Symbol Audio Tabletop HiFi

Symbol’s new Tabletop HiFi offers a refreshingly attractive alternative to the more traditional form factors of audio equipment.  In essence, the HiFi is a powered music playback system, but the console’s unique nuances make it so much more than that.

The HiFi, which measures 28.75 inches long by 9.5 inches high by 8.5 inches deep, offers an absolutely clean and modern-looking appearance free from visible knobs, controls or indicators.  All the owner sees from a listening position are two 4-inch, full-range drivers set widely apart on the HiFi’s face.  A built-in Class-D amplifier provides 8 watts to the front drivers and 15 watts to the 5.25-inch subwoofer.  Symbol hides the down-firing woofer beneath the cabinet, which has dual rear ports.  With so much hardware crammed into a small space, the HiFi tips the scales at a substantial 30 pounds.

On the rear of the unit, the HiFi offers a master volume knob as well as a separate control for the subwoofer, allowing the owner to tailor the sound to his or her preference.  The rear-facing controls require the user to lean behind the unit to visually locate them, until the placement of the controls becomes familiar, but the volume knob is easy enough to reach over the top of the unit.  The HiFi offers only one input, a 1/8-inch minijack.  If a user intends to switch between multiple sources, a cable splitting adapter or other manual intervention is needed.

When ordering a HiFi, soon-to-be owners have the opportunity to customize the appearance of the face and cabinet.  Options for the front include a walnut or oak finish, or a clean white or gray; cabinet finish options include walnut wood grain or a minimalist black, white or orange.  For families with young children, it’s probably a good idea to go with the protective, poke-proof metal grille option for the drivers.  The grilles match whatever finish you chose for the rest of the unit.  The many custom options allow the HiFi to be either a striking visual element for a room, or a chameleon blending into the background.  Either way, those houseguests who do notice it will find both its aesthetics and its sonics appealing.

Symbol Audio’s HiFi is available for $1,800, regardless of finish choices.  Given the unit’s single-box, single-input design, it’s clear that the Symbol Audio solution is a purist one that’s not trying to complete directly with full-blown component stereo systems.  It’s designed to fill a room with sound from a single source, and do that job very well.  Those audio enthusiasts seeking multiple input options, pinpoint stereo imaging and a broader soundstage may be served better by more traditional stereo equipment.  But for those who prioritize the appearance of a beautiful, stylish and unobtrusive audio system, and who also want good sound to complement it, the HiFi is an elegant solution.

Symbol Audio Tabletop HiFi

MSRP: $1,800