The Sony SRS-X9 wireless speaker sets a new benchmark for compact music systems. Not only AirPlay and Bluetooth compliant, it shines with High-Res Audio files
The Sony SRS-X9 is a full-loaded high-end wireless music system with audiophile aspirations. Part of Sony's burgeoning High Res Audio line, it offers Bluetooth streaming, AirPlay compatibility and local media hook-up. Its principal rivals include the B&W Zeppelin Air, Bose Soundtouch 30 and Dali Kubik Free.
Sony SRS-X9: Size and Build
With a piano black gloss finish and gold ringed tweeters (an indicator of its High Res Audio status within the Sony stable), the SRS-X9 looks nothing if not luxurious. A removable metallic grille hides two 19mm super tweeters, twin 50mm magnetic fluid mid-range drivers and a 94mm subwoofer flanked by two passive radiators.
This barrage is augmented by two additional top plate super-tweeters. The SRS-X9 tips the scales at a reassuringly hefty 4.6kg, not including the pencil remote control.
Sony SRS-X9: Features
Whether you favour iOS or Android, this posh performer will suit. DLNA compliance also means you can stream from PCs and NAS devices over Wi-Fi. An NFC receiver is provided for speedy pairing with NFC compatible devices.
The Bluetooth mobile connection also means you can stream any online music service (Spotify, Deezer, Internet radio). Proprietary DSEE HX processing is used to upscale compressed files.
Sony SRS-X9: Connections
While this is principally a wireless device, there are USB A and B ports on the rear, along with Ethernet and a 3.5mm stereo minijack. A LAN connection is provided for setup via a connected PC, should you not want to use Sony's SongPal app.
Sony SRS-X9: Audio quality
In full wireless flight, the SRS-X9 sounds nothing less than majestic. Those super tweeters reach high without any sense of shriek, and the diddy subwoofer can move prodigious amounts of air.
While compact, the SRS-X9 drops low when it needs too. Peter Tosh's Wanted Dread or Alive bumps and grinds with rude boy swagger, while Classy Dub by Gregory Issacs would rock the very foundations of Notting Hill. This system is certainly not a tinny-tron (Sony gag, forgive us).
While aptX ensures that Bluetooth streaming has reasonable headroom, the system really jolts into life when you hardwire some rock n roll.
We ran an Blu-ray player into a Musical Fidelity V90 DAC, and then took the upscaled analogue audio into the SRS-X9 via the stereo mini jack.
Offering unfettered volume, superb definition and extended dynamics, the SRS-X9 really shows its class in this configuration. With the system's full 45Hz-45Khz frequency range exploitable, DSD 64 stereo files proved a revelation.
Sony SRS-X9: Verdict
Sony has delivered a sensational wireless sound system with the SRS-X9. Superb definition, deep tight bass and a crisp naturalistic mid-range make it a complement to all types of tunes.
The gloss black finish and substantial build are emphatically high-end, and when fed high resolution files, be they DSD or FLAC, the system sounds positively awesome.
Power distribution is spread evenly across the main speaker array at 2x25w apiece, with an additional 2x2w adding some acoustic space through the top facing tweeters. Quite possibly pound for pound the finest sounding wireless speaker system on the market today.
Sony SRS-X9 release date: Out now
Sony SRS-X9 price: £600