSP modes, Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, and DTS certification, so it should have the digital chops to handle your Blu-rays in style, though whether or not it can offer powerful sound that avoids the tinny tendencies of small profile bars remains to be seen. We are, however, very interested to find out.
If you’re sold on this remarkably small and stylish system, you can pre-order the W Studio Micro today for delivery in October at Def Tech’s website, as well as select retailers including Best Buy, Amazon, Magnolia, and Crutchfield.
A version of this post first appeared on our “brother site” Digital Trends.