Wren’s V5AP is still one of my favorite AirPlay speakers, but recently I’ve been kinda off the whole AirPlay thing thanks to an the crazy East German walls of my apartment building. These walls are too crumbly to let me drill a proper hole for even a coat hook, but somehow thick and dense enough to confuse even a strong dual-band Wi-Fi signal. To recap: AirPlay speakers just won’t stay connected.
Thankfully, Wren now offers a Bluetooth version of the big, booming V5, called the V5BT, and it promises to be pretty good.
The Wren V5BT costs the same $400 as the AirPlay version, and really uses the same guts., The difference is in the radio it uses to stream the music, and uses the CSR aptX codec (from supported devices) to stream high-quality audio over Bluetooth. This sounds a lot more sensible than my current setup, which is insane: I’m streaming to a small Braven 650 Bluetooth speaker, which has its jack output connected to the wired input of the Wren. Utterly ridiculous.
If I had a more reliable home network, then I’d stick with the AirPlay. But there’s something about the convenience and reliability of Bluetooth I really like, even if the sound is (usually) worse. Convenience wins again.
The new Wren V5BT is available now, in the same lovely bamboo and rosewood finishes.