From its first tune, the W7’s performance impressed for one so usefully small — 15cm wide and about 17cm high and deep, easy and neat for any size of room without taking over the décor. It has a set of controls on a metal bar at bottom right, the same size as on the W9, but relatively larger on this smaller unit, extending almost halfway across the W7’s face.
The driver complement on this near-cube is most unexpected. The front face has a 25mm aluminium-dome tweeter in each top corner, plus a single four-inch mid-bass driver. But on the two side faces there is another tweeter in each back top corner, plus a bass radiator the same size as the active mid-bass driver on the front. The four tweeters get 10W of power each, the active driver gets 30W.
So don’t tuck the W7 on a bookshelf with books on either side — its side faces need space to send that treble information outward and deliver the impressively wide and non-boxy sound that it achieves. This is its most impressive achievement — it doesn’t sound at all box-bound, and separates stereo even though there’s little sense of distinct left and right unless your head is right up to the cloth grille. It presents this sense of width along with a remarkably tight and punchy bass, and without the boxiness usual from this size and shape of speaker unit.
In our direct A-B testing this openness and clarity compared wonderfully with, say, the larger but somewhat stodgier Bose SoundTouch 20 (generation II), while the ability to separate musical strands exceeded that of a Sonos Play:5 (original version), which sounded rather flat in direct comparison when playing the laidback new Bob Dylan album. The W7 proved itself to be a great little wireless speaker.
Definitive Technology W7 wireless speaker
+ Great sound for the size
+ Side drivers create a spread of sound
- Needs space at sides