Can Definitive Technology bring audiophile sound to multi-room speakers?

definitive technology unveils multi room speakers w family def tech
These days, multi-room speakers are like the audio version of the ice-bucket challenge: Everybody has to do it. Still, if we’re going to be inundated with the Sonos-style systems, we’d prefer it be by audio pros like Definitive Technology. The company unveiled its new Play-Fi-based system today, calling it the “first audiophile-grade wireless music system.”

Related: Up close with LG’s new Music Flow multi-room speaker system

Like Sonos, Denon, Samsung, LG, and Bose (… you get the picture), Def Tech’s new system offers users unified control over any of the included components connected to their Wi-Fi network, from a single app. Users can listen to music from their phone or PC, as well as Internet radio services like Pandora and Spotify, on any speaker on the network throughout the home, without latency. And the company also claims its pieces make no compromises in utilizing the famed Def Tech audio prowess.

Additionally, just like Polk Audio’s new wireless speaker system, users can add any Play-Fi-enabled components to the party at any time, even those that aren’t from the Definitive Technology lineup. That’s because Play-Fi’s open platform design leverages Wi-Fi to stream high-quality audio.

Related: Samsung unveils its baby Shape M3 multi-room speaker

There are five components in Definitive Technology’s capricious new family, listed as follows:

  • W7 wireless speaker ($399) — Not much is known about this little speaker, only that it’s “ultra-compact,” and fairly pricy, targeted at those who want awesome sound squeezed into small spaces.
  • W9 wireless speaker ($699) — Promising “exceptional dynamic range and extraordinary bass response,” the W9 isn’t for the casual listener; it’s built for those who know their sound. Apart from larger drivers than the W7, the speaker also offers “Tri-Polar” dispersion to send the audio in three directions and saturate the room with sound.
  • W Studio sound bar and subwoofer ($1,300) — While 13 Benjamins is pretty spendy for a sound bar, the system boasts hi-res audio capability (though sample and bit rates aren’t yet disclosed) as well as a chic aluminum accented frame, and HDMI switching to handle your audio and video components. Other features include Def Tech’s Spatial Array virtual surround, and a powerful downward-firing sub.
  • W Adapt ($399) — Similar to Polk Audio’s new system, the W Adapt is designed to allow your current system to jump into the wireless fray, offering both digital and analog connections to get your aging system on the network. Other inputs include an Aux input for a Blu-ray player or cable box, digital outputs to connect to a receiver, and an optical audio input to connect to a TV. It also includes a rack-mount kit for more professional setups.
  • W Amp ($499) — With a claimed 150 watts of power per stereo channel, and “audiophile-grade” sound quality, the W Amp is designed to bring your speakers into the streaming game over Play-Fi with style. The amp comes with its own utility app for EQ adjustment, line level ins and outs, a subwoofer output, and a rack-mounting kit.

Riding somewhere between old-school audio engineering, and the new multi-room speaker craze, Definitive Technology’s new Play-Fi-based system looks poised to make some waves. The pieces will be available for pre-order starting September 10, and are due to hit stores on October 5.


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