- Luxurious build quality and design
- Terrific sound quality
- Two inputs and wireless upgrade
- Wireless functionality not built in
- Wireless setup a little long winded
Review Price £179.00
Manufacturer: Blue Aura
Design and Connections
Blue Aura’s WS30i is the cheaper version of the Blue Aura WS80i wireless active speakers we reviewed back in June, and although the spec sheet is a bit lighter at this lower price, we’re hoping it offers the same luxurious sound quality as its step-up stable-mate.
Like the WS80i, the WS30i active monitors are ideal if you want to upgrade the sound quality of your TV’s stereo speakers without having to invest in an AV amplifier, or if you simply want to listen to music on PCs or portable devices.
The biggest difference between this and the WS80i is that the speakers lack the built-in wireless receivers, which allowed you to beam signals from sources around the house. However, the WS30i can be turned into a wireless system by purchasing the optional WSTxR transmitter and receiver kit, which costs around £65.
Thankfully the WS30i’s build quality is every bit as stunning as the step-up version. It’s clad in a gorgeous soft faux leather finish that not only looks and feels nice to the touch, but also lends remarkable sturdiness to the overall enclosure – plus we love the stitching running along the top. Our speakers came in a cool white finish but they’re also available in black, and at 175mm high they’re a perfect size for shelves, desktops and other tight spaces.
On the back of the left speaker you’ll find an couple of sockets for your external sources. There’s a set of stereo cinch inputs (as well as a stereo to minijack cable in the box), a subwoofer output in case you want to add extra bass oomph, a 3.5mm minijack input and a USB port that powers the WSTxR wireless receiver. There’s a pair of high-quality speaker cable binding posts on the back too, and because the speakers are powered there’s a DC input for the power adapter.
The right speaker only features a pair of binding posts on the back – you simply join the left and right speakers with the supplied cable. That’s a bonus because you only need one adapter to power both, unlike the WS80i which needed a plug socket for each speaker. There’s a set of stands designed specifically for the WS30i speakers, which will set you back about £68, as well as £20 wall brackets.