Here at HiFiandMusicSource.com, we were fortunate to receive the first W35 just around lockdown #1 in the UK. It was just as easy at that time to put it in the family house and take a listen, given the circumstances. It easily became a family favourite as a solid, big sound for teatime dancing and quiet listening in equal measure. Now the W35+ (plus) is here and it is a very welcome guest to the house as we now recall those times.
This poor thing has been having a hard time, a summer party that ended up indoors because of the rain, Jubilee celebrations and a late-night party with some youngsters, listening and learning about Bristol’s Drum ‘n’ Bass scene!
This Elipson W35+ looks very similar (if not the same?) to the W35 (non-plus). It retains the 35cm diameter and the 350W RMS, delivered by Class D amplification. It also retains the aluminium belt around the circumference which is such a feature, so what is the plus about it?
The ‘plus’ is that it now has a redesigned 25mm silk dome tweeter, offering more in the treble with ‘better harmonics’. It also has an ethernet input option for wired operation, good if you have a poor router as we do in the house. I found; we found, the Wi-Fi to be very stable in the old W35 so the addition of the Ethernet may seem to be a bit of a sideshow, but the key to the Ethernet is that you have that added stability away from Wi-Fi.
There are in fact two of the new design silk dome tweeters are complimented with two further 165mm diameter mid/bass speakers in the W35+ ball. This spherical design still draws on Elipson’s heritage with their Planet L and M loudspeakers, and it affords their claimed advantage of eliminating body resonance.
As well as Wi-Fi and Ethernet inputs there are digital optical and analogue AUX in (3,5mm mini-jack) options.
The W35+ retains the high-quality finish of the former version, with the aluminium belt adding a touch of class to the whole package. I have the optional tripod legs again that are very firm and provide a solid base for the W35 to operate. This time I have some rubber feet for the base of each leg adding grip to our stone or wooden floor. Also, in the box, there are three Velcro ties for tidying up the Ethernet wire and the power lead which is a nice touch.
There is a very acceptable remote for doing the basics and the sphere is covered in the acoustic fabric type grid, familiar from the previous version.
The W35+ has a similar frequency response to the former model at 47 Hz – 22 kHz (+- 3db), and the W35+ has a sensitivity SPL of 101 dB at 1m, I can’t track down the former value from the old 35. The W35+ weighs in at 7.6kg and has a 350 mm diameter sphere.
The Elipson W35+ is available in a Matt Dark Grey, and it is available in the UK right now at a UK MSRP of £899. The specially designed tripod stand is available in either Silver Oak or Walnut at £149. Additional flexible mounting options are also available for the W35+ so it can blend into your home, these include a wall or ceiling mounting option. There is no effective stereo option since the single point source of the W35+ offers the stereophonic sound, so two in a pair doesn’t really happen in this case, though of course they can be used as part of a multiroom solution with the Elipson App.
it has been a connectivity dream
Here is no review equipment to be honest just my Pixel 4 phone and the kids’ iPhones, it has been a connectivity dream. We have literally just plugged it in, and I’ve downloaded the App on an Android.
The W35+ is fairly pickupable and movable, so for example we had it on the patio for a party, it started raining and we just picked it up under its belly and carted it inside. For outdoor use I used an ethernet extender from BT, it was fine.
On that note, the Elipson W35+ is a talking point, every time. This makes it an interesting angle from the ordinary, when I’ve mentioned the price in that same conversation there have not been any adverse reactions.
The Remote has a quality feel and is responsive as you would expect and want at this price, it is a bit smaller and is held in the hand, comfortably.
What does it sound like? It’s great, there’s plenty of high-quality output here, there are no rattles or bother at high volume and the App is great. Ethernet wired, is a total winner, on Wi-Fi, it is the same. It does go loud, I can say that!
Take a track like The Weeknd’s Save Your Tears (Tidal Masters 24 bit, 44.1kHz); it’s punchy has rhythm and bass, it’s a big song, especially if you turn it up a bit and want a dance. Here the Elipson W35+ delivers plenty without fuss, there is plenty of bass for me at least.
Whilst I was playing with the Elipson W35+ one Sunday, Enya’s Orinoco Flow (Tidal Masters 24 bit, 44.1kHz) came up on My Tidal Daily feed. It was very peaceful, big at the key points but very subtle indeed, it was surprising delivering the scale of this particular song from such a single point device. Is the treble improved? I cannot really remember the tweeters letting the old W35 down and here, there’s detail, scale and volume a plenty.
The very good news is the App has improved from the last review made a couple of years ago and that’s great. The best way to control the W35+ is with the App on Wi-Fi. It works really well and is seamless once you’ve signed into your accounts. It does the Spotify Connect thing too, which I’ve started using a little more with the W35+. The App drops you into the Spotify App which is useful.
If you are out of range of a network connection or Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (which is 4.0 and supports aptX HD) is the way forward with this speaker and similarly, it is fun and makes for that party speaker conversation as you swap tracks. A late-night session with the W35+ introduced me to Bristol’s finest Drum’n’Bass artists, as well as Shy FX in particular if I recall; we also went quite heavy and loud on Cat Burns and Sweet Female Attitude.
It has been a faultless performer
This poor old review sample has been through it with the Jubilee celebrations thrown in. It has been in party mode, chillout speaker mode, test match special mode when we were knocking New Zealand over and Drum’n’Bass mode. It will be happy to call it a day with us here! Throughout it all, it has been waiting patiently like a loyal butler waiting to be summoned at any point. It has been a faultless performer.
I think, on the patio front (poolside?), an optional battery pack (ball-shaped?) would be a good idea for a hundred pounds or so. Just to give you that fully flexible option, but then you’ll need carry cases and things for it so it might get out of control.
If you are after a talking point that sounds great, this is a go-to, without a doubt. But do not forget there is a proper big sound here too, no problem. There is plenty of punchy bass and resolution too as well as a soft subtlety to this Elipson W35+ that is of note. It will be the scale of the presentation I will mention when asked in future conversations about this W35+, that is quite a thing.
Scale of the presentation
Punchy tight bass
Battery Pack, maybe?
Full details are on the company’s site