My Listening Session With Audality S7
David Henry - Musician, Educator, Engineer, And Audiophile
In a year full of seemingly never-ending bad news, there’s a ray of sonic hope on the horizon, the release of the Audality S7, 3-way, powered wireless speaker. The engineers at Audality can tell you about the newly patented wireless technology. The marketing department can tell you about the amazing portability offered by these lightweight, battery powered, free-standing cabinets which require no external amplifiers or unsightly cabling. What I can tell you is how they sound. In a word, seductive.
“…these speakers do what great speakers should do. They disappear.”
If your musical odyssey is a quest for perfect sound, be warned! The lure of the S7s may prove inescapable as their Sirenesque spell saturates you your listening space. Like Homer’s mythological sailors, one might find oneself enchanted, unable to elude the S7s immediate charms. That’s because these speakers do what great speakers should do. They disappear. They faithfully surround you with pure music the way it was meant to be heard. Clean and clear, powerful yet transparent, organic and natural, allowing a mystical connection with the listener normally reserved for high quality live performance.
My first introduction to the S7 came last year when I had the opportunity to test an early pair of prototypes. Far field spectrum analysis was performed in a listening room setting, utilizing pink noise and a 20Hz to 20kHz sweeping sine wave. The results were promising and the upper end of the range stood out as exceptional. After an enjoyable listening session with a variety of test tracks at various volumes, some tweaks to cabinet tuning were recommended. Now, listening to the updates, these cabinets are down-right alluring. This time I repeated the pink noise test, but skipped the sweep, anxious to get straight to my tracks and the specific challenges presented by each one. Having lost track of time, the discussion in the room shifted from speaker analysis to artist analysis, which is probably the biggest compliment a pair of speakers can receive, i.e., the manifestation of the disappearing loudspeaker.
“The lure of the S7s may prove inescapable as their Sirenesque spell saturates your listening space.”
The S7 delivers crystalline highs, resonant mids and exceedingly tight lows. I came of age in the era where serious audiophiles demanded sealed acoustic suspension cabinets, so I was surprised at the clarity in the bass and the extremely short excursion displayed by the 10” driver in this dual-ported cabinet. The full spectrum is delivered seamlessly by their onboard amps and digital signal processors. Doubled octaves were presented with high resolution, surprisingly so in the low end. Dispersion is above average, and the stereo imaging quality mimics that of products in a higher price range. I have encountered speakers with a larger, more well defined sweet spot, but the S7s hold their own. So much so, I spent little time considering placement and orientation of the cabinets as I sampled my playlist. In fact, my only worry sailing through this feast for the ears was whether or not to resist the Sirens on the rocks of Anthemoessa.
About the Author
David Henry is a resident of Dalton GA, and has had a long career in music, as a performer, session musician, engineer, composer/arranger. He is a retired music educator specializing in instrumental music performance and music technology. Formerly of Stockbridge GA, David spent time playing sessions and assisting Studio Manager Joe Randolph at Real2 Reel Studios. He also coached musicians and bands at Peachtree Music in Stockbridge and assisted with design and installation of permanent sound systems.