If you’re prefer to go wireless (and who wouldn’t?), you’re going to need to configure that card. If your router has a WPS button, it should be easy-peasy. Push the WPS button on the card and the one on your router and there should be an instant love connection. If you don’t have that button (and sigh, I do not), there are a few extra steps involved.
To network the Aris without WPS, plug in the speaker and go to your mobile device of choice. For this review, that was my laptop. The Aris actually becomes its own Wi-Fi hotspot, which you’ll need to connect to. Once connected, go to the IP address provided and enter your network’s password. From there, you’ll be connected and all is right in the wireless world.
On top of the device, there are separate buttons for the volume, muting and power. There’s also an EQ button that allows you to toggle through three preset sound modes. It should also be noted that the Aris doesn’t come with a remote control, which is fine if you use the Aperion app. Unfortunately, that’s only currently available to Android users via the Google Play Store (sorry Kindle people!).
Behind the Aris’ gille are two 4-inch drivers and two 1-inch silk-dome tweeters. Around the back, you’ll see two 4-inch passive radiators. That small enclosure sure packs in a lot of goodness! The end result is 100 watts of awesome sound. Seriously, I have yet to hear anything bad from Aperion. Thankfully, they aren’t starting a trend with the Aris. Everything I cranked out of that thing sounded absolutely wonderful.
One thing that I wasn’t thrilled about was how to crank that music. It would be nice if the Aris was a catchall kind of speaker, but it’s not. If you are happy with no networking features, you’ll be happy with the Aris. As far as I’m concerned, it takes a special kind of person to want the Aris Wireless Card for Windows—and that person loves Windows Media Player.
If you’re that type of person, streaming music is simple enough. Open up Windows Media Player on your PC, right-click the song you want and have it “Play To” the connected device. See how Windows does that?
As mentioned, Aperion’s Aris app is currently only available for Android devices. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test out this option, which was just released this summer. If you’ve got another portable, the streaming is kind of clunky. According to Aperion, Microsoft has yet to announce plans for media support from the Windows Phone and iOS devices can download media:connect from the iTunes App Store. The iOS app is free, but doesn’t provide the smooth experience that you’d expect from an Aperion-made app—something that should be coming to iOS devices at some point.
Using the iPhone 4, the media:connect app would have the occasional error where it couldn’t find the Aris. For the most part, it streamed just fine. However, you’ll need to “render” any content that you want to play. If you just try to play through the Player option, it will just come out of your phone. It’s sort of confusing—and why shouldn’t it be? This app is not made for the Aperion Aris.
Instead, you may want to opt for Bluetooth, which is an option that’s new to the Aris. If you already own the device, you can add on the Bluetooth dongle for $37. If not, I’d advise going for this option right out of the gate. It will allow you to stream any type of Bluetooth-capable goodies.
The top of the Aperion Aris has just five buttons.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.