Remember when Sony was king of electronics? While it reined on high in the 80’s, a series of missteps (and a healthy dose of South Korean competition) has put the tech titan on its heels. Sony is attempting to get some of its mojo back, however, with a new emphasis on hi-res audio. It is that ambition that spawned the company’s SRS-X9 wireless speaker, a luxurious brick of glass and aluminum loaded with top notch components, and priced to impress at a whopping $700.
While the sticker is certainly shocking, Sony has put together an impressive piece of electronics in the X9. The gleaming top panel reflects lower models in its wireless speaker lineup, but the X9 stands alone with a host of premium accents, including golden halos around a pair of super tweeters on the top panel, brushed aluminum side panels, and a magnetically-attached speaker screen that can be removed to reveal five active drivers and two passive radiators under the hood.
The system is powered by a monstrous 154 watts of claimed power from 8 individual digital amplifiers, and it’s one of the few truly hi-res wireless speakers we’ve encountered, offering playback of digital WAV and FLAC files at up to 192kHz/24 bit resolution. In addition, the X9 is designed to upscale your lower resolution files through a suite of digital sound processing (DSP). Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connection supporting both DLNA and Airplay, along with dual USB ports.
As for the sound, the X9 is strikingly clear, providing lucid transparency for the midrange and top end to dig up the finest details – though it does have a bit of bite. Bass isn’t as large and in charge as you might hope from a speaker at this price, but it does provide a hefty punch for its size. Speaking of hefty, this thing is as solid as it is elegant, packing over 10 pounds into its 17 x 5-inch frame.
Those looking for a speaker that is strikingly accurate, and relentlessly elegant will want to take a look at the SRS-X9 for themselves.
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