The DWX is the most affordable Zu starting at $1'398/pr. This gets you the base satin-black version with 100 hours of factory burn-in (50:50 moderate/extreme SPL on full-bandwidth hard-hitting music with final QC afterwards). It features Zu's Mission hookup wiring. Metallic black satin and black Hickory add $140, rustic Hickory $200. Electric blue/ruby-red Hickory and teal cost $300 more. Walnut adds $360. If you have your own colour in mind, Zu can probably accommodate you. The DWX can be tweaked sonically with one of two performance upgrades called Superfly (+$399) and Supreme (+$699). Superfly includes Mission MkII wiring, ClarityCap MR tweeter capacitors, tighter driver matching and doubled burn-in (200 hours). Supreme extends burn-in to 300 hours, ups driver tolerances, adds Jupiter copper caps and Zu's Event wiring. Both get ZuB3 terminals on Neutrik speakON just underneath the regular binding posts. In Srajan's review Sean explained that these two upgrades primarily give more resolution and higher insight into a recording's quality. Knowing that burn-in really is a thing, that capacitors change the sound and crossover-less drivers respond very audibly to cables, I have no reasons to think that this doesn't hold true.

A DWX in Supreme form dressed in Walnut demands $2'457. EU clients should add roughly 30% to cover VAT + shipping so about $3'200 total. That's not a lot for what one gets. The Supreme samples Srajan forwarded turned out to be a finely assembled honest product packed with goodies rarely seen at its price. Phase plugs, waveguides, mounting rings and back plates are all machined aluminium. The enclosures aren't MDF but Oukumé Ply. All metal bits can be anodized black at no extra cost. The product is 95% made in the US and all three versions look alike. Visual modesty and visible wood grain under my loaner's teal skins was pretty by my standards, large footprint be damned. The price is attractive but not the best part yet. That's really the unusual topology which implies unique high-RPM sonics radically different from the sound that most other speakers make.

Finding just the right spot for them in my room was the first order of business. Point-source radiation and front ports were good indicators on how to start. The latter make this Zu very domesticated so with minimal space demands. Put it as close to the wall as its rear terminals allow and it'll happily manage without having its bass mess up. That's good news for listeners whose limited floor space and/or décor necessitate such placement. So the DWX will behave well in places where many regular loudspeakers won't. Alas, soundstage depth does grow with increased front-wall distance. Here I'm particularly fond of speakers that can lock me inside an aural bubble wherein I can enjoy a quasi surround view rather than any uniformly flat, distant and nowhere near as immersive and exciting perspective. The sensation of music presented thus is comparable to experiencing a live gig from the front row. Well-developed spatial depth is critical to get there. My sound|kaos Vox 3afw monitors below are quite fiendish in this regard so I've gotten rather spoilt. Aggressively toed in and just two arms' lengths from the listening chair, these minis sit nearly in the middle of my 23sqm room. It's a fair price to pay considering all the benefits. The question was whether the DWX could compete when positioned alike. Quite! Contrary to many regular speakers, those with unfiltered widebanders don't suffer the same phase shifts, timing issues and associated blur. Add point-source dispersion and the Zu predictably excels on spatial tasks. Imaging precision, articulation, directness, clarity, quickness, immediacy and vocal intimacy all deliver the core virtues which the single-driver breed is known for. To my ears and on these counts, that's second to none. No classic multi-way I'm aware of comes close.

To have these virtues maximized, a speaker must really belong to this type and the DWX does. Its tuning not only promotes these traits but makes it a terrific nearfield trooper even though its large size might suggest otherwise. It reads counter-productive but isn't. When positioned roughly where my sound|kaos monitors usually stand, the DWX proved a highly immersive type capable of similar imaging stunts. Although not quite as gifted on that score as the Swiss, it still played roughly in their league. That's when one filter-free driver covers the lion's share of the bandwidth. Lots of space around it further boosts the effect by keeping in-room reflections at bay. Yes, I'm fully aware that a big monitor used in a headphone-like setup is a sight many would find puzzling if not plain unpractical. My ears simply beg to differ. Tallking about nearfield, here's a desktop vision from Srajan's review.