If you’ve been looking for a multi-purpose speaker that looks as good as it sounds, one that can be used inside or outside (but not in the rain), and one that won’t cause your debit card to burst into flames, look no further than the Aiwa Exos-9 Bluetooth Speaker. At $299.95, this speaker can do it all.
The Aiwa Exos-9 features 200 watts of continuous power with 5 drivers including a 6.5″ dual-voice coil subwoofer; it has a removable and swappable Lithium-Ion battery that can up to 10 hours when you aren’t near a power source, and there’s even an optional 18-hour battery available when you need longer lasting. A 5-band onboard graphic equalizer with 4 available pre-sets ensures the best sound for any genre of music, and you can even link two Exos-9 speakers together for huge sound or multi-room use. You can get up to a 50-foot range using Bluetooth, and you can also pair your device with NFC.
Included in the box are the Exos-9 speaker, the standard 2600mAh 22V lithium-ion battery pack, a standard PC wall charging cable, a 3.5mm auxiliary cable, a quick start guide, and a registration link for a free two-year warranty.
Aiwa Exos-9 Specifications
• Onboard Volume
• EQ control
• Stereo/Mirroring controls
• Playback controls
• 4 Equalizer presets
• Bluetooth operating radius: 50ft
• Wireless NFC pairing
• A2DP support
• aptX®, AAC, SBC codec support
• Wireless two-speaker pairing (TWS)
• Dual stereo (LR + LR)
• Stereo-separated (L+R)
• Battery life: 9+ hours continuous typical use (~85dBA SPL with standard battery)
• Quick-swappable rechargeable battery pack
• 2600mAh 22V lithium-ion battery pack
• 18+ hours (with extended battery)
• Battery-save mode for 20% battery savings
• USB charging for phones and tablets
• USB input for firmware update
• Power input: 110-120v, 220-240v 50-60hz
• Frequency response: 40Hz-20KHz
• Continuous power output: 200W
• Max. SPL: 100dB+
• 5-band adjustable graphic EQ
• 4 Equalizer presets
• Two 1.0″ Silk dome tweeters
• Two 3.0″ Neodymium midrange speaker drivers
• A 6.5″ Dual voice coil subwoofer for deeper bass
• Class-D bi-amplification
• Active and passive crossovers
• Bass reflex port
• Acoustically isolated midrange chambers
• 3.5mm aux. input
Measuring approximately 19.25″ long by 11.9″ tall by 7.5″ deep and weighing 13 pounds, the Exos-9 is close to the limit of one might consider portable, but for those who spend their weekends camping, tailgating, or partying on the pool deck, the larger size means a louder, bigger, deeper, and richer sound. The front of the Exos-9 is predominantly dominated by the matte black metal speaker grille which covers the two 1.0″ silk dome tweeters, the two 3.0″ neodymium midrange speaker driver, and the center 6.5″ dual voice coil subwoofer. At the top, there is a shiny black plastic strip which hides the display that we’ll cover a bit later. A large silver volume knob is on the right. At the bottom of the speaker, there are two ports.
The top, sides, and back of the Exos-9 are composed of a textured, matte black plastic. In the forward center of the top, there is a shiny black plastic touchscreen control center which houses a play/pause button, the four-way equalizer buttons, and the Link button which is only used to pair two Exos-9 speakers together. To the right, there is an NFC pairing spot.
Both of the sides are plain.
On the back, there is a built-in rubber-padded handle, a center subwoofer port, the removable battery pack, and a port cluster.
The battery pack arrives uninstalled; it latches into the left side of the battery compartment and snaps in.
In the port cluster, you’ll find a 3.5mm Aux-In port, a Type-A USB out charging port, a microUSB port for performing software updates, the wall charger plug port, and the on/off switch.
On the bottom, there are two wide rubber strips for feet; they’ll keep the Exos-9 securely in place on most surfaces.
When charging, a battery icon on the display will flicker and fill as the battery loads; there are five sections to the battery, so it’s indicating 20% increments. After 15 minutes of inactivity, the speaker will enter sleep mode to save the battery; pressing one of the buttons on top will wake the Exos-9 again.
If you are using the Exos-9 indoors, Aiwa recommends that the speaker be placed close enough to a wall that the deep bass can be boosted, yet not so close that it will be dulled. They recommend that you move the speaker forward or back a bit when placing it to see where you get the best sound. Outdoors, this won’t be an issue. The one thing to remember when using the speaker outdoors is that there is no IPX rating listed, so you don’t want it to get splashed or rained on.
To pair the speaker, you can either touch the NFC icon with your NFC-enabled device or you can pair via Bluetooth. There is no dedicated Bluetooth button to press as the speaker is always available to pair; you just search for the Aiwa Exos9 in the available devices list on your smartphone or tablet, tap it, and you’ll be set. You’ll see a small Bluetooth icon in the upper righthand corner of the display when devices are actively paired, but the display will quickly dim to save battery life after 15 seconds. If you don’t want other Bluetooth devices that you have connected to in the past to have access to the speaker while you are using one particular device, you can press and hold the right arrow and the Link buttons together; the speaker will remain connected to that single device until you manually release it or until the speaker sleeps from inactivity.
Any time you press a button on the top touch panel, the top display will light for 15 seconds …
… and the front display will light for 15 seconds displaying the latest battery levels, the Bluetooth icon (if a device is connected), and the equalizer settings. You can set the equalizer manually by using the right and left arrow buttons to select an EQ band; when selected, that band will blink. You press the up or down arrow buttons to adjust, but if you would prefer to use one of the four EQ presets, you keep pressing the right arrow button to scroll through them.
Pressing the right arrow button again will cycle you to the Battery Save EQ Mode or turn off the equalizer. The Battery Save Mode will allow you to get more play time at high volumes by targeting and reducing audio frequencies that use the most power.
Okay, those are the basics on the speaker and how to make it work, the big question, of course, is how does it sound. In a word? Phenomenal. I listened to a variety of music, and the speaker did not disappoint. Indoors, it produces a rich, room-filling sound that rivals much more expensive speakers — portable or otherwise. Outside, it is more than loud enough to fill large open spaces. The bass is deep, warm, and it can be set to be booming or be a bit calmer — whatever you prefer. With the knob on the front, the speaker’s volume can be turned up so high that it is literally uncomfortable to sit in front of, and the table it is sitting on will shake, and yet — highs are clear, and mid-ranges aren’t muddy. The sound is what I would expect from a much more expensive speaker system, and yet the Exos-9 is still a portable speaker that can be used almost anywhere; it’s quite remarkable, really.
If you want a reasonably priced, multi-talented speaker that can be used inside for rich, full sound or used outdoors for your next backyard party, the Aiwa Exos-9 Bluetooth Speaker is an excellent choice. It would make a fantastic gift for anyone — including yourself. The Aiwa Exos-9 is “good-bye to good enough” indeed!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Will remember up to 8 paired devices; Removable battery for easy swapping; Huge sound; Standard battery lasts up to 10 hours; Phenomenal sound; Five-band equalizer with four settings, Battery saving EQ mode; Reasonable price
What Needs Improvement: No IPX rating, so don’t let it get wet!