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Distinctive wi-fi moveable studio screens

I’ve been utilizing the studio screens for a few months now. And initially, I wasn’t certain what to make of them. They’re strong studio screens with 4-inch woofers and 1-inch silk tweeters. They sound good and look good. However the pitch — the explanation these items value for a pair — is that they’re wi-fi. And never, “they’re studio screens that additionally occur to have Bluetooth” wi-fi, although they’ve that as properly. They embody AIAIAI’s low-latency 2.4Ghz wi-fi tech that made its debut on the a few years again. Plus they’ve sizable batteries, permitting them to run for as much as 20 hours with none cables in any respect.

I used to be skeptical of the Studio Wi-fi+, however was finally gained over by the stunning comfort of not being tethered to my audio interface by a 3-meter lengthy coiled cable. The have a considerably harder case to make, although. The cables that preserve my present PreSonus screens tethered to my desk don’t get in the way in which. I don’t need to unplug them to placed on my guitar and I don’t journey over them whereas grabbing a synth from the shelf. As an alternative, the Unit-4 are supposed to remedy a really particular downside: needing studio high quality screens while you’re not in your studio.


Unit-4 Wi-fi+ studio screens sound nice and look nice, however their distinctive options and excessive worth will solely attraction to a really particular area of interest.


  • Fashionable minimalist seems
  • Comparatively flat frequency response
  • Extremely lengthy lasting battery
  • Distinctive low-latency wi-fi

  • Costly
  • Area of interest attraction
  • Slight noise over W+ at greater volumes

$799 at Perfect Circuit

As you may think, this isn’t a factor I discover myself needing terribly usually. I’m certain that somebody on the market, doubtless skilled musicians who spend important time on the street, would instantly see the attraction. However for a hobbyist like me, discovering a use case is more durable.

Earlier than we get too deep into the “why,” let’s discuss a bit of bit in regards to the “what.” Till now AIAIAI has targeted completely on headphones. A extra conservative firm might need merely made some bog-standard studio screens and known as it a day. However as we speak you will get bog-standard studio screens, and fairly respectable ones at that, for not a lot cash. So moderately than simply add extra noise to an already saturated market, AIAIAI seemed to see what it may do that might be distinctive.

AIAIAI Unit 4 Wireless+ studio monitor on a picnic blanket in a park.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The considerably stunning reply it received from some artists was wi-fi, battery-powered screens. So it took the low-latency W+ Hyperlink know-how it had developed for Studio Wi-fi+ and tailored it to be used in a pair of 4-inch studio screens. The place Bluetooth latency could be everywhere in the map, starting from round 40ms beneath splendid situations with the most recent {hardware}, to properly over 100ms, W+ Hyperlink is a constant 16ms. It’s not zero latency, but it surely’s shut sufficient for a fast recording session or an informal jam.

Due to their dimension you’re not gonna get a ton of bass out of them. You get a stunning quantity extra low finish simply by leaping as much as 5-inch woofers. However, it’s not just like the Unit-4 lack oomph. They’ve received an honest quantity of punch and a fairly flat frequency response. That stated, as with the Studio Wi-fi+, I discover their tone a contact on the darkish aspect.

There may be an app for iOS and Android, although, the place you possibly can tune the EQ to your liking. I personally scooped the mids and lower the sub bass only a smidge to assist brighten up the sound ever so barely and preserve issues from getting muddy in my small attic studio. However there are additionally helpful presets in there relying on the place you’re and what orientation the audio system are in, whether or not that’s horizontal in your desktop or on a picnic blanket in a park.

AIAIAI Unit-4 Wireless+ Android app screenshots.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Whereas it’s purely subjective and of little sensible worth, the Unit-4 look nice in any orientation or setting. They’re a lot better trying than most studio screens. They’re glossy, black and have a trendy steel speaker grill that attaches firmly with the assistance of some magnets. A hoop of white gentle glows across the woofer once they’re powered on too. Like I stated, it makes no purposeful distinction, however they’re definitely a visible improve from my PreSonus Eris E5s.

There are a couple of design decisions that I can quibble with, nonetheless, even when I perceive the reasoning (normally to shave dimension and weight). First off, the Unit-4 lack XLR hookups. This isn’t exceptional on moveable studio screens, they usually do have balanced TRS connections, however combo XLR / TRS jacks are fairly ubiquitous at this level and wouldn’t have required way more room.

The facility bricks for every speaker are additionally huge. Clearly, placing these elements contained in the speaker, together with their sizable 77Wh batteries, would have dramatically elevated their dimension and weight. However it appears odd that, what I imagine are, the biggest energy bricks in my dwelling presently belong to the Unit-4, whereas not one of the different studio screens or audio system I personal have exterior energy provides in any respect, simply commonplace AC cables. They weigh greater than a pound every, which implies that, regardless of AIAIAI bragging that the Unit-4 solely tip the scales at 2.5kg (or about 5.5 kilos), for those who have been to hit the street with two screens and the chargers for every you’d be a complete weight of near 14 kilos.

AIAIAI Unit 4 Wireless+ in their carrying case laying on the grass.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

That’s hardly unreasonable in case your definition of moveable is solely that you could transfer them from place to put — no one is taking the Unit-4 with them on a whim on the off likelihood that they could want a studio monitor. Nonetheless, I’ll say that I believe AIAIAI ought to embody the carrying case in the event that they’re pitching the portability issue, moderately than it being a $70 add-on.

My greatest problem, although, was the choice to take away the battery from the transmitter. The X01 Transmitter that comes with the Studio Wi-fi+ has a built-in battery. The X02 Transmitter that’s packaged with the Unit-4 doesn’t. The perk of that is that, when used as a USB-C audio dongle with a laptop computer, it’s good and discrete. The draw back is that for those who use the minijack output that you must present your personal energy, ideally through a powerbank, moderately than an AC adapter to attenuate alternative for interference or floor loops.

A part of AIAIAI’s rationale for ditching the battery was that, properly, batteries tend to wear down. And this manner, you don’t need to chuck the entire transmitter simply because it gained’t maintain a cost anymore. However, the corporate has found out make virtually each a part of the studio screens (together with the battery), so it looks like doing that for the transmitter shouldn’t have been too powerful.

AIAIAI Unit 4 Wireless+ studio monitor W+ Link X02 Transmitter sitting next to an SP-404 MKII.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The dearth of a battery is a non-issue for those who’re primarily utilizing the Unit-4 linked to a pc. However for those who’re utilizing a standalone piece of substances like an , connecting to a mixer for a jam session or out busking it in a park, the additional cable and exterior energy financial institution develop into one thing else to neglect at dwelling and form of undermine the entire “wi-fi” factor.

I do know that looks like a number of negatives all in a row, however these are truthfully fairly minor complaints. And I believe that, in case you are one of many individuals who will get a number of use out of the Unit-4, they most likely gained’t deter you. The viewers right here is undoubtedly smaller than with the Studio Wi-fi+, although. The place virtually any bed room producer may use a strong set of headphones that may be wired or wi-fi at a second’s discover, bouncing from low-latency studio mode to Bluetooth on the flip of a swap. The checklist of musicians that want the identical from their desktop studio screens might be fairly quick.

I can think about these being tremendous helpful on a tour bus however, I’m not a touring musician. As an alternative the place I discovered the wi-fi characteristic most helpful was for dabbling with new musical toys from anyplace in my home. Reasonably than disguise in my attic, I may deliver one of many Unit-4s down into the lounge (however not each), join the transmitter and a powerbank to say, the and get some work finished whereas additionally hanging out with my youngsters.

Back panel and connections of the AIAIAI Unit 4 Wireless+ studio monitor.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Only for the hell of it, I took the Unit-4 to a park to shoot some evaluate images. I can’t say that’s one thing I’d need to do terribly usually. Lugging them by means of the park as I seemed for an honest sufficient place to stage my shoot received tiresome fairly rapidly. However, I did put their loudness to the check by cranking the audio system all the way in which with my SP-404 MKII set to high quantity. Fairly lots of people stopped and stared at me with open hostility. They nonetheless sounded nice, with no distortion and the audio remained clear and punchy even from a couple of dozen toes away. However, like with the Wi-fi Studio+, the W+ Hyperlink does introduce some noise that turns into noticeable as you method the 75-percent mark on the quantity.

They have been helpful as simply common ol’ Bluetooth audio system. Whereas it’s been a contact too chilly to throw events in my yard, I’ve set one of many Unit-4s up exterior whereas I’ve raked the leaves. If I actually wished to make my neighbors hate me, I may flip the audio system all the way in which up they usually’d even be audible over my trimmer and leaf blower.

And because of their big batteries they’d simply have the ability to final by means of a couple of hours of yard work, a raucous BBQ, some late night time cleanup after which some. AIAIAI claims over 20 hours of battery life, however doesn’t specify if that’s over Bluetooth or W+ Hyperlink. I did a battery rundown check the place I left the Unit-4 linked over W+, often enjoying music by means of them from Ableton Stay and djay Professional with the quantity set at 75 p.c. The primary speaker gave up the ghost after 17 hours and 46 minutes, and the second adopted 11 minutes later. Contemplating the Studio Wi-fi+ final greater than 4 instances as lengthy when on Bluetooth versus W+ Hyperlink, it’s secure to imagine you’d have the ability to eke fairly a bit extra playtime out of the Unit-4 for those who have been utilizing them strictly as Bluetooth audio system. In fact, for those who did that you just’d be lacking out on the entire level of the Unit-4.

AIAIAI Unit 4 Wireless+ studio monitor on a yellow floral picnic blanket in a park with an SP-404 MKII in the foreground in that objectively dope Speak & Spell skin. Shout out to Cremacaffe.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Despite the fact that they’re dear, maybe the best buyer can be a busker. The Unit-4 can cowl reside performances with low sufficient latency to not be distracting, are dependable screens for mixing in a studio, and in addition loud sufficient replenish an house or yard with tunes for a celebration. The one factor I wouldn’t need to depend on them for is DJing. Whilst you may work across the latency by feeding each the cue and the reside combine to a pair of headphones, it’s only a smidge an excessive amount of for those who actually need to be certain your transitions are 100-percent on level.

One different factor price noting is that the quantity of latency you expertise with the Unit-4 will differ relying in your supply (USB-C vs ⅛” TRS) and even whether or not you’re on Home windows or macOS. If you happen to intend to make use of the Unit-4 with a Home windows PC over USB-C you completely want to put in the ASIO4ALL driver. Constructed-in Home windows audio drivers have improved over time, however they nonetheless can’t maintain a candle to Apple’s Core Audio or Steinberg’s ASIO. To be clear, this isn’t a difficulty with the Unit-4, however with Home windows. For the very best outcomes and the bottom latency, your greatest wager continues to be to make use of a devoted Audio interface and to attach the X02 Transmitter to that utilizing a TRS cable. In fact, that additionally means you’ll need to deliver some method to energy the transmitter, whether or not that’s an influence financial institution or a USB-C energy adapter.

AIAIAI Unit 4 Wireless+ studio monitors in park on a picnic blanket while I annoys Saturday morning jogger by blasting mediocre beats from an SP-404 MKII.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

In case you are somebody in search of a pair of moveable studio screens that allow you to (kind of) ditch the cables totally, the are principally the one sport on the town. They’re fashionable, pure sounding and have a unique set of options. However they’re undoubtedly extra of a distinct segment product than the Studio Wi-fi+. Whereas their price ticket isn’t low-cost, the flexibleness and broader attraction make them a neater promote. The Unit-4 however are each fairly costly at $800, and attempting to unravel a very particular downside. Not less than I can say unequivocally, they remedy that downside fairly properly.

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