Review: Pinell Supersound 901

Wireless all-in-one system

The sound pressure can blow you away - the Pinell system is only missing one thing.

Published 2024-03-07 - 8:00 am
Pinell Supersound 901
Lasse Svendsen

Few people have any expectations of a compact all-in-one system. It has to work, play well enough and preferably not take up too much space. It’s nice if the price isn’t a deterrent, right?

At Pinell in Norway, they’re not satisfied with good enough. Ever since they made their breakthrough with a remarkably good travelling radio, they’ve always strived to incorporate good sound. Whether it’s been radios or small systems in mono or stereo.

The last time we tested something from this range was Pinell’s largest all-in-one system, the Supersound 701, which with everything built in – including a CD player – delivers rich and fine sound for a compact system.

Also check out Well-playing and competent

The compact Pinell Supersound 701 is the best in its class.

Now the flagship of the series is here, and the Supersound 901, at almost 80 cm wide, is a completely different experience. The wide all-in-one system looks like a large soundbar, but is a complete system with everything built in and connections for external audio sources.

(Photo: Pinell)

Many people don’t need more than the Supersound 901. It has streaming via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, Spotify integration with FM/DAB+ radio and a CD player. Two digital and one analogue stereo input means you can connect a turntable, games console or TV to the system. A music memory stick can be connected to the USB input on the back.

Unfortunately, there is no HDMI input with audio return (ARC), which is more convenient for connecting TV audio than the optical input on the back. However, the system can still function as a soundbar for the TV, even if it doesn’t have Dolby Atmos surround.

(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

App control

Most people may prefer to stream from their mobile phones via Bluetooth, but the sound is better when streaming via Wi-Fi. As Tidal and Qobuz users should do. Those who prefer Spotify Connect will hardly hear a difference.

But you will if you ditch DAB or FM radio and listen to radio with internet radio in your system. The sound is actually better because the audio files are not compressed as much as on DAB and FM.

Radio stations on all bands and podcasts can be stored and quickly selected with the number buttons on the remote control or in the new Oktiv app, which replaces the Undok app that Pinell used before. In the app, you can also select EQ and make settings that are a little more complicated to achieve with the remote control.

(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

It’s nice to have for the basics, but not for settings. If you press the menu button, remember to navigate sideways with the four-way button on the remote control. If you try to scroll down or up in the on-screen menu with the + and -, i.e. the volume buttons, you will, unsurprisingly, end up adjusting the volume. This is also true when you’re in the settings menu and it’s not logical. Hopefully, this can be fixed with a firmware update.

(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

Massive sound

Few table speakers can match the dynamics and physics of the Pinell system. Well, tThe Naim Mu-So can, of course, but it costs more and lacks a radio and CD player.

Also check out Technics SC-C70 MK2 gets better sound and more features

Technics improves the test winner SC-C70 MK2

The closest thing to the Supersound 901 is Technic’s beautifu Ottava SC-C70 MK2. It also has radio, streaming, a CD player in the top and inputs for external audio sources. It delivers a slightly warmer sound and has a simple room correction function.

Two-way speakers behind the front fabric. (Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

But it doesn’t have the physical bass of the Supersound system, nor does it deliver as big and open a soundstage. Behind the 901’s removable fabric grille are two 10 cm midwoofers and two 25 mm tweeters. The units are placed in a bass reflex chamber on either side of the colour screen and control panel. But hidden beneath the cabinet is the key to the physical sound. A 16.5 cm subwoofer that can be switched off if you think it’s too much of a good thing.

16.5 cm subwoofer (Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

I recommend leaving it switched on and instead adjusting the bass and treble in the menus, or alternatively try the ready-made EQ settings if you want to change the sound.

The power from the subwoofer contributes greatly to the fat bass, but also to the range of the sound, adding depth to the drums and bass guitar. So much so that you can physically feel it. But not so much that it overshadows the rest of the sound. It’s surprisingly focused and detailed. Vocals are rendered with a warm glow, and guitars, strings and horns shine in the open soundstage

(Photo: Lasse Svendsen)

Even piano music sounds rich and dynamic here. There’s good depth in the lowest octaves of the instrument, and if you switch from streaming over Wi-Fi to CD, the soundstage opens up more and the focus tightens.

Conclusion

The Pinell Supersound 901 is a very well made system, perfect for anyone who wants everything in one place. The sound quality is unrivalled for a system in this price range and with everything integrated, it is able to meet many people’s home audio needs. HDMI input would be a welcome bonus, but the optical input does the job for those who want to use the system as a soundbar. It’s also worth mentioning that the system looks great, with very nice wood veneer and interchangeable fronts.

(Foto: Lasse Svendsen)

Karakter
Pinell Supersound 901
Premium

We think

Big soundstage with really serious bass, open and balanced sound. Abundant volume. Can be controlled with an app. The remote control is not as intuitive as we would have wanted. No HDMI input.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dig out your CD collection!

So simple - so masterly!

The compact system that has it all

Time for a change!

Just press the start button

Hegel never ceases to surprise

Scroll to Top