Elipson W35 Review: Solid musical system with wide functionality.
Tech Week score:
The Elipson W35 wireless speaker has four speakers: two 1-inch silk dome tweeters and two 6.5-inch mid-range speakers. They are located on either side of a central aluminum strip that divides the sphere into two equal parts. The two midrange drivers are directed to the right and left, while the two tweeters, which are more directivity, are directed more towards the listening area, creating an angle somewhere between 70 ° and 80 °. This configuration enables the Elipson W35 to reproduce high quality stereo sound over a wide frequency range. A class D amplifier with a total output of 350W RMS is designed to power the drivers of this speaker, which effortlessly fills very large rooms.
The Elipson W35 must be connected to a local WiFi network in order to provide access to as many sources as possible. Once connected to the internet, it can stream web radio from around the world, some of the most popular streaming services, and music streamed over a local area network.
If you have a Deezer, Napster or Spotify account or subscribe to a high-quality music service such as Qobuz or Tidal, you can enjoy your playlists thanks to a dedicated app. You can also play music wirelessly via Bluetooth with the Elipson W35 speaker. To ensure full compatibility with Android and Apple smartphones and tablets, SBC and AAC codecs are supported, as well as aptX codec, which allows streaming up to 16-bit / 48 kHz from a compatible source. In addition to networking and Bluetooth, the Elipson W35 speaker has two audio inputs. The optical input (Toslink) can be used to stream audio from the TV, and the mini-jack input allows DAP to be connected without an internet connection or audio source,
Wireless speakers always have a smartphone control app. The Elipson W35 is no exception to this rule and has a dedicated app that can be downloaded for free on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. This application, called Elipson, is a modified version of the Müzo Player application. It provides access to several online music services such as TuneIn (web radio), Spotify, Napster, Qobuz and Deezer. The Elipson W35 also has a control interface on the top of the case. Allows you to start playing music, adjust the volume and change tracks. An elegant infrared remote control is also included.
WiFi connection can be used to connect multiple Elipson W35 speakers on the same local network. This is done in the application. Placed in the same place or in different rooms, the speakers can stream the same music in perfect sync. It is also possible to stream different songs in each room. Up to 16 Elipson speakers can be connected to create a multi-room system. In addition, when two Elipson W35 speakers are in the same room, you can achieve wider stereo sound by assigning left channel restore to one speaker and right channel restore to the other.
Elipson W35 Wireless Speaker can be controlled by voice by connecting it to a smart speaker with Amazon Alexa. To do this, you need to enter your Amazon username and password in the Elipson presenter support app. Then simply ask Alex to play your favorite playlist on the connected Elipson W35 speaker, skip tracks, change the volume, or pause music to perform an action.
Any active monitors with advanced functionality can now be called smart acoustics, but these French systems are not only cleverly made, but also have intelligence themselves. They have ample opportunities to receive content from different sources and, in addition, the spherical shape of the body, which is not only beautiful, but also ideal for sound reproduction. So the body shape was chosen not by designers, but by an experienced engineer in an effort to obtain the highest possible sound quality. Although from the point of view of aesthetics, the sphere noticeably outperforms traditional acoustics, especially in unusual color options.
Elipson Planet W35 is a sphere with a diameter of 35 centimeters, in each half of which there are two speakers – a 165 mm midbass and a 25 mm tweeter. The total power of the built-in digital amplifiers is 350 W, but how many of them, and how the frequency bands are allocated, are not reported. It is only known that the modules of the latest generation are used. With a closed acoustic design, the frequency range is declared 47 Hz – 22 kHz (± 3 dB), which is very, very good for such a volume. The sphere itself is molded from ABS plastic, a polymer with good damping properties. The speakers are covered with an acoustically transparent black fabric.
The Elipson Planet W35 case is visually divided by a decorative aluminum ring, on which the control buttons – Power, Volume +/-, Mute and Pairing are placed on top. The latter is intended for building a stereo system with two balls. In general, using Wi-Fi, it is easy to organize a multi-room with several (up to twenty!) W35s, and in all sound zones you can play the same music, or different in each of them.
Although the package includes a remote control, working with Planet W35, especially in a multiroom, is more convenient through the free Elipson Player application, developed by French programmers for iOS or Android. Built-in Bluetooth 4.0 module with aptX, supports resolution up to 24 bit / 44.1 kHz, and files can be received in mp3, ALAC, AAC, FLAC, WMA, AIFF and WAV formats. The app also gives you access to streaming services from Tidal, Napster, Spotify, Deezer and Qobuz, as well as Internet radio stations via TuneIn. Planet W35 also supports Apple AirPlay 2 and Amazon Alexa voice control.
A wired connection to the source is possible either via a 3.5 mm line jack or optically. The latter option is specially designed for connection to a TV or game consoles. There is also a USB port, but it is only for charging gadgets. The spherical shape of the Elipson Planet W35 gives the interior designer the opportunity to show their imagination.They can be mounted in five different ways: on a three-legged tripod made of dark or light wood (in our photo), on a metal stand, hung on a wall or ceiling bracket, or simply placed on any horizontal surface using a round aluminum stand.
We had two spheres at our disposal, but first we listened to one by connecting the Emotiva ERC-4 CD player to it with a line cable. Since there are two pairs of speakers in the case, directed in opposite directions, even in this version, a completely surround sound is obtained, and much more interesting than a single traditional speaker could reproduce. The volume is adjusted in small steps, i.e. smooth enough. Even at high volume, no distortion or coloration is heard – the case is really well damped. The sound may not be too transparent, but dense and energetic, in general very effective. There is still some kind of magic in spherical emitters. The bass is sufficient for most genres, the digital nature of the amplifiers is not felt.
When two spheres are paired, the sound stage unfolds across the entire width of the room, confident localization of virtual images appears – here we can already talk about hi-fi quality of reproduction. No matter how I listened, I could not tell the difference between the master sphere receiving the signal via the cable and the slave sphere connected “via the air”. It looks like the filling in these balls is really modern.
The application is really convenient, even a listener who is far from technology can figure it out. As soon as your smartphone finds Elipson Planet W35 in the list of available Wi-Fi devices, you’re half the battle. It is also not difficult to distribute the music content according to the sound zones, the main thing is that all the spheres are in sight. Searching for Internet stations takes only a few seconds, the connection is instant. Even with the low bit rate typical for such broadcasting, the sound does not cause much criticism. There is bass, highs and a pronounced stereo effect. In general, the Elipson Planet W35 show themselves in an original way – both as a designer interior object, and as a solid musical system with wide functionality.