AlphaTheta launches their super reliable, fully wireless loudspeaker for DJs with the all-new, battery-powered WAVE-EIGHT.
Dropping together with the awesomely futuristic all-in-one, OMNIS-DUO, this speaker is the unsung hero of the launch partners, turning the dream of DJing fully remotely into a reality!
WAVE-EIGHT makes it possible to DJ with several linked speakers completely wirelessly and with ultra-low latency.
DJs can now perform anywhere with zero cables needed and plenty of speaker power.
In this review, we explore how WAVE-EIGHT sounds, how easy it is to connect to DJ kit and create a wireless sound system, and whether it’s a good choice for your style of DJing.
WAVE-EIGHT Key Features
- SonicLink ultra–low latency transmitter plugs into any mixer or audio device via RCA, creating a low-latency wireless connection
- Can link with additional WAVE-EIGHTS to make stereo pairs and 2.1 systems
- 8-hour built-in battery to play completely wire-free!
- 8” Subwoofer for rich bass
- Full and balanced sound with loud peak volume reaching around 106.9dB
- IPX4 splash-proof build protects against stray liquids and light rain
- Plenty of physical I/O, including a 3.5mm AUX jack, XLR In and Out jacks, TRS MIC input with attenuator and EQ and a 5v 2.1A USB-C port for charging mobile devices
- Relatively lightweight at 12.5KG with pull-out tray handle and castor wheels for easy transport by hand or foot
- $899 pre-tax / €999 includes tax / £859 includes VAT
DJing with Wireless Speakers
Bluetooth and wireless speakers haven’t taken off with DJs so far due to latency.
This is the lag time between pressing play on a music track and hearing it come out of a speaker. As a result of the time it takes to transmit audio as a wireless signal and then translate it back into audio on the other side.
Latency is unavoidable with wireless streaming, however, the delay is tiny so isn’t a problem for domestic listening. But for DJs, it’s enough to throw a mix off track as we must fine-tune our transitions with precision.
Over the years, few manufacturers have tried to produce a Bluetooth or wireless speaker with a small enough lag time for DJing.
Soundboks is one example, but it isn’t quite the same as WAVE-EIGHT, as the speaker is much larger and lacks all the exciting connectivity features. Check our dedicated review here for more on what Soundboks brings to the wireless table.
Another option the audio industry has explored for low-latency cable-free speakers, is to create an exclusive wireless network using transmitters and receivers that plug into the decks and speakers. See our review on the Xvive U3 for more on this.
SonicLink Ultra-Low Latency Transmitter
WAVE-EIGHT creates an exclusive wireless network rather than relying on Bluetooth technology, as with Soundboks.
To do this, WAVE ships with a SonicLink ultra-low latency transmitter box that plugs into the back of an audio device.
The device then transmits audio wirelessly to the speaker with virtually no lag!
In our testing, we didn’t notice any lag whatsoever, even when the speakers were further away than would typically be expected!
The transmitter is charged via USB-C and has a handy charging compartment within the speaker, so it never needs to be without power.
Create a sound system with SonicLink
The SonicLink enables multiple WAVE speakers to combine by piggybacking on one broadcast signal to create sound systems of two or more speakers.
Built-in hardware controls and pre-set EQs mean each speaker can be set to a specific role: Like playing only the left-side audio, or the right.
WAVE can also be used to play only bass frequencies, becoming a dedicated subwoofer, or play everything other than the bass to become a dedicated tweeter.
The flexibility of WAVE’s configurations allows a rig that can scale to a respectable 2.1 system of two tweeters and a subwoofer that easily fills any large space, including outdoor areas, with rich, bass-driven sound!
Class-D amplifier and Vortex Bass Accelerator
The class-D amplifier means WAVE-EIGHT is incredibly power-efficient, which works well for a speaker that relies on battery power.
It has a battery life of approximately 8 hours, but it’s unclear if that is when the speaker is blasting at full volume or not.
It’s likely that at full volume, the speaker will achieve less time and at lower volumes, it can achieve slightly more, with the quoted 8 hours being for a middle average volume.
The Vortex Bass Accelerator is an established concept borrowed from Pioneer DJ’s VM series of active monitors.
It basically means that you’ll get a lot of punch from the bass cone!
In WAVE-EIGHT’s case, the 8” driver easily packs the punch of a speaker with a 10” or even 12” cone!
We’ve found the speaker delivers a rich, full sound with very little distortion to the low end at maximum volume and the highs remain clear throughout.
Battery-powered and water-resistant
An eight-hour battery, IPX4 water resistance and supreme wireless technology all come together to make a speaker that can party almost anywhere!
The battery takes 4-6 hours to charge, depending on whether the speaker is in use.
It charges by a detachable IEC connector, which is good news as they are easy to come by anywhere.
The IPX4 water resistance means the speaker is certified for splashes. We take this to mean that light rain and stray liquids can find their way onto the device, so long as they are wiped away fairly quickly.
Easy to move
The device is also relatively lightweight at 12.5KG and has plenty of handles, caster wheels and a pull-out tray handle, making transporting it a breeze. However, we found that the speaker does have some wobble when wheeled, like when you lose control of a fully packed suitcase if pulling it too quickly!
The speaker’s versatility is clearly displayed with the I/O panel, as its inputs are fully comprehensive.
There are two balanced Line-level inputs on combo XLR/ TRS jacks that will suit both DJs and musicians as they allow the speaker to physically plug into a DJ console, mixing board or instrument.
There’s also a dedicated MIC input on a balanced TRS jack with a dedicated attenuator, Hi/Lo EQ and an echo for any vocal need, from public service announcements to singing.
And for further use to singers, there’s a built-in Bluetooth receiver, plus a more traditional 3.5mm AUX jack for playing music through the speaker as a backing track.
There’s also a 5 V 2.1A USB-C port for charging mobile devices for added convenience.
The speaker that does it all!
This is a great speaker for DJs and other performers looking to perform in unique locations!
WAVE sits very nicely in its cost bracket, offering a lot of functionality and value. It is a wise investment for DJs, musicians and artists who need rich, loud sound in remote locations, as with street performers.
Its sound is impressive, certainly from a DJ’s perspective!
The speaker looks great, is easy to transport, and, with its professional XLR inputs, outputs and pole mounts, can easily live in a more static environment like a bar.
In our testing, we could hear it clearly a lot further away than we thought necessary and found that it reaches the same volume level as the larger-sized Soundboks; 106.9 dB.
We can’t recommend this speaker enough, mainly because it has so many uses and performs well no matter what’s thrown at it!
Check out our video review where we put WAVE-EIGHT to the test.
Make your DJ sets unique
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