July 22, 2014

Wren Sound Systems PlayFi V5PF review

wren_speakers

Overall Score

4.72

Build Quality

Sound Quality

Bass, Treble, etc.

Warranty

Connectivity

Volume Range w/ Clarity

This product features great audio quality and build quality, but the price gives us pause.
Wren Sound Systems PlayFi V5PF review Reviewed by on . Rating: 4.5

When I first got the opportunity to review the Wren Sound Systems PlayFi, I was  skeptical of the build and audio quality of this speaker. Yes, even with the hefty price tag. With many families dealing with tough financial times, this likely won’t the first speaker that you’ll opt for if you’re on a tight budget. But, it’s not about the price.

Let me be clear on something, if you’re looking for a basic Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone for on the go usage, this isn’t your product, their are many great alternatives for those looking for portable solutions for under $100. This is an excellent replacement for your living room/entertainment room sound system. The sound works just as well as those big clunky giant speakers that you’ve purchased for your entertainment room. This is a man cave must-have!

First Impressions

This speaker system is beautiful. It looks like something from 2006, (in a good way, not the old decrepit ‘time to go’ way), that you just can’t live without. Maybe it’s just the grey fabric over the speaker, or the accents, curves, and design – whatever it is, I found it pure perfection.

wren_colors

Color Choices

You have two color options, stylish “Bamboo” which gives you a classic look -or- the ever-so-amazing “Rosewood”.

Setup

When initially setting the system up, I had a difficult time connecting. I knew beforehand that this device used Wi-Fi but completely forgot; I tried to connect it via Bluetooth. The device connects via WiFi WPS Setup, which for me was somewhat difficult for the first few tries. However, once it was set up, everything was good to go. Note that standard auxiliary port is on the back and you can immediately hook up this way.

Since the speaker works with Wi-Fi this means that you won’t have to deal with Bluetooth. On the plus side, once you’re connected, you’re done. But, on the other hand I really wish this model also had Bluetooth so visitors can play music on the Wren speaker.

The speaker has a built in USB Port for charging; the Android version even comes with miniUSB and microUSB cables included for you.

Wireless Range

This device utilized Wi-Fi so feel free to roam your house anywhere you have a WiFi connection with your smartphone in your pocket. A great plus is that this utilizes your local Wi-Fi network, so that means no buffering or quality loss.

Audio Quality

wren_soundSimply amazing. I was very skeptical because many products in this price range are simply overpriced because of their brand without the quality to back it. This feels almost as if you have a band in your house, yes, that good. Movie theater good. It really fills up your house with amazing audio.

The bass and treble are perfect with this speaker, and trust me, I don’t say that often. You can easily hear every instrument and sound effect that plays a part in whatever song you’re listening to, something you often miss on even some of the best speakers.

This speaker is great for smaller homes and apartments. The spectacular sound quality really makes you feel like you’re in your local movie theater all by yourself in a nice front row seat, playing your music from your smartphone, uh huh, that spectacular. It’s the best sound quality I’ve ever heard in a consumer product. Many have used this speaker for their HDTVs as this really enhances the sound. It’s like transferring from standard box TV’s to 1080P HDTVs but for audio.

Price Tag

Well, this speaker is priced at a whopping $399 with free shipping on all WREN speakers to the United States & Canada. This is a truly amazing speaker, something you have to really experience in person, which I can’t stress enough. This isn’t “good” sound, this is pure, clear, and amazing quality. I’ll be honest: this is worth it for those who want to invest in a sound system like this.

Downsides

Downsides are the lack of Bluetooth support, price tag, and lack of full streaming support. The PlayFi model plays locally saved music from it’s application, Pandora, and other audio via DLNA, some audio such as YouTube video audio isn’t yet supported. You could work around this “problem” and buy a Bluetooth aux-in adapter, but if you’re going to invest $400 on a speaker as greatly built as this one. you shouldn’t have to pay any more than you’ve already invested.

Overview

While I really love this speaker, the price tag really gives me pause. If you have the extra money, or are looking to replace your existing sound system, then I’d go for it. The sound is simply spectacular. There are a few things missing from a device like this such as Bluetooth support and only playing locally saved music stinks. We need to correct a mistake previously published, this device does support DLNA & Pandora streaming, with more support coming soon.

If you are looking for a high end system and don’t mind the price, you’ll buy this and never regret the decision.

This will be the perfect sound system for your ‘Man Cave’.

Purchase Info:

For a full view of WREN Speaker models, check out Wren’s website, ($399).