One of the currently strongest trends throughout IT market are wireless speakers. These products are becoming increasingly popular, which made every major brand produce their own set of wireless speakers. These are to be used mainly with modern smartphones, which could achieve connection via Bluetooth. Apple has introduced AirPlay streaming technology, which promises to deliver high quality sound over Wi-Fi.
Some speakers feature Bluetooth connectivity, others come with AirPlay functionality, while some feature both. This correlates to a price, as you would imagine. Currently, Bluetooth speakers are the most popular kind, since they can deliver amazing sound quality at reasonable price ($150-$200) and they can be used not only with your iOS device, but with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. These speakers are usually small and light, and they are made to be highly portable. This led to another interesting moment in speaker design and production, which reflected on disappearance of high quality Hi-Fi systems. There are only a few interesting and worthy Hi-Fi speakers, which use traditional dock along with Bluetooth connectivity, and we are going to review one of those products in this article. This Hi-Fi system is called Sound Stack, and is made by Soundfreaq.
Sound Stack is large, sturdy and easily noticeable speaker which could be purchased in standard ($300) and limited edition ($350), which brings the same performance and enhanced visual style. It can be used via Bluetooth, but also features dock with 30-pin connector, which means that it could be used with various generations of iOS products. Sadly, it hasn’t been upgraded with the Lightning port, so you won’t be able to use it with the newest iOS products.
Sound Stack features classical design, with clear-cut lines and striking symmetry. Most new Hi-Fi systems tend to be ultramodern with smooth curvature and exotic design, so it’s refreshing to see something very simple like Sound Stack. As you can see from the pictures, it holds an iPhone or an iPad right in the middle part, while dock is positioned on control bar, where you can find all of the necessary controls like power button, play/pause and such. You’ll also get a small remote which could be magnetically attached to this unit, which is a nice touch. Control bar is black and shiny, and very easily attracts smudges and fingerprints, which I didn’t like at all. Still, you don’t even have to use these controls, since you can control your music right from your iOS device.
Inside, Sound Stack features two full range drivers with two subwoofers, which are all able to produce very loud sound. It also features a technology called UQ3, which enhances sound so it becomes very clear and a bit more acoustic. A very important downside is that sound quality is not the same if you stream music via Bluetooth, or if you dock your device. Sound quality is noticeably better while an iOS device is docked. Bluetooth connectivity is strong, but it fails to produce quality sound, which can’t be compared even to some much cheaper systems.