Review: Aiwa Exos-9

Works well at home, not when it’s away

You can't complaint about the sound, but it has its limitations as a boombox.

Karakter
Aiwa Exos-9
We think
Replaceable battery pack. Plays loudly and powerfully. Balanced and good sound.
The overtones are not the most resolved. Not weather proof. Not exactly a boombox.
Specifications

Element: 2 x 1”, 2 x 3”, 6.5” bass

Frequency range: 40 Hz–20 kHz

Amplifier: 200 watt

Max sound pressure: 100 dB

Connections: Aux, Bluetooth 4.0 (NFC)

Battery life: 9 hours (18 h accessories)

Dimensions: 50 x 30 x 20 cm

Weight: 7.2 kg

Website: turascandinavia.com

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After the classical Japanese brand Aiwa was engulfed by Sony in the 80’s, it eventually disappeared altogether. It has now been resurrected as an American company. Their debut product Exos-9 is a decent piece that could have been brought back from the 90’s. The aim has been to create a wireless speaker that is powerful enough to work both inside and outside. Thus, it has a nice, large replaceable battery, and you can buy a larger one as an extra accessory. A carry handle on the back makes it convenient to carry. But it is too bulky to carry over longer stretches. So the question is whether it really is a boombox? Especially since it is neither robust nor water resistant.

A smart touch panel makes it very user-friendly.

The Aiwa Exos-9 is controlled with a touch panel on the top, which illuminates nicely when you touch it. Here you can switch between four preset EQ settings for different music styles, or create your own. Naturally, you can also start and stop the playback. There is also a link button so you can connect two Exos-9, either as a stereo pair or to play the same music in two rooms. The back hides an Aux input if you don’t want to use Bluetooth. There is a USB port that can be used to charge a mobile phone that is about to die.

Of all the speakers in the test, Aiwa is the one that sounds the most “correct” and honest. There are no tricks or sculpted sound profiles. However, this does not imply that it sounds dull in any way. No, it has enough power to deafen ears. The bass is extra rich, but is very cadenced and rhythmical, without slipping in any way. But above all, it is so well-balanced that it can play any type of music. Its limitations might start to show with classical music, but it is not quite fair to address it as a drawback in this test. Exos-9 just takes what it gets and renders it so powerfully and honestly that everything works.

 

(Photo: Manufacturer)

 

 

Conclusion

In the living room, Aiwa Exos-9 is a real monster that thunders away, so loud that it hurts your ears. It is extremely powerful, and the bass is tight and definite without slipping. When you look at it, you might get the impression that it is a “party speaker” that can’t play decent music, but in reality it can. It is not the best choice if you prefer classical, jazz and other fully acoustic music. However, if you want an omnivorous speaker, you won’t get anything better at this price. However, Exos-9 cannot truly be considered a boombox since it is hard to carry around. And since it’s not protected against water and dust, you probably can’t take it to the beach.

 

Also in this test

Sony GTK-XB60

More flashing than thumping

Despite its party exterior, the XB60 does not play as gripping as its competitors.

Sleek design and impressive light show. Party mode and microphone input. USB charger.
Short battery life with all features on. Requires adjustments to sound good with different styles of music.

Braven XXL

A multi-faceted tank

An armoured vehicle on the outside that turns out to have unexpected music qualities on the inside.

Robust and IPX5 splash proof. Microphone input and USB charger. Unexpectedly good sound.
Quite heavy to carry around. No decent deep bass. Requires a special charger.

Monster Superstar Blaster

Great appearance and sound

Monster’s boombox is brutal to look at, but it sounds nicer than expected.

Can play outrageously loud and can be taken everywhere. Worth the price, can be a real bargain!
Weighs quite a lot. Bluetooth and Aux input only.

Vooni Boombox

Bigger is not better

Just like the gadgets in the Hobbex youth catalogue, the Boombox is too good to be true.

A lot of decibels for its price. Many sound sources.
Immensely huge and terribly heavy. Cheap, ill-considered construction. Sounds terrible.

JBL Boombox

Small speaker, big boom

Despite its relatively small size, JBL Boombox has a great sound with proper bass rendition.

IPX7-waterproof. Long battery life. Potent bass and good sound quality.
No tone controls. High price tag.

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