Build Quality 5
Sound Quality 5
Features 4
Value for Money 5

A very interesting lifestyle product from French designer Jules Parmentier. Let’s see what its all about..

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Aerix Duet

Company

Aerix is a name that is going to be quite alien to many of you, as its quite the “new kid on the block” especially in the UK. Aerix is a French designed product, which comes from the mind of Jules Parmentier. The Aerix Duet is designed to be an all in one style system, which features a 360 degree soundstage, in-built down firing subwoofer ,CD Player, Streamer and Bluetooth, all piled into 2 x cubes, which sit on a very stylish metal base.

Aerix is making its debut in the UK, thanks to a deal which has been struck with Zepher Audio, a well established UK Distributor (Advance Paris, Advance Acoustics & JE Audio) Ricky from Zepher Audio commented, “ We at Zepher Audio are very excited to announce our new distribution deal with Aerix. The Duet is a very exciting product, which we first discovered at the Munich High End Show. We feel the Duet has mass market appeal, and offers an audiophile sound, with styling that will work in a huge number of homes & businesses. It has a simplicity to it that makes it very accessible to every customer. I think we have something very special here and a product which is unique in the UK market.”

Strong words indeed, so expectations are high, it certainly looks the part, but let’s see if it can “walk the walk”.

Aesthetics

The Duet comes in very stylish & modern packaging, and upon opening the box, you can tell this is a very well designed & though out product. This is certainly not a hobby or quick start up business, this is a very serious brand, that has had substantial resources and time spent building this brand. The product is very well packed, even the accessories are displayed in a very stylish box, instruction manuals are all there, and nicely laid out. So far, I am very impressed.

Lifting the Duet out of the box, it does have a bit of weight to it, but it doesn’t feel too heavy that it becomes completely non portable. (It does require a power cable though, it is not battery powered!) The finish I have here is the White (also available in black) but it is certainly eye catching. I can imagine the black would be a little more subtle, but I have to say I do like the White, and it will no doubt suit certain homes better.

The build quality is exceptional, again, this is telling me this is a very serious company who believes in this product and has put the resources into it to make it work. The styling is stunning, personally this is the best looking product of its type I have come across, the LED Display that runs across the cubes is very cool (which displays source, volume, song playing etc…) the metal base is very classy. It does come with a remote control, but also has controls on the base plate. I couldn’t be more impressed with the cosmetics of this product and its build quality. Certainly for this type of product, from an appearance point of view, this is a hands down winner for me. Now I am just hoping the sound quality can match, because if so, I think Zepher Audio may be correct when they say they have found something “special” here!

 

Sound Quality

So to begin with I tried the built in CD Player. Arguably, most people will likely use the Duet more for streaming than for CD purposes, but its a nice feature to have (in my opinion) I listened to Jack Savoretti – Between the Minds. I like Jack, because he has quite a distinctive voice, and its a great demo artist for me because good systems really pronounce the unique qualities in his vocals. To my delight, the Duet didn’t let me down! It had a very impressive sound. Ok, let’s not get carried away, and let’s remember what we are dealing with here. If you are going to compare this product to a complete set of HiFi Separates, then you’re gong to be disappointed, because it doesn’t have the 3 dimensionality but let’s be realistic here! The 360 degree sound really works, I moved around the room just to test it out and the sound didn’t change. I got the same sound from anywhere I moved in the room (provided that there was nothing blocking the sound getting to me). The soundstage is very impressive, the bass is solid and tight, the details in Jack’s voice were clear and elegant. 

I then switched to the streaming option. Aerix use the DTS Play-Fi App which is very easy to use, and available on the app store or Google Play. I selected the same album and had another listen. The sound was just as good as CD, if not slightly better (it was streaming in 16 bit CD Quality, so was to be expected) but the main thing for me was Aerix haven’t selected a cheap streamer, cheap CD Player and tried to live off the fact that this product looks great and will impressive your friends at your next dinner party. This is very much a HiFi quality product, and the sound matters! 

I then switched to Bluetooth. It connected up straight away, and my iPhone found the Aerix in seconds. Playing the same album again, the sound wasn’t quite as good as before but thats only to be expected. It did still sound bloody good though, and kept many of the same qualities I mentioned above. Realistically most people will use the WiFi streamer but the bluetooth is handy for allowing friends or family to connect quickly. 

Aerix has three sound setting, which allow you to change the sound presets to your personal taste or to the music you are listening to. They move from natural, to vidid to relaxed. I did try several more upbeat tracks, acoustic, Jazz ETC… and there is an audible difference between the settings, however I simply liked the Natural setting across all genres, but a good idea for people that prefer a particular sound, or listen to only one genre. 

I am also told that you can add a turntable (with built in phono stage) and use a RCA to 3.5mm jack cable between them. I did try it quickly, and it was a really nice set up, certainly compact, and just looked great. The sound was still good, I could tell I was listening to vinyl, and thats not something I can say from every product, particularly when like the Aerix, the Aux was fitted with turntable additions in mind as such, so no complaints from me! The Aux also means this could be connected to your TV, which again gave me a really nice 360 degree sound, great for when you are doing anything in the house and have the TV on as background noise, because the sound follows you wherever you go, but also for movies, the bass and 360 soundstage was brilliant, certainly giving some soundbars a very hard run for their money! 


Overall

I wasn’t expecting to be writing this, but this is definitely something “special”. When Zepher told me this was “Special” and was going to be a huge hit, I thought “Yeah, Yeah I’ve heard it all before” but they were right! Aesthetically it is simply stunning, built superbly, easy to use, well packaged and well presented. Sonically its keeps those high standards! A superb sound, very clever engineering, good quality components and a clear and obvious intention form Aerix to make the sound just as important a factor as the aesthetics. My only complaint, and this is picky, but I would have liked them to have their own app, this is hugely critical, but when they had gone to the effort of packaging it so well, designed that stunning chassis and sound, that would have been the icing on the cake. It wouldn’t make any difference to the sound or functionality but it would have been nice to see a dedicated app. Harsh I know, but it was on my mind, and therefore has to be said. I am reluctant to say it because this is truly a superb product, it is so critical, and 99{6806edec008b3c44af7a20f06579e4309e0b66af22fa80c5fd353ed1ebf7407a} of people probably wouldn’t care, but we have to be honest with our reviews, so thats what I’m being. 

If I had £1,499.00 to spend and I wanted an all in one system for a bedroom, living room, kitchen, office or study I wouldn’t look past the Aerix Duet. For me its now the front runner in the UK for this type of product, and I don’t say that easily as there is some serious competition, but once again I have to be honest, and I don’t think there is anything better on market at its price. 

I would be handing this one of our coveted Platinum awards, it’s that good! That app issue, while picky and harsh, just makes the Aerix lose out, but a very well deserved Gold Award has to be given here!

I am told more products are coming soon from Aerix, and I simply cannot wait to see them!! 

Bravo Aerix! 

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