By Alexandra Burlacu | Nov 15, 2012 12:45 PM EST
Pioneer recently launched its A3 XW-SMA3-K wireless speaker system (A3 for short), a new AirPlay speaker system that delivers high-quality stereo sound while minimizing space consumption.
The A3 consists of an all-black, rounded-rectangular prism measuring 12.6 inches in width, 7.1 inches in height, and 5.8 inches in depth. It weighs in at 7 pounds and 11 ounces. The front base unit features several status LEDs on the left, and a strip of touch-sensitive controls on the right.
More specifically, the left side features the LEDs for On, Input, Network, and battery level, while the opposite side houses the actual buttons to toggle some of the statuses on the left (Standby/On and Input). The only touch controls that reside next to the Standby/On and Input are Volume Up and Down. Meanwhile, the rear of the A3 has a built-in handle for carrying the speaker.
The A3 KW-SMA3-K wireless speaker system also comes with a tiny, wireless remote control featuring a Standby/On button, as well as Play/Pause, Previous, Next, and volume buttons.
The A3 also packs a rotatable Wi-Fi antenna, a USB port, an Ethernet port, and a 1/8-inch (3.5mm) auxiliary input. Because the wireless speaker system is also water resistant, all of these ports are covered with stiff, rubber flaps. The A3 is IPX2 rated, i.e. it can withstand vertically dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees. The unit can get wet, but it should be avoided nonetheless. Pioneer warns users not to place the A3 in water, splash it, leave it in the rain, or use it in a humid environment - in other words abuse its water-resistant capacities.
The back of the unit also features a Network Setup button, which allows users to connect the speaker to their home network. To do so, users have to join the A3's self-created network from their computer and configure the system online. With iOS, meanwhile, things get easier: the A3 can inherit the network connection settings of an iOS device. This means that users can connect their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to the A3's USB port, confirm the iOS prompt that they want to allow their device to share its Wi-Fi settings with the speakers, and the A3 is good to go.
Moreover, users can also connect the A3 directly through what Pioneer calls Wireless Direct. This will eliminate the need to join a separate Wi-Fi network.
When it comes to battery life, the A3's built-in, rechargeable battery takes about three hours for a full charge, which will last for up to four hours of playback at full volume, or six hours at 50 percent volume. To conserve battery life, the A3 shuts itself off after an extended period of idle time, whether it's plugged in or not.
Lastly, and most importantly with a speaker system, the A3 delivers high-quality audio performance. The unit packs two three-inch midrange speakers and a single one-inch tweeter, resulting in a good bass performance and a fine overall sound. While higher frequencies are slightly shadowed by over-emphasized lower frequencies, the overall sound remains pleasing. It's not the most amazing audio quality, but for $399 it is satisfactory.
© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.