Piega Ace Wireless 5.1 Loudspeaker System Review Page 2

The Sub Medium is a dual-driver model with a pair of 8in woofers, and something of a looker. It has an attractive cylinder/plinth stand design, aluminium construction (natch), and the same choice of finishes as the Ace speakers. It also supports WiSA, allowing it to pair seamlessly with the other units in the system. Pricing is £1,750 or £1,950, depending on the finish.

Socket To 'Em
Before we move on to performance, let's address the elephant in the room: while this system is wireless, it's not wire-less. Since we're dealing with active speakers, you'll need to plug each one into a power socket. In the case of a 7.1 system that's seven speakers, one sub, and possibly a WiSA source, making a total of nine plugs – that's a lot of sockets for the average room.

However, assuming you can find enough sockets to plug everything in, you'll be rewarded with a system that feels responsive and cohesive. The use of identical tweeters and drivers throughout ensures a tonal balance, while the sub delivers a solid foundation of bass thanks to its twin woofer design, allowing it to dig deeper than its relatively bijou appearance would suggest (although the rated frequency response of 18Hz is probably optimistic).


Piega's speakers are hand-built at its Zurich plant

This ability to project a larger presence than you'd expect extends to all the speakers in this range, with the Ace 50 in particular making great use of its three-way design to anchor a solid soundstage at the front of the room. These speakers might be slim and stylish, but they deliver plenty of scale, while the Class D amplification ensures there's sufficient headroom.

There's an effortless charm to these speakers, combined with a smoothness and sense of precise detail coming from those AMT tweeters. Listening to the new 5.1 mix of Pink Floyd's Animals reveals all the subtleties in this 45-year-old recording, from the angry vocals of Dogs, to the squealing sound effects at the start of Pigs, to Gilmour's masterful attacking guitar work in Sheep. Through the entire album, the Ace system produces a clean and focused delivery.

Fluid Fashion
The mid-range is crystal clear, while the higher frequencies are free of any sibilance or brittleness, meaning the overall presentation never feels strained and is always composed. There's an undeniable musicality, but the bass is also well-controlled, in part because the floorstanders are able to dig deep themselves, but also because the entire system hands over to the subwoofer in a fluid fashion.

This low-end prowess is perfectly demonstrated with the Blu-ray of Free Fire, where the protracted shootout that takes up most of the film's running time is handled with aplomb. Or should that be a bomb? The heavy machine-gun fire benefits from a powerful percussive hit that punctuates each discharge, while the integrated soundfield sends ricochets wildly around the room, and envelops you in booming echoes. The centre speaker delivers the dialogue with a focused clarity, while the ribbon tweeters precisely pick out the tinkle of shell casings falling to the warehouse floor.

I'll admit to being initially sceptical about the WiSA transmission standard's ability to create a robust multichannel system free of any latency, but during testing the Ace speakers didn't put a foot wrong. The soundstage was solid, the placement and steering of effects was flawless, and the bass was perfectly integrated. There were no dropouts or loss of connection, so at no point was I aware of the system actually being wireless.

Power Pushers
The active nature of the speakers also plays its part, giving the delivery a dynamic quality, with plenty of sonic snap. This Ace system doesn't have the unruly swagger of larger speakers and more powerful amps, but there's a polished maturity to the performance that will please fans of more subtle and complex soundtracks.


The cylindrical Sub Medium features dual 8in bass drivers

Amazon's new Tolkien show The Rings of Power has a budget equal to the GDP of a small country, and this is evidenced by one of the best soundtracks ever to grace a TV series. While Piega's 5.1 system can't take full advantage of the show's Dolby Atmos mix, it still gives an excellent account of itself.

The opening prologue of the first episode manages to move from a detailed voiceover to the subtle sounds of children playing by a river, followed by the roar of fire-breathing dragons, and a battle that rages during a thunderstorm. The Piega speakers pick out all of the layered sound effects with skill, producing a grown-up sense of delivery and an accomplished performance.

As the series progresses, there's plenty of audio highlights that give the Ace system the chance to shine, from the cavernous dwarven halls of Moria, to the rustic ramblings of the Harfoots. The sixth episode is a standout, with a full-on battle followed by a pyroclastic cloud that this system handles with a combination of verve and scale. Audio highs are projected with a silky smoothness to rival the best milk chocolate. The result is a detailed soundscape that perfectly recreates the rich sonic textures of Middle Earth, and renders them in a balanced, controlled and often energetic fashion.

Piega's Ace speakers are therefore undoubtedly a class act, but there's no denying this 5.1 system is an expensive proposition. For the price you could buy a seriously good package of AV receiver and traditional wired passive speakers, plus you'd have the added benefit of room correction and decoding of object-based audio formats.

Ace's High
Here you're paying a premium for some admittedly gorgeous and well-made speakers with wireless connectivity, and thanks to its employment of the WiSA standard, setup and operation are hassle-free. So if a lifestyle-friendly and cable-free installation is important to you, and you've got access to plenty of power sockets, you'll be rewarded with an ace speaker system that sounds as stylish as it looks.

HCC Verdict

Piega Ace Wireless 5.1

Price: £8,340 

We say: This classy if pricey wireless system is easy to setup and sounds great, with a cohesive soundstage and polished delivery that's free of any latency… as well as any cables.

Overall: 4.5/5


Ace 50 RX
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter; 1 x 4.75in MDS mid-range; 4 x 4.75in MDS woofers ENCLOSURE: Sealed FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 30Hz-25kHz ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 200W DIMENSIONS (INCL. PEDESTAL): 250(w) x 1,050(h) x 250(d)mm WEIGHT: 14kg FEATURES: WiSA enabled; boundary gain compensation; 24-bit/192kHz; analogue audio in/out

Ace Centre RX
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter; 2 x 4.75in MDS bass/mid drivers ENCLOSURE: Sealed FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 35Hz-25kHz ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 100W DIMENSIONS: 484(w) x 252(h) x 274(d)mm WEIGHT: 5kg FEATURES: WiSA enabled; boundary gain compensation; 24-bit/192kHz; analogue audio in/out

Ace 30 RX
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter; 1 x 4.75in MDS bass/mid driver ENCLOSURE: Sealed FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 35Hz-25kHz ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 100W DIMENSIONS: 160(w) x 220(h) x 140(d)mm WEIGHT: 3.4kg FEATURES: WiSA enabled; boundary gain compensation; 24-bit/192kHz; analogue audio in/out

Sub Medium
DRIVE UNITS: 2 x 8in woofers ENCLOSURE: Sealed ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 240W FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 18-160Hz REMOTE CONTROL: No DIMENSIONS: 465(w) x 270(h) x 230(d)mm WEIGHT: 17.5kg FEATURES: Wireless option (WiSA-enabled); RCA and RJ45 inputs and outputs; level control; 50-160Hz crossover; 180-degree phase switch; high pass filter

Piega Ace Wireless 5.1