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Aperion Audio Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker System Review

by Aaron Howard August 13, 2013
  • Product Name: Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker System
  • Manufacturer: Aperion Audio
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: August 13, 2013 12:30
  • MSRP: $ 297 (base price), $334 w Bluetooth, $374 w Wireless Card
  • System Power: 100 watts peak
  • Frequency Range: 65Hz to 20Hz
  • Speakers: dual 1" neodymium soft dome silk tweeters, dual  4" fiberglass woofers, dual 4" passive radiators
  • Wireless Technologies: DNLA based Wifi
  • Dimensions:  6.5” high, 6.5” deep, 14.5” wide
  • Weight: 11.3 lbs.


  • Operates on home network
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Integrates with Windows ® 7 & 8
  • Sleek appearance


  • No Airplay Support




Aperion Audio and their Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker System features an “upgradable…wireless card” which enables you to “enjoy today’s streaming technology, and grows with you as technology evolves.”  In other words, the ARIS is “future-proof” and the option to future proof a tabletop audio system can be invaluable as the ever-changing world of technology continues to advance with new breakthroughs. The constant evolution of technology can be very frustrating for consumers.  That new cell phone you just purchased, well this one offers a faster processor with more intense graphics, another phone promising to keep you connected with your social group more easily, another allowing you to switch from personal to business contacts, and others which offer a smart home screen which highlights information that is important to you without having to “dig gopher style.”  Whether we are talking about a new television, computer, or any other piece of technology, the products that technology companies create constantly change and will continue to do so.  From the most technically naïve to tech experts, we all know the moment you buy a product featuring the most advanced form of technology, it’s out of date.    

So what if there was a company or a product that recognizes this issue and combats it head on?  Meet the Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker System which contains four active and two passive internal drivers, including a pair of 1" neodymium soft dome silk tweeters, two powered 4" fiberglass woofers and two 4" passive radiators powered by four internal amplifiers equaling 100 Watts RMS power and a frequency response of 65Hz-20Hz.  Three preset sound modes are featured on the ARIS, letting you chose from Natural, Bass Boost, or Enhanced Stereo.  Aperion Audio claims that the Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker System “gives you true high-fidelity sound,” along with the ability to upgrade with future technology.  Is this the last table top audio system you need to own?


The Allaire ARARIS Back with Wifi.jpgIS Wireless Speaker alone does not feature wireless technology.  In order to use the ARIS to its full potential, you must purchase the optional DLNA (Digital Living Networking Alliance) based Wifi card.  Setup without the Wifi card is simply plug-and-play, as the only input option available is a 1/8” jack.  If you have the optional Wifi card, enabling the wireless technology can be as simple sliding the Wifi card into the PCMCIA slot located on the rear of the speaker, and pressing the WPS button on the card and your wireless router.  A blinking green light on the card indicates the system is searching for a wireless signal, and a solid green light indicates that the ARIS is connected to your network. 

The Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker is designed to function seamlessly with your networked PC running Windows ® 7 and Windows ® 8.  Utilizing Windows® Media Player to control your media content means the last step to setup is to make sure Windows® Media Player is able to use the internet to access your home media as well as enabling the option to “automatically allow devices to play your media.” Granting this access is as simple as a few mouse clicks. 

There are a few troubleshooting steps the setup manual provides in case you are not able to connect the speaker to your network as well as additional customer support if further assistance is needed.  Overall, connecting the ARIS to your network is not difficult and should take five minutes or less. 

Build Quality

Overall, the body of the Allaire ARIS is one of the sharpest I’ve seen in a while.  Featuring a single-piece black brushed aluminum body and a black cloth grille, the speaker itself sports a modern, intelligent look.  The speaker also features an adjustable, solid deep red steel stand, which angles the speakers either up or down and can be removed if desired.  Both the speaker and stand have black, rubber coated non-slip feet, which allows the ARIS to be placed on any surface without the fear of slipping or rattling, especially at high volumes. 

For the size of tARIS Control.jpghe ARIS (6.5” high, 6.5” deep, and 14.5” wide), the speaker has surprising girth.  Weighing in at 11.3 pounds, the ARIS is not too heavy but feels solid and sturdy.  In addition, the speaker features a simple, black rubber-coated control pad on top which allows the user to switch between the three present sound modes of Natural, Bass Boost, or Enhanced Stereo.  Other features of the control panel allow the user to adjust volume, mute, place the ARIS in stand by (which does not lose network connection), or wake up from stand by.  The rear panel of the speaker contains the PCMCIA slot which is where the DNLA wireless card inserts, as well as a power cord, 3.5mm input, and the main power on/off switch.

