Hitachi Smart Wi-Fi Speakers Review:
Speakers provide crisp, clean sound without wire clutter.
I love Bluetooth speakers. They have become one of my favorite accessories for my mobile devices and laptop. I really love being able to amplify the sound from my devices without having to attached any cables. This is also one of the reasons I really love over-the-air play technologies like Apple’s AirPlay. There are a lot of product developers that are picking up this technology and packaging it with their products. One such developer is Hitachi.
Hitachi has a really nice line of speakers called the Smart Wi-Fi series. There are three sizes of speakers – W50, W100, and W200 – and each one can be connected together through Qualcomm’s AllPlay technology. The neat thing about these speakers is that they can play the same music or different music throughout your home. The main differences in the three speakers, besides their physical sizes, is the size of the amplifier. The W50 has a 10-watt Class D Amplifier, while the other two sizes have a 12-watt, and 22-watt Class D Amplifier respectively.
I’ve had the privilege over the past couple of weeks of testing out two of these three speakers – the W50 and the W200. Both provide a very nice, rich sound, but the physical size of the speaker really dictates what type of room they should be used in. For example, the larger of the two is great for the bedroom or even the living room. It fills the room nicely with a rich, bright sound. The smaller one (W50) is great for my office. It’s a slightly smaller room and has been a great addition to my office equipment. The sound these speakers provide is really more catered to the music lover than the podcast enthusiast. It works for both, but the tonality of the speaker is really well-suited to music.
Now, I must touch on the Qualcomm AllPlay functionality. First of all, if you have an iOS device, it will work, but isn’t very user-friendly. Several times while using the AllPlay/over-the-air playing feature, the speaker would disconnect and we would have to go through the arduous process of reconnecting it. In addition to the connection issues, when you use the AllPlay feature, you only have access to a handful of streaming options – Aupeo, Rhapsody, Spotify, Napster, TuneIn, Soma FM, and DarFm to name a few. You can use your own library of music, too. For me, my streaming music service of choice is either iTunes Music or Pandora. Neither of those options are available yet through AllPlay and since I don’t keep a lot of music stored on my phone, this function wasn’t something I was getting a lot of use out of.
The Bluetooth functionality, however, is a thriving option. The W50, as I mentioned, has become a permanent feature in my office and is primarily used as a Bluetooth speaker. This is a wonderful option for me because it means I can enjoy the beautiful sound provided by the Hitachi speaker and still not have to connect any wires. Plus, I’ve not had any issues with my phone connecting to it via Bluetooth.
While the streaming options my offer some limits for some users, the Hitachi Smart Wi-Fi speakers provide a clear, crisp sound that very few competitors can rival. They range in price from $130-$200 depending on the size speaker you choose.
For more information, visit http://www.hitachi-america.us/products/consumer/tv/.