Wireless speakers have gotten much better than they used to be in recent years, following a long period when portability seemed to be the most important aspect, often at the expense of sound quality. That now seems to be changing, as recently a number of companies have begun opting for the best sound possible in a small package instead of a rugged outer build.
With its new Sonica wireless speaker, Oppo Digital is the latest company to offer a high-quality speaker in a smaller package, though in this case, the company hasn’t been in the speaker business until now. Even so, given what we’ve seen from some of the company’s audio products in the past, we’re definitely excited.
The acoustic design of the Sonica was handled by Igor Levitsky, who also happens to be the designer behind Oppo’s PM series of planar magnetic headphones. We’ve had the opportunity to review multiple models of those headphones, and walked away impressed each time.
The Sonica features two 15-watt amplifiers powering two 3.5-inch woofers and a pair of 3-inch bass radiators, but it doesn’t stop there. The speaker features two additional 10-watt amplifiers — for a total of four — powering two wide-band drivers. The speaker operates in a 2.1 configuration on its own, but two Sonica units can be paired for wider stereo.
Unlike headphones, speakers are affected by the room surrounding them, so the Sonica features built-in presets to tailor the sound to different room types, speaker positions, and listening preferences. All of these are controlled using the free companion app, available for both iOS and Android.
The Sonica offers Bluetooth connectivity, but also features Wi-Fi, including AirPlay. The built-in support for multiple streaming services seen in other speakers isn’t here, but the Sonica can handle high-resolution audio files up to 24-bit / 192 kHz in FLAC, WAV, and Apple Lossless formats. Audio can come from a number of different sources, including USB drives, DLNA servers, or NAS drives, with multiple built-in antennae and MIMO technology for the best wireless signal possible.
The Sonica is available now, and sells for $300. For more information or to purchase the speaker, see the Oppo Digital website.