Aperion Aris: An exclusive hands-on look at the first wireless speaker for Windows

It’s finally out, read our full review of the Aperion Aris speakers. 

We had an opportunity to stop by Aperion Audio’s Tualatin, OR-based headquarters to get an exclusive look and listen to the new Aperion Aris wireless speaker system. If you missed our story on the Aperion Aris, you can read it here, but here’s a more comprehensive look at the Aris:

The Aperion Aris is being billed as the first wireless speaker to be compatible with Windows 7 and, eventually, Windows 8. Many are analogously referring to it as the Windows version of Airplay, but the speaker’s capabilities go further than that. More on that in a moment.

After linking the Aris to a WiFi router, any Windows PC on the network running Windows 7 or later can instantly stream music wirelessly to the speaker using Window’s built-in “Play to” feature. That is, in and of itself, fairly impressive; but as we learned during our visit with Aperion’s product manager, Mike Hopkins, the Aris is poised to become one of the most versatile wireless speakers available on the market.

When Windows 8 officially arrives, the Aris will be ready to take advantage of some of the new operating system’s advanced features. Most notably, Windows 8 will reportedly allow streaming of audio through its “play to” feature from any web page writted in HTML 5. While Microsoft isn’t confirming or denying anything at the moment, we know that could include sites like Pandora, YouTube and Spotify. Since Aperion has been working closely with Microsoft for Windows 8 certification, it is entirely possible that the Aperion Aris could wind up being one of the very first Windows 8 certified devices.

Presently, an Android app is also available which will let users stream music from their Android phones directly to the speaker. The same app also allows remote control of shared music from any PC on the network as well. Aperion indicated in its press release that an iPhone app was also under development, so we asked whether that meant the Aris will eventually support AirPlay as well. As it turns out, it will. Aperion expects to have an AirPlay card available sometime this year which will allow iOS devices to stream music to the Aris as well.

Such versatility is a product of the Aris’ design. Rather than bury the wireless technology within the speaker’s machined aluminum enclosure, Aperion has designed the speaker to accept a PMCIA-style card with the wireless tech built in. The card that will be included with the speaker when it is expected to ship in June is designed for Windows compatibility, but when the AirPlay card comes available it is expected it could be purchased on its own or in a bundle with the speaker.

We were able to put our hands and ears on the Aperion Aris during our visit and, generally speaking, we were quite impressed. From an aesthetic standpoint, we like that the piece looks like classy speaker as opposed to a lunch box or blimp. It looks sleek and modern without trying too hard. From an audio standpoint, what we heard indicates that the Aris will compete very nicely against its like-priced competition. Bass was powerful without being overbearing and extended well into the 50-60Hz neighborhood, giving it the feel of a full sized speaker system. Midrange clarity was excellent. We found that the Aris’ enclosure held up well against the force of the bass frequencies and avoided coloring up the vocal range. High frequency response was classic Aperion with plenty of detail and sparkle without ever shouting at you.

Though our listening experience was with a production sample, all indications from Aperion are that the final product will sound the same. We’ll hold out for our review sample before offering our final word but, so far, it would seem Aperion has a really solid product on its hands.

Check out our video and photos for an up-close look at the new Aperion Aris.

Product Review

It sounds like a Sonos, but the Beam pulls one trick none of its siblings can

Sonos makes really good surround sound speakers for home theaters, but they’re expensive. A cheaper model with great sound would be a win. The Sonos Beam is that speaker, but were too many corners cut to make a more affordable product?
Trash

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Trash

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Trash

Six sensational subwoofers that will shake any room on any budget

Whether you're a film buff or a music junkie, sometimes you just need to go lower. Luckily, we've put together a guide to the best subwoofers, so you can feel your favorite movies instead of just hearing them.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Amazon’s free Spotify competitor is here. Just ask Alexa

Just ask Alexa to play your favorite song. Amazon has launched a free, ad-based music streaming service to compete with Spotify's free tier on its popular Echo devices, aiming to bolster subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited.
Product Review

Now that every speaker has Alexa, don't you want the best? Get the Sonos One

To compete in the smart speaker space, Sonos could have just made a better-sounding Alexa speaker. But the company has a reputation to uphold, and went much further. Our Sonos One Review reveals how Sonos does Alexa better than Amazon.
Deals

Walmart deal drops the price of the 55-inch TCL 4K Roku smart TV to just $338

Was last weekend's Game of Thrones streaming experience lacking? Look no further than this 55-inch TCL TV, which features built-in Roku functionality, and can be had at Walmart for just $338.
Music

YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. What's changed, and should you subscribe?

Thanks to Google, YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. We explain what exactly a YouTube Premium subscription gets you, how much it costs, and break down if it's a good choice for you.
Deals

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for April 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Netflix vs. Hulu: Which streaming service is right for you?

Netflix and Hulu are two of the biggest names in streaming entertainment. Our guide will help you decide which streaming service has the content you want and the best value for your limited budget.
Deals

Get some bud-green Master and Dynamic wireless headphones for $50 off this 420

Looking for the best possible audio experience to pair with your favorite herb? Master and Dynamic has announced a special 420 edition of its gorgeous on-ear and over-ear headphones, which will be available for $50 off this 4/20.