Pioneer XW-SMA4 review

Feature-packed, room-filling sound with a bit too much bass Tested at £350

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Feature-packed wireless speaker with a room-filling sound, but overpowering bass


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    Hefty sound

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    Packed with features

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    Plenty of power and scale


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    Too much bass

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We reviewed the smaller sibling to this Pioneer wireless speaker, the XW-SMA3-K, and while it was fairly inoffensive it left us a little nonplussed and walked away with three stars.

At £49 more and a little bulkier in size, this speaker loses the integrated battery and portability of the XW-SMA3, but gains a couple of extra speaker drivers.

There are five in total here, with dual 8cm midrange speakers, a dedicated 10cm subwoofer and dual 20mm tweeters. A fair amount of heft for a still relatively compact speaker.

It’s not low on features, either. There’s AirPlay of course, HTC Connect, which does the same thing for HTC phones, and DLNA. What’s more, it also has Pioneer’s own take on Wi-Fi Direct, called Wireless Direct. This, as elsewhere, means you can stream from your device to the speaker without an internet connection.

Pioneer XW-SMA4-K: Sound quality‘Now with powerful bass’ is how the SMA4 is billed – and boy is there bass. Too much and not clean enough bass, really: it sounds loose and overpowering rather than fast and punchy.

There’s certainly no brightness to treble sounds, though voices could be a little more open, and there’s plenty of power and scale. Turn it up and it will fill a room.

This bigger Pioneer has bags of features, solid build and a smart design – just watch that bass.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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