If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping at this point, it is officially time to start panicking. Hanukkah begins later this week, and Christmas and Kwanzaa are both less than two weeks away. You’re probably stressing at this point, as well you should be, but BGR is doing its best to give you some last-minute gift ideas that might help you find the perfect present for those last few people on your list that have been particularly difficult to shop for.
Late last week, we told you about some gorgeous leather iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases that make terrific gifts for friends and loved ones. Now, we’re back with two different wireless speaker options that are nice and compact but still pack a huge punch.
Little Bluetooth speakers are very popular these days, and they’re definitely great options for some people. The sound quality is nowhere near as good as it is with higher-end speakers though, which is part of the reason networked speaker options like the ones from Sonos are also popular.
We suggested five different high-quality wireless speakers in a recent gift guide, and now we have two more great options for you to consider. They’re both very compact, and they both deliver huge sound that will impress any audiophile on your gift list.
Definitive Technology W7
First up, we have a premium speaker for the true audiophile in your life: The W7 by Definitive Technology.
The W7 packs four 15W tweeters and a 30W subwoofer into a beautiful housing with a sleek aluminum base and a very modern look. Don’t let the size of this speaker fool you though — the sound is absolutely monstrous.
Definitive Technology’s design includes two side-mounted bass radiators in addition to the front-facing subwoofer. There is also a 1-inch aluminum tweeter on each side of the enclosure, along with two on the face of the device.
The result is rich sound that spreads out to fill even the largest rooms in your house, and the audio quality rivals much more expensive speakers.
There is a downside to the W7 though, and that’s the software.
This is a networked speaker just like a Sonos unit, not a simple Bluetooth speaker, so you’ll have to stream content from a mobile device using Definitive Technology’s dedicated iOS or Android app.
The apps aren’t very well made, and you’re limited to locally stored music, Internet radio, and a handful of compatible streaming services supported by Definitive Technology. For the time being, that list is rather short and it includes Pandora, Songza, Deezer and KKBOX. If you use other services like Spotify, however, you’re out of luck when it comes to the mobile app.
The good news, however, is that Definitive Technology also has a Windows driver that will let you stream any music from any source to its speakers, and you can always opt to plug any iPhone or Android device into the speaker’s standard 1/8-inch audio jack using the included cable.
Polk Audio Omni S2
While the W7 is the superior speaker in terms of design and audio quality, not everyone wants to spend $400 on a wireless speaker. For a similar experience that still includes a compact enclosure and high-quality sound, there is the Omni S2 speaker by Polk Audio.
The Omni S2 is less than half the price of the Definitive Technology W7, but the sound quality is still quite impressive.
Polk uses two full-range drivers with two passive radiators in the Omni S2, and they push sound that is full and clean. The low-end isn’t quite as powerful as it is on the W7 and the mids and highs aren’t as crisp and rich either, but the sound is still much better than you would expect out of such a compact and affordable speaker.
On the flip side of the coin, the Omni S2 uses the same mobile software as the W7, which has just been repackaged for Polk. You can still stream anything you want from a Windows PC though, and you can also connect any device to the Omni S2’s aux-in port.
Polk Audio’s Omni S2 retails for $179.95, but it can be had for just $149 on Amazon. There is also a portable version of the speaker with a rechargeable battery — the Omni S2R — that retails for $249.95.