EletiofeEpsilon W35 Xi speaker: specs, price, availability

Epsilon W35 Xi speaker: specs, price, availability

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Hail the orb! High-end French audio hardware manufacturer Elipson has a brand-new Death Star-esque orboid speaker worthy of worrying any self-respecting Alderaanian. It is called the W35 Xi.

At £699 ($876) it’s a pricey boombox but not far off from similar speakers made by other premium audio companies. (It’s even slightly cheaper than Sonos’ standout soundbar.)

This thing does look like the Death Star, or perhaps Starkiller Base even more so—though discerning viewers will also recognize hints of an orb-of-Saruman-Palantír chic. This dark dome can sit directly on a shelf or table or be mounted on a wall. Tor an additional £149 ($187), the speaker can be propped up on a matching black tripod for a more War-of-the-Worlds-invader vibe. (And here you thought we couldn’t fit in any more movie references.)

Inside the W35 Xi is a beefy 300-watt amplifier that’s sure to rattle your rafters. The speaker boasts aptX HD Bluetooth and works with Chromecast and AirPlay 2. It has digital (S/PDIF optical) and analog wired inputs, with an RJ45 socket or 3.5-mm aux port if need be.

It’s capable of high-quality audio playback from your phone, tablet, or laptop, as lossless files can be accommodated up to 24 bits/192 kHz. But like a Sonos system, you’ll need the associated Elipson Connect App to control your playback properly and to alternate between music services like Spotify and Tidal.

We haven’t heard it yet, but Epsilon is claiming the W35 Xi, an evolution of the company’s W35 multiroom stereo speaker from 2020, has super-deep bass and remarkably precise mid-high frequencies, with stereo sound thanks to the arrangement of speakers and tweeters on each side. If you splurge on two W35 Xis, however, you can create a more impressive stereo image by dedicating one audio channel to each speaker. Perfect for listening to Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes’ Dune Sea Special, perhaps reliving the last time you saw them live on Tatooine in Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina.

Interestingly, continuing the space connection, Epsilon actually has a Planet range of speakers, but it was in 1958 that the brand released the classic spherical BS 50. You can buy an updated version of it today for the not inconsiderable sum of €5,580 (that’s just shy of $6,000).

The W35 Xi is available for purchase now, though it is only in the UK at the moment.

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