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Aperion Audio Intimus 4T Summit Wireless Speaker System Review

Aperion Audio Intimus 4T Summit Wireless Speaker System

Aperion Audio Intimus 4T Summit Wireless Speaker System


  • Product Name: Intimus 4T Summit Wireless Speaker System
  • Manufacturer: Aperion Audio
  • Review Date: January 03, 2013 21:35
  • MSRP: $2999 (5.1), $3499 (7.1)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

System Features:
  • Automatic Speaker Discovery and Setup, True Plug and Play
  • Audiophile Grade Audio Path from Source to Speaker
  • Uncompressed 24-Bit / 48 KHz Wireless Digital Audio
  • Less than 5ms end-to-end Latency
  • Each Speaker is Bi-amped with Active Crossover and DSP
  • Certified decoding of DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD

Aperion Intimus 4T Summit Wireless 5.1 Home Theater System includes:

  • (1) HDMI Digital Wireless Home Theater One Preamp Transmitter
  • (2) Intimus 4T Summit Wireless Powered Tower Speakers
  • (1) Intimus 5C Summit Wireless Powered Center Speaker
  • (2) Intimus 4B Summit Wireless Powered Satellite Speakers
  • (1) Bravus 8A Summit Wireless Powered Subwoofer

Individual Speaker Dimensions:

  • Intimus 4T Wireless Tower: 34" H x 5" W x 7.5" D (Base: 8.25" x 10")
  • Intimus 4B Wireless Bookshelf: 8.75" H x 5.33" W x 5.5" D
  • Intimus 5C Wireless Center: 7.33" H x 19.33" W x 8" D
  • Bravus 8A Wireless Subwoofer: 15"H x 13.5" W x 13.5" D (with feet)
  • Home Theater One Wireless Transmitter: 2"H x 8"W x 7.5"D

Powered by Summit Wireless technology:

  • Automatic speaker channel assignment (SpeakerFinder)
  • Remote with instant sweet spot optimization (MyZone)
  • Advanced Aperion HDMI Digital Wireless Home Theater One Preamp Transmitter

Aperion HDMI Digital Wireless Home Theater One Preamp Transmitter

  • (1) Optical
  • (1) Coax
  • (3) HDMI inputs
  • (1) HDMI output
  • (2) Stereo analog inputs
  • HD Decoding for DTS HD Audio, Dolby TrueHD
  • LCD display: input selection and surround mode

When we recommend surround sound to our friends and to you, the readers, we do it because we think 5.1 and even 7.1 surround truly enhances the experience of home theater. And you know what? The biggest inhibitor to getting surround sound isn't always cost. It's the hassle of installing the system and running speaker wires. In over 10 years of dealing with this stuff that's been the biggest, most consistent hangup.

So what if you could get rid of the wires? And what if you could do so without compromising the type of speakers you could use? That's the idea behind this technology. This is an Aperion Audio Intimus 4T System. Nothing new... in fact we've already reviewed this system. Except that this system is powered by Summit Wireless speaker technology.

Summit Semiconductor and Aperion Audio are advisory board members of the WiSA Association. WiSA is the Wireless Speaker & Audio Association; a new industry group whose mission is to advance the adoption of wirelessly transmitted high-definition (HD) surround-sound audio in the home theater environment by establishing the industry’s first interoperability specification and certification testing programs for manufacturers of high-performance wireless speakers, DTVs, Blu-ray Disc players, and other consumer electronics (CE) devices.

While we're demoing the Aperion Audio system here, WiSA-compliant products will be completely interoperable... so you can mix and match brands. And since WiSA is looking to eventually integrate itself into AV receivers, televisions, sound bars and more... that could be pretty cool.

Let me boil this down by going back to what we did with this particular system. First, we plugged all 6 speakers into power outlets. Left, right, center, surrounds and sub. Then we plugged in the Home Theater One Wireless Transmitter and fed it HDMI from our Denon AVR-3312 receiver, passing the HDMI through and on to our Samsung LCD television.

And then we pressed Play. And you know what? Everything worked. We got 7.1 audio from our dts source. Well, almost. When we scanned levels the subwoofer was down at -64dB for some reason, but we raised that up to taste and everything was perfect (and it never dropped down after that). But how did it set itself up?

Turns out, Aperion uses a series of 40-kHz ultrasonic chirps that are emitted from tiny transducers built into the front of each speaker - you can see them right on the front if you remove the grilles. These map the location and relative distance of each speaker in the room within 2 inches - including the sub. It then reports this info back to the Home Theater One and maps the correct channel to the speaker as well as sets the level. The entire process takes just a couple of seconds and you're up and running.

ultrasonic chirps

Ok, so 5.1 audio and we didn't run a single speaker cable. Thats pretty cool. I mean, you still have to plug in the speakers, but believe me, finding a power outlet nearby always seems to be a lot easier than running speaker wire from the front of the room to the back.

wireless transmitterSo let's go over the Home Theater One Wireless Transmitter, because it lets you do a few things. On the back you have 3 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output, a coax and an optical digital input, and even 2 analogue stereo 1/8" inputs. The HT One is designed to collect all your audio and deliver it to the speakers. It's basically acting like an AV receiver whose amplifiers are located at the speakers instead of within the box. Of course if you already have an AV receiver - that's fine - just send the HDMI out of your receiver to the input of the HT One - and be sure to set the HDMI audio on the receiver to "TV" so the HDMI cable sends audio to the HT One Transmitter.

HDMI connections

On the front of this box you have a backlit display that shows you the selected input source, the detected speaker map (in our case 5.1 but it will do up to 7.1), and the input signal or surround mode. When we first connected ours, for example, we got dts on the front to show that we were listening to the dts audio from the Eagles: Hell Freezes Over disc.

LCD display

With the Transmitter and remote you can select the source, change the volume, set each speaker level individually if you want to tweak the system, and even send out test tones to verify the setup is as it should be. We ran tones on the system following its automatic setup and found that the speakers all fell within a couple dB of what we wanted. In either case I think it's a good idea to tweak the results with an SPL meter if you're a perfectionist.

On the back of each speaker is an array of four LEDs. These are status LEDs and they let you know if the speaker is communicating correctly with the system. There's also an 'Associate' button that sets the speaker which will serve as the anchor speaker for the system through which the others connect. Aperion recommends you use the one closest to the subwoofer. Other than that - the speaker is devoid of any binding posts or other connections. I guess it's what's inside that counts.

LEDs status

And the tech behind the scenes of the Aperion Audio Summit Wireless system is impressive. For one, the system can simultaneously transmit as many as 8 channels of 24-bit/48kHz digital audio. It can therefore handle a full dts-HD soundtrack, though not at the maximum lossless rates encoded on many discs - it has to downconvert TrueHD and dts Master Audio to 48kHz.

And it transmits everything on the U-NII band, which runs between 5.1 and 5.7 GHz. That means it avoids some of the interference you get from all those 2.4 and 5 GHz routers. It also does some pretty fancy channel jumping to avoid any congestion. All automatic and all behind the scenes.

tall system

We did notice a few areas where the Aperion Intimus 4T Summit Wireless system could be improved. For one, there's no on-screen display and from across the room that little LCD display is near-impossible to read. Secondly, if you lose the remote you're kinda out of luck, because the HT One lacks any buttons on the front. That means no volume control. Oops! But these are relatively small growing pains for a brand new system like this.

remote control

Ok, let's talk price. The Aperion Audio Intimus 4T Summit Wireless 5.1 model is $2999. One thing you need to keep in mind, however, is that this is a complete home theater system. You've got powered speakers, a switcher/decoder, and a wireless audio transmission system all wrapped into one. And there is currently nothing else like it on the market - at least not that we've seen. If you want to opt for the 7.1 version, you can add another $500 and do it. When you add up the value of what this is, it's not unreasonable and it's got incredible promise. If you ask me, I believe the future is wireless audio and video. Consumers can really use it now - a whole lot easier than they can use 3D or 4K televisions. With wireless speakers, anyone can have surround sound. And that's pretty cool.

To learn more about the WiSA Association and its member companies who will be delivering future WiSA compliant speaker systems, HDTVs, Blu-ray players, etc. please visit www.wisaassociation.org.

This week our question is pretty obvious. What do you think about wireless powered speakers? Thumbs up, or thumbs down? Let us know by commenting on this video, and consider subscribing to our channel to support us and help us bring you even more great videos. If you want to know what else we're doing, Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/audioholics and follow us on Twitter @AudioholicsLive.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Andrew Gash was the online personality for Audioholics' video reviews back in 2010. He's an accomplished video editor and scriptwriter and enjoys masochistic events such as entering 48 hour film festivals each year, for which his last several attempts have placed in various nominations and awards.

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