We all know that communication is key and the ARIS speaker uses three horizontal red LEDs featured on the front of the speaker to communicate all you need to know about the ARIS’ operation.  Turning on the system (using the master power switch on the rear panel) will cause the LEDs to brightly illuminate and then dim to a soft red glow, letting you know the system is now on and ready to use.  The LEDs further communicate with you by indicating volume and sound modes.  Increasing volume will slowly brighten the left LED.  Once fully lit, the middle LED will begin to brighten, until you have reached maximum volume when all three LEDs are fully lit.  Sound mode is communicated as well with the left LED representing “Natural” sound mode, middle LED equals “Bass Boost”, and right LED indicates “Enhanced Stereo.”

ARIS gives you several options regarding controlling the wireless system.  The system itself does not come with a remote, as you can control your content either through your Windows ® based computer using Windows ® Media Player or Apple computers through several UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) servers (ARIS recommends Twonky for Mac).   Additionally, you can control the system through many available apps for your smartphone or tablet.  Available apps such as the ARIS music app on Google Play, media:connect or the soon to be available Aperion ARIS iOS app on the iTunes App Store, allows your smartphone or tablet to seamlessly coordinate your media through the Aperion ARIS. 

Allaire ARIS Listening Session

I’ve betotoIV.jpgen on a Toto fix lately, specifically their 1982 Grammy award winning album Toto IV as well as their kickin’ album from 1986 Fahrenheit. Toto has been one of the more musically talented and diverse bands to emerge in the past 30 years.  Aside from their hits “Rosanna” and “Africa” their popularity in America never reached the level that it did internationally, but Toto features full, harmonious vocals, varying melodies, hints of jazz with a mix of classic 80’s rock; and the ARIS successfully reproduces their signature sound.  One of my many favorite songs from their Fahrenheit album is “Could this be love,” and to be completely cliché, this song, heard through the ARIS, caused me to fall in love with the system.  Featuring amazing vocals and stellar instrumentals, ARIS really captures the contrasting harmonies, slick bass groove, and the work of extremely talented guitarist Steve Lukather.

Like most people, I enjoy a variety of music and really appreciate a system that can handle my changing taste; which the ARIS does well.  Whether I’m listening to soft jazz or metal, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the ARIS handled itself.  When testing out the different sound modes, I discovered that I tend to gravitate towards “Natural” or “Enhanced Stereo” over “Bass Boost.”

Sound Modes

Toto-Fahrenheit.jpgEmphasizing vocals, most music sounds best in Natural.  Natural is most closely related to a center speaker on a surround sound system and if you enjoy listening to the vocals as much as the music, then Natural would be the most appealing to you.  Natural will be your “work horse” sound mode, handling most music and bands ranging from Muse, Mumford & Sons, to Breaking Benjamin or Tool came through clearly. 

Enhanced Stereo
Instrumental music such as classical or jazz, I found, sounded rich and full when using the Enhanced Stereo feature.  One of my favorite jazz albums is Solo Monk by the insanely brilliant Thelonious Monk.  Simply put, his work on the piano sounded amazing on the ARIS.  Enhanced Stereo listening mode brought out the dissonance and improvisation that is synonymous with jazz as well as displayed the clarity of a large stage or concert hall in addition to sounding little like my parents 45’s that I used to listen to as a child.  When listening to artists such as Thelonious Monk, Canadian Brass or most other forms of instrumental music, Enhanced Stereo sounds best.

Bass Boost
Bass Boost can be best described as a mix between Natural and Enhanced Stereo and I found to be the weakest of the three listening modes.  Vocals are a little washed out and instrumentals do not come through as clear as the other modes.  Natural seems to feature just as much bass, but with much clearer vocals.  If most of your music features heavier bass, such as the dubstep or rap genres, you may find the Bass Boost a little lacking.

One of the more notable strengths I discovered about the ARIS is its clarity at high volumes.  This system gets loud…really loud.  On most speaker placement diagrams on the Allaire website, they suggest having a speaker in each room; however, one speaker should be able to easily fill your home or apartment with bright, crisp music, especially if you are on a budget. 

I, as well as most people I know, enjoy discovering new bands, which is why more and more utilize internet music services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, etc.  With the increasing popularity of internet radio, many users want the option to listen to music beyond their personal library.  Allaire ARIS Wireless Speakers currently allow you to listen to Pandora using the “Play to” feature in Windows ® Media Player found in Windows ®8 as well as other internet radio content through an app on the Google Play store called “Skifta.”  For computers that run Windows ® 7, you will be limited to your personal music library as Windows ® 7 Media Player “Play to” feature is not compatible with Pandora, Rhapsody or Spotify.

While listening, I discovered two minor issues with the system; the first being that there is no option to remotely control one of the three preset listening modes.  If your music library dramatically changes like mine, the ability to remotely switch listening modes would be a nice feature.  The other issue with the ARIS is how the system handles its 3.5 mm input.  Unfortunately when the input is engaged, this overrides any music coming from the wireless network.  This means you could not leave a non-WiFi enabled device, such as an iPod or other Mp3 player, plugged in to the system and play music through your computer at the same time.  Though minor, this issue could have been avoided with an input selection option. 

Allaire ARIS Overall Perception

Winner of the 2013 Audioholics Consumer Excellence award, the Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker system is impressive.  Reproducing crisp audio, paired with a sleek design, the ARIS would enhance most home decors.  Like any system, there are some features that are lacking or weak.  The most profound being that the Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker did not feature Bluetooth capability at the time this review was written, which reduces my options to stream music.  However, Allaire just announced the following for ARIS, which will allow Apple and other Bluetooth devices to function seamlessly.

Avanatree Bluetooth 4.0 Music Receiver with aptX

Avantree Roxa USAAperion is proud to announce a partnership with Avantree to offer our first wireless Bluetooth audio accessory, the Avantree Roxa, Bluetooth 4.0 receiver with aptX technology.   Bluetooth is the most readily available and simplest way to stream music from a mobile device or PC. However, the biggest problem with built in Bluetooth audio on most audio products is quality of signal throughput. The Roxa comes standard with the best Bluetooth audio codec available in aptX.  AptX audio encoding allows CD quality 16-bit, 44.1kHz audio with data rates up to 352kbps for crystal clear and rich sound that your speakers deserve.  With the Roxa Bluetooth Music Receiver you can stream audio from your mobile device with the best audio quality available.  

The Roxa is an extremely easy to set up. Simply plug it into an outlet, connect the included 3.5mm audio cable to your powered speakers like our Allaire Aris, or to your home theater AVR.  Once the Roxa is plugged into the wall it's automatically ready to pair with your mobile device.  Select it in your settings and you're ready to stream anything from your phone, tablet or PC. An added benefit, the Roxa wall plug comes with a USB charging port so that you can charge your smartphone, MP3 player, ipad, iphone or ipod simultaneously.

Aperion sells the Roxa alone for $37, and paired with the Aris unit for $334.

All Aperion products are supported with our 30-day risk-free in-home audition, and FREE shipping both ways.


  • Play music wirelessly from your phone or other Bluetooth device through your home stereo system, in full CD quality hi-fi quality with aptX decoding.
  • Robust performance with accurate device location
  • Conveniently control & stream music with up to 35 foot range.
  • Simple to use, plug & play with auto-reconnect.
  • Supports multipoint pairing. Roxa can pair and connect simultaneously to both phone and tablet devices (stream music from your phone and use your Bluetooth headset simultaneously).
  • Extra 1A USB charging port included. Listen to music while charging your external device at the same time.

Overall, I believe that Aperion Audio is close to achieving their future proof goals.  Though the system excels in being compatible with WiFi, the current lack of Bluetooth support can be an issue for some consumers.  If Apple products are more to your taste, under the ARIS’ current configuration, you may find the need to use third party apps a little unsettling.  However, if you are a Windows ® user, than this system would be a fantastic addition.   


About Aperion Audio
Founded in 1998, Aperion Audio are dedicated audio enthusiasts committed to helping you create the sound experience of your life, at a price that won't break the bank. We passionately design, manufacture and sell our high-end home theater and wireless speakers direct online at a remarkable value. Free shipping and our 30-day risk-free in home audition make checking out our claim a no-brainer, and if you don't agree, we'll pay the return shipping as well.

Aperion Audio
18151 SW Boones Ferry Road
Portland, OR 97224

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStar
Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStar
Ease of Setup/Programming/IntegrationStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar