Mike Giffin, the silver-tongued CEO of Wren Sound Systems, is an audio journeyman. For about 35 years, he has worked in the high-end audio segment, partly as a division president at Harman International. He speaks with a radio-friendly cadence and a rich tonal quality, almost like the products he creates. After more than three decades making speakers and home audio components, he has hit a home run.
The Wren V5PF ($400) is the Android-enabled version of Wren’s V5AP speaker designed for iOS devices. Unlike that model, which relies on the sometimes sketchy AirPlay wireless streaming technology, the new Wren uses DTS Play-Fi. This is the same technology inside the Phorus Play-Fi wireless speaker system speaker I reviewed recently.
There’s one major difference between AirPlay and Play-Fi, outside of the iOS versus Android debate. AirPlay works most of the time, but in my tests, it can flake out when someone else in your home is downloading a new game demo on an Xbox 360, streaming a movie to a laptop, and generally consuming a chunk of your wireless bandwidth. Play-Fi, on the other hand, worked amazingly well when I first encountered it in the Phorus speakers, even though I wasn’t a big fan of the speaker quality itself.
The Wren V5PF is the best of both