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Wren V5AP AirPlay Speaker Review

Wren V5AP AirPlay Speaker

Wren V5AP AirPlay Speaker


  • Product Name: V5AP AirPlay Speaker
  • Manufacturer: Wren
  • Review Date: July 23, 2013 00:00
  • MSRP: $399
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • AirPlay compatible
  • Three-year warranty, no-hassle return policy
  • Includes: V5AP wireless AirPlay speaker, AC power cord and power supply, 30-pin USB dock connector, remote control (with battery), setup guide and safety instructions/warranty

I’m a big fan of AirPlay speakers—actually I'm a big fan of Apple products, and so anything that plays nice and plays back my music typically turns my head. That's the Wren V5AP in a nutshell. The AP stands for AirPlay, and the Wren V5 also comes in BT (Bluetooth) and PF (Play-Fi or Android) flavors as well. What’s even more surprising is that Wren will update or change your unit from one technology to the other for just $99 within the warranty period-that’s within the first three years if you register the product within 30 days.

The Wren is, first and foremost, a design-focused product. It looks really cool. With curved lines and a rosewood or bamboo trim, you’re looking at a speaker that looks expensive – either for the elegant home or office setting. There are plenty of other Airplay and Bluetooth speakers on the market, but while many may share the pricing of the Wren V5, few have the looks. 

With a good source, you can push the volume on the V5AP pretty high and not get distortion. At the same time the music can really fill a room. We had it in a ridiculously large space within both a commercial and residential environment, and the ability of the Wren to fill the room with clean sound was surprising. It wasn’t the loudest speaker we’ve heard, but it did the job—and if you’re trying to fill a truly big space you’ve likely got the wrong product anyway. The drivers in the V5 series cover a wide frequency response range, and while the bass isn’t bone-crushing, it’s also not bloated. So many speakers simply boost EQ to compensate for lousy design—it’s nice to see a company really do it right.

Wren V5AP finishes

Available in two finishes

Setup is very easy with this speaker as well. With an iOS device you simply select the WiFi input and then press a Setup button on the back of the speaker. Next you dock your device via the included USB cable (30-pin, use your own cable if you have an iPhone 5 or newer iPad). If your iOS device is on the network, then prompts will allow you to share your network settings with the Wren. You can also use a laptop or desktop computer to connect wirelessly to the Wren and configure it manually. Either way is actually quite simple and only needs to be done once.

Wren V5AP buttons

Front-mounted controls

I think the big question with speakers like the Wren V5AP is whether you like the modular approach to wireless connectivity. Some systems let you drop back to Bluetooth for non-iOS products, but Wren wants each mode separated into a different model. We’ll have to see how that works out in the long run.

Wren V5AP connections

Rear USB input and Aux input

For $399, this is not an inexpensive AirPlay speaker, but it’s got a lot of competition from companies like B&W, Logitech, Sonos and JBL. $400 seems to be the dominant price point at present for those claiming premier speaker status. The advantage Wren has is that it looks far more elegant than most of the brands we’ve mentioned– it certainly has more of what I’d refer to as “executive” flair. I think I really like this speaker and you should check it out and give it a listen yourself.

Wren V5AP bamboo finish

Bamboo finish

For desktop speakers - do you prefer curves or wood trim? Flashy or subdued? What’s your style? That’s the question – or questions - for this video.

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About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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