Linn Series 3 all-in-one is a high-end wireless wonder

posted on Monday, 14th October 2019 by Steve May

High-end  High Res Audio  Hi-fi 

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High-end Hi-Fi specialist Linn has announced its first Bluetooth wireless speaker. But if you’re worrying that the brand has taken a downmarket turn, rest easy. The new Series 3 is anything but budget. With its cast mineral ceramic cabinet, advanced signal processing and £2,950 price tag, it's very much a luxe listen.

The Series 3 is initially available in Harrods, but roll out across the Linn dealership in the New Year. Harrods buyers have a choice of an electro-plated gold grille, in addition to the regular silver finish. The ceramic egg itself is glossy white.

Squaring up against the Devialet Phantom, the Linn Series 3 is an all-in-one music solution. It contains an integrated DSM player, with the brand's lauded Exact digital crossover technology.

Behind the grille is a 19mm silk dome tweeter and a 160mm long throw mid-bass woofer. Inside are two 100W Class D amplifiers. Soft glow LEDs reveal the volume level.

Linn _Series 3_Lounge _Wide _Gold

IMG_20191010_174144

In addition to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, the system can also be hooked up to a TV, using HDMI ARC. Obviously the form factor isn’t ideal for AV use, but it’s a welcome provision.

Series 3 can also be paired, using a slave iteration of the speaker, to create a stereo music solution, for a system price of £5,450. The Series 3 can also perform as part of a wider Linn multiroom wireless system.

Inside CI had an early listen to the Series 3 at its Harrods unveil. First impressions are of a system that offers a soundscape that belies its relatively compact size. It’s highly detailed, with genuine audiophile transparency. It also has a surprisingly profound bass extension.

The Series 3 is Hi-Res enabled, up to 24-bit 192 Khz. Local network file support covers FLAC, ALAC, WAV, MP32, WMA, AIFF, AAC and Ogg, but not MQA. For the system demonstration, Linn streamed tracks from Tidal and Qobuz. Streaming support covers Apple AirPlay, Spotify, Tunein and Roon.

Setup is straight forward. There’s no room EQ to undertake. While the speaker can be controlled via the Linn Kazoo app, or by voice control. There are also physical buttons atop the unit. Six Smart Buttons can be assigned functions such as radio selection or playlist, and individual tracks can be ‘pinned’ to a button.

“We were really the first manufacturer to introduce digital music as a premium hi fi product,” said Gilad Tiefenbrun, Linn managing director (pictured above). “Where we are today with Series Three is a result of the knowledge and experience we've had as a business, working with precision engineered products of the very highest level.”

He says the aim was to make a wireless product that can play the highest quality digital music. “We wanted to combine the convenience that people expect, with the ability to convey the emotional information within the music.”

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and Ideal Home (amongst others).

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