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Aperion Audio Zona Wireless Surround Speaker System Review

A high performance wireless speaker system may be the Holy Grail to many home theater and lifestyle audio enthusiasts. Speaker placement, specifically surround speaker placement, is easily the most frustrating aspect of a surround system and often discourages consumers from even considering one for their home. It’s a legitimate concern, and one that Aperion Audio tries enthusiastically to solve with their $499 Zona wireless surround speaker system. Aperion literature promises audiophile-grade surround performance so good that it can be used in a dedicated two-channel system, with all the convenience of wireless connectivity. That’s big talk and I like big talk.

To call the Zona a wireless system is a bit of a misnomer as it is not completely sans wires. It does eliminate speaker cables and their associated hassles however. To be a truly wireless speaker, Aperion would’ve had to resort to using some sort of battery system to power the Zona loudspeakers. Aperion however eschewed battery power for the higher and more consistent performance that only AC power can provide. Each speaker therefore requires a power cord between it and your wall’s electrical outlet for the internal amplifier and associated circuitry. Provided the speakers live up to their claim of audiophile-grade performance, this is a compromise that I am prepared to live with.

Each Zona bookshelf speaker uses a one-inch soft dome silk tweeter, and a four and one-half inch woven fiberglass woofer in a ported MDF enclosure.  The speaker is powered by an internal two-channel Class D amplifier, which supplies 20 Watts to each driver. An active crossover separates the high and low frequencies and routes them to the appropriate amplifier channel.  Utilizing an active crossover provides some considerable advantages over traditional passive crossovers. For example, the amplifier channel driving the woofer is not burdened with high frequencies and therefore can dedicate all of it’s power output to making bass notes more articulated and deeper. Moreover, removing the passive components of a crossover can often increase the detail of the playback. Having owned fully active loudspeakers in the past I can attest to the attributes of the design. Active systems are often impractical for the average consumer as amplifier channels, and associated cabling costs add up quickly. My particular system required twelve pricey channels of amplification, which did not include a sub-woofer.

Read the full review at hometheaterreview.com

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