Check out our full review of the Aperion Aris speakers.
It’s only been four months, but it seems like it’s been ages since we paid Aperion Audio a visit for some hands-on experience with what would eventually become the first “Windows 8 Certified Compatible” wireless speaker. Now, according to a recent announcement, the Aperion Aris has officially received its stamp of approval from Microsoft and will begin shipping to customers starting today.
Rather than add to a glut of Apple AirPlay-compatible speakers, Aperion opted to work directly with Microsoft to create a product that would take advantage of some of the new features Windows 8 will bring to PCs and mobile devices. Aperion highlights the Windows “play to” feature, which allows users to “right click” on a music track and immediately start streaming to the speaker over a wireless network. But word on the street is that audio from any web page based on HTML 5 can be streamed to compatible devices through Internet Explorer as well. That means Pandora, Spotify, and a host of other web-based audio sources would qualify too. The Aris is also compatible with Windows 7, but Windows 8 compatibility — which Aperion could not comment on officially — promises additional features.
But the Aris hasn’t necessarily hitched its wagon exclusively to Windows 8 and the various PCs, phones and tablets it is installed on. Aperion has already released an Android app that will stream music from Android devices to the Aris and will soon be introducing an iOS app which will do the same for iPods, iPhones and iPads.
Additionally, since the Aris is built to accept interchangeable wireless cards, Aperion is working on developing add-ons that expand the Aris’ functionality. We spoke to Ed de la Fuente, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Aperion, who said, “We put all of the Aris networking protocol in the wireless card that is included with the Aris Speaker to make it a future proof purchase for the digital music lover. This enables the consumer to change out the networking hardware, if their needs change, without having to buy a new speaker system. We expect to be shipping an AirPlay version of the Aris Wireless Speaker in Q1 2013, and a Bluetooth version soon also.”
While we have had a chance to briefly listen to the Aris in action (and thought it sounded very good), we have yet to put the speaker through its paces, so we’ll reserve judgement on whether it justifies an asking price that’s in the same league as Klipsch’s G-17 Air or Bowers & Wilkins’ forthcoming A5. We’ll know soon enough, as our review sample should arrive shortly. Check back in with Digital Trends for our detailed review.