Fujitsu Ten Eclipse TD-M1 Wireless Speaker System
Input: Wi-Fi, AirPlay, USB Type B (DAC), USB Type A, 3.5mm analog
Dimensions (W x H x D): 155 x 242 x 219mm
Weight: About 5.3kg/pair
Availability: Through Authorized Dealers
Single Driver Plus DAC
The Fujitsu Ten Eclipse TD-M1 Wireless Speaker System houses a single 8cm (3") driver in each speaker powered by a 20W digital amp. There's also a 24/192 capable DAC, which Eclipse refers to as a Non-Oversampling DAC [footnote 1], as well as 2 asynchronous USB inputs, one Type A and one Type B, a 3.5mm mini analog stereo input, Wi-Fi and AirPlay connectivity. So you can connect your computer via USB and your iOS device either hard wired or via AirPlay and since the TD-M1 has its own Wi-Fi on board, you don't even need to have it connect to your home network.
The ocular-shaped, OK they say egg-shaped but I see an eye, rear-ported speakers come in high gloss white or black and allow three different angles of upward tilt (0°to 14°) to better aim them directly at your ears. Adjusting this angle is simply a matter of pulling down on a lever which resides on the underside of the egg part, making your adjustment, and locking it in place by re-seating the lever. Nice. The right speaker which houses all of the inputs as well as the Wi-Fi antenna and power cord also includes an attached 56" cable that connects to a 3.5mm input in the left speaker. Even wireless speakers need wires.
Setting up the TD-M1 to use AirPlay with an iPhone is a three-step process. First select the AirPlay input on the speaker, then go to your iOS device's Wi-Fi Settings and select the Eclipse TD-M1. Start up your music player app and swipe up from the bottom of your screen which will bring up a number of menu options including AirPlay. Just select the TD-M1 and you're ready to roll. I mean stream. AirPlay is limited to 16/44.1 which is certainly good enough. Windows users looking to play back greater than 24/96 files via USB need to download and install the Eclipse drivers.
There's also a free Eclipse iOS remote app which allows you to control input selection, power, volume level, and engage/disengage the digital filter. There are also touch sensitive controls on the right speaker for these same functions (except the digital filter). The touch sensitive volume control can be operated by either tapping on the up/down controls or swiping your finger from left to right over the volume control circles to increase volume or swipe in the opposite direction to turn it down. The power button doubles as the input selector; press and hold to turn on/off, tap to change the input. As you change inputs, a corresponding white light lights up on the base of the right speaker's front face.
"Eclipse TD is a joint venture between Fujitsu and Toyota to deliver the most accurate & technologically advanced speaker systems ever to have been produced in Japan." A lot of care has gone into the TD-M1's design and construction and while I cannot speak to Eclipse's claims of "most", when considering their total package and cost, it sure looks to me like you're getting a lot for your money.
Some speakers offer a fairly startling sense of immediacy. An acute aural tactile-ness that makes reproduced music sound more present than reproduced. It sounds real. In my experience, this sense of immediacy has been attached to many of the single-driver speakers I've heard as well as what is perhaps the all-time champion of immediacy, the Quad ESL 57. Speakers with higher than average sensitivity, think greater than 90db, can also capture this otherwise elusive trait. The TD-M1s, with their sole 3" driver, deliver a sense of immediacy and then some and they do so at nearly all volume levels including, incredibly, very very low levels.
Delicacy, detail, nuance, scale, tone, and texture are all delivered in a highly convincing manner. Drum thwacks, cymbal hits, plucks, strums, whispers, and screams. What you don't get with the Eclipse TD-M1s is low end frequency extension. They are rated at 70Hz to 30kHz so bass response is rolled off, as are most desktop-sized speakers. The question is, does this matter in a nearfield, desktop speaker? My answer is—it depends. It depends on you and your tastes in music and its reproduction. I would suggest it will be a difficult and potentially costly task to find a speaker that will match the TD-M1's sonic strengths while adding earth-shaking bass. My guess is a sub/sat setup will be the most likely candidate, although I've not heard one I can offer as an example.
I spent the majority of my time with TD-M1's connected to my iMac playing back music using Audirvana + from my NAS-based library. Everything from CD-quality up to 24/192 sounded just lovely, the TD-M1's internal DAC did not leave me wanting in any way whatsoever. I also did my usual musical snooping around the net, streaming from various sources, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, NPR's First Listen, and more, and even these lower quality sources sounded just fine. The TD-M1's are very clean and clear sounding speakers. Are we clear? Crystal. This quality obviously benefits quality recordings but perhaps counterintuitively it also