Chances are you’ll use the Linn/Kazoo control app more often than anything else, though – it has all the functionality you need, and is where the seriously monied can set up their Series 3 multi-room system. Control apps can be Kryptonite to companies smaller than Global Colossuses – everyone knows what an excellent control app is like, thanks to their familiarity with those from Apple, Sonos and so on, and it can be hard for firms with restricted resources to match up. Sure enough, the Series 3 control app isn’t absolutely state of the art – but it’s comprehensive, and more stable than some of Linn’s most direct competitors can manage. As a consequence, it’s more usable and less frustrating than quite a few I could mention.
For all Linn’s willingness to explore different materials, shapes, and interfaces with Series 3s, though, it doesn’t seem prepared to compromise in the slightest where sonic characteristics are concerned. Use Roon to access a networked 24bit/192kHz mono file of Frank Sinatra’s magnificently unhappy In the Wee Small Hours [Capitol] and it’s apparent. Nelson Riddle’s arrangements sound as lush and lyrical as ever, the casual precision of Sinatra’s vocal is absolutely packed with detailed information. The result is a presentation that’s as elegant and effortless as one might expect, yet meticulous in its control of the attack and decay of individual sounds.
There’s nothing prissy or overly analytical about the way Series 3 sounds, but the speaker nevertheless wants you to appreciate you’re getting the full picture. From the deep, textured bass foundations of The Hold Steady’s Stay Positive [Rough Trade] to the crashy, splashy top end, organisation is straight-edged and almost fanatical. And in the midrange, which on this album is an audio fistfight between guitars, voice, backing vocals, organ, and piano, there’s more breathing-space and elbow-room than frankly sounds possible on lesser wireless speakers.
Linn’s Exakt technology is every bit as effective here as it is far higher up the company’s product range. Timing is unquestionable – the Series 3 presents David Axelrod’s Songs of Innocence [Capitol] as an utterly unified whole, with each disparate element hanging from the rhythm section contributions of Earl Palmer and Carol Kaye. The delivery is reminiscent of a military parade or the murmuration of starlings, inasmuch there are numerous discrete elements all locked together, displaying common purpose and moving in unshakably sympathetic style. Axelrod’s infatuation with sinuous-electric-psychedelia-meets-luxurious-string-arrangement sounds more straightforwardly correct and balanced here than via any other wireless all-in-one.