Technics’ gorgeous new compact speaker is a powerhouse of audio tech

technics ottava s sc c50 compact speaker system

For years, the general wisdom when it comes to speakers is that if you want bigger sound, you’re going to need bigger speakers. Lately, companies have been proving that isn’t always true. In this case, Technics, a brand you likely recognize from its turntables, has debuted is Ottava S SC-C50 compact speaker system at the High End 2018 audio show in Munich, Germany, and it looks like good things come in small packages after all.

The SC-C50 is a 3.1-channel unit, featuring three midrange drivers, three tweeters, and one subwoofer crammed into a compact package. The system uses speakers aimed to the left and right as well as center speakers to produce rich stereo sound, while a “directivity control horn” reduces interference, making for wider stereo imaging. Technics says that the system’s tweeters can produce up to 50kHz, far beyond the hearing range of your average human.

The system also supports hi-res audio, including PCM formats like WAV and FLAC up to 384kHz/24-bit as well as DSD in 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz formats. The speaker system also offers Spotify, Deezer, and Tidal on tap, as well as internet radio. Bluetooth is supported as well, making it easy to play a few songs from your phone.

Like many speakers we see released these days, the SC-C50 supports Chromecast built-in, making for easy multiroom streaming via Wi-Fi. Even better, if another speaker connected to the same network supports Google Assistant, you can use voice control to control playback and other functions on the Ottava S SC-C50.

One of the problems with compact speaker systems can be that they sound good in certain places, but they don’t sound good everywhere. To fix this issue, Technics has introduced Space Tune, which optimizes the speaker based on the room it’s in. Three presets let you easily start off based on where the speaker is mounted, but a built-in microphone lets the speaker system automatically adjust various settings based on what it hears in the room.

The Technics Ottava S SC-C50 is expected to arrive in the U.S. in October, though so far no pricing information is available. If you’re not sure what type of speaker is best for you, start with a look at our guide to the various types of speakers you can buy.