What I found interesting is that the P6 Air is Roon Ready. It’s a great feature but being a portable speaker and Roon Ready is like an electric car that needs to always be plugged into a wall.
Once you’re beyond the Wi-Fi area of your house, being Roon Ready is useless. Sure it is nice to be able to lug a speaker anywhere around the house and access Roon, but there sure are better ways to solve that challenge.
I do too, but an iPhone is not Roon Ready which allows you to sync your zones and play music simultaneously to have whole house audio…and that is the point. For most portable devices, Roon Tested is really all you need. Having a Roon Ready portable device, in my view, is a lot of overkill. Then again, if you really want a Roon Ready portable device, here it is.
For sure you can find a good set for this price, but it is probable hard to find “portable” WiFi enabled speakers with the sound quality of a pair of the Escape P6 Air.
I had read about the P6 Air before, but it was not clear for me if and how stereo pairing would be possible. By accident I discovered the Escape booth at the Munich HighEnd show in Mai. Unfortunately it was not possible to listen to the speakers, but I had a talk there where I got to know how to configure the stereo pairing with Roon.
A week later I listened to the speaker at a local dealer and ordered a pair at once.
I have been enjoying my Escapes for three weeks now, mainly as garden sound system.
There is a huge difference in sound quality and compared to my older pair of not much cheaper SAXX-Audio AS 50 speakers with Cromecast Audio dongle and no option to group it with my other Roon zones.
But there is also a small drop of bitterness. The specifications of the P6 Air state that you can also play back high-res files with up to 24/192 and DSD.
This is not true: After receiving the RAAT signal, my Escape resamples everything to 48 kHz and DSD does not work natively or as DoP, because apparently DSD was not taken into account in the certification process at Roon. Roon first converts all DSD files to PCM before sending the signal to the speakers. Together with the Roon Procedural EQ filters required for pairing, this can quickly overload a less powerful Roon server.
You are probably right about, SQ, I have not heard them to judge. Glad you are enjoying them.
However, given their marketing shows kids splashing in the pool, and people dancing with drinks, that says to me “party”. And, when I have a get together (which is the only time I would ever use them), music is basically background sing along badly mastered pop hits of the last 40 years. Not ECM Jazz.
So, loudness is more important than SQ for outdoor speakers for my use. The floor noise of kids and adults screaming in the pool along with horrible attempts as singing along, paired with constant road traffic, means that any hope of quality listening is pretty much out the water outside ever. With that, the P6 price point is much higher than I want for just loud wireless background music at get-togethers.
When I do want to be outside to listen to ECM Jazz, it will be with headphones.
I am in the fortunate situation that my son is grown up and most of my neighbours are of advanced retirement age and therefore mostly hard of hearing.
I love being able to listen to good quality music (e.g. from the ECM label, whose headquarters are not far away) at an appropriate volume outside on a warm spring/summer evening in a quiet suburb in my region. To be able to perceive something like a stage or to be able to locate instruments in a stereo setup on the terrace in good weather and with a glass of delicious wine is for me a real quality of life. Headphones are an alternative but ultimately with the inconveniences and limitations even with exquisite headphones or IEM and excellent DAP, which I also have.
It’s also simply different than in a closed living room or listening room, even though my systems are certainly objectively considerably better there. I’m just glad to have finally found outdoor speakers that largely meet my requirements after a long search.
Of course, like all digital active speakers, the Escapes are DSP sounded, but there are a few options to choose from and adapt them to your own requirements and tastes.
This is normal for DSP speakers. I believe all of them do this, including another brand that costs 18 times the price. The same is true for AV receivers - you simply cannot do DSP without resampling to PCM (although AV receivers do use a rate higher than 48kHz because their hardware is much more powerful).
In fact, the Mute channel filter is a possible option.
The Escape P6s were originally designed as a stand-alone solution and, in order to create a stereo effect as such, have two opposing full-range drivers in addition to the subwoofer. With the Mute channel filter, however, only one of the two is activated. This is particularly useful in smaller rooms for me.
How reliable are these if i have a decent wifi signal? I find i need to hard wire my bluesound stuff. However, I have been looking for a good Roon Ready outdoor speaker. If this connects effortlessly to Wifi, I am going to buy these. I also like the idea of taking it remote and using the bluetooth option.
Most of the time the connection is very stable, but for me it sometimes depends on the terrace where I set up the speakers. I have a mesh WiFi with a router and two repeaters connected via LAN.
On one terrace, the connection only runs via one repeater. It always works there. On another terrace, the source sometimes switches between the router and a repeater and I have the feeling that Roon RAAT occasionally has problems with this, i.e. it takes longer for a connection to become stable, the connection to a speaker breaks off or the signals from both speakers are not exactly synchronised. At the same time, a message appears that Roon is looking for the server. This is usually solved by restarting the album, radio station or playlist.
The best thing would be if you can borrow two Escape P6 Air from your dealer to test in your own WiFi network.
I hope that helps you.
Thank you Yoda. I am not going to hook this up in stereo although I will have multiple ones in different terraces. My initial install we be in Oregon where I use Netgear Orbi mesh system. Eventually I will be using the speaker in Mexico where I will be using Ubiquiti UAP-AC-M-PRO Wifi access point which will be back hauled to my main edge router. Hopefully it works or i am stuck with a really expensive bluetooth speaker for the beach in Mexico which is not the worst possible thing
Ok. I just connected to my wifi. Extremely easy and reliable so far on the internet. I have Bluesound, Sonos, and Naim (Muso, MusoQB), which I have to hard wire due to Bluetooth unreliability. No problems with this speaker. I walked around to the farthest reaches of my back yard with no issues. I can not say the same for my Bluesound Flex 2i.
Now for the sound. Kicks ass on my Naim MusoQB and comparable to my Naim Muso and I would say slightly better.
Given the easy set up, reliable connection, kick ass sound, outdoor rating, and 5 hour battery power this speaker is well worth it. (40% less than the Naim albeit not as pretty).
This is a no brainer for my outdoor terraces. I would highly recommend you all give it a try. I had wished Bluesound had come up with this speaker.
Just installed mine today (replacing a much-loved yet always-erratic Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i). It’s pure joy so far. My Pulse Flex used to cause grouped play in Roon to fail frequently, and after a couple hours I have yet to see an issue with the P6. It looks and sounds fantastic.
Having lived with the P6 Air for a few days, I can only rave about this fantastic device. Searching for a portable, Roon ready, indoor/outdoor endpoint, I’ve found nothing remotely close.
Pros: Battery life (like 20 hours on a charge for me, though this will presumably degrade like all batteries); sound quality; form factor; fit & finish
Cons: The app isn’t as awesome as the speaker, and documentation is pretty sparse. There’s no user community that I can find. And it’s not cheap.
For many years, I struggled with several Bluesound devices. They’re wonderful Roon endpoints unless you have to connect via WiFi. I’ve spent countless hours debugging and reconfiguring my Unifi access points, Roon cores, and multiple ISPs, with only compounded frustration as a result. And streaming Radio Paradise directly from the Pulse, as many have noticed, performs wonderfully over WiFi — it’s the combination of RAAT + Bluesound + WiFi + Grouped playback that has consistently and maddeningly failed for me.
My default music (when I’m unwilling to create my own playlist) is Radio Paradise. The Bluesound Pulse 2i seldom kept the stream alive in grouped play for more than an hour — often just a few minutes — before stopping with the unhelpful “Radio station unavailable message” that was patently untrue. The P6 Air has NOT ONCE stopped streaming in the exact same configuration as my (now-deprecated) Pulse Flex 2i.
Thanks to Roon for making the P6 Air available in their store.
With a few more days of user experience, I would add the following:
Radio Paradise is also my favourite source for daily “music consumption” on the side, but with the Escape P6Air I can even enjoy well-produced jazz music, classical music and opera outside in really good quality.
20 hours on one battery charge is hardly possible, but at least 12 hours at moderate volume is absolutely feasible, although the display in the Escape Remote app is not very reliable and my two speakers show 30 and 70 % battery capacity respectively at the same runtime.
There is simply no such thing as a user community or even something like end-user support. I have been repeatedly trying to contact Escapespeakers.com for weeks to clarify the contradictions regarding the real sampling rates of the device. Apart from an initial response where my actual question in this regard was not addressed, there has been no further feedback.
Nevertheless, for me the sound quality of the P6 Air is exceptional, even for this price point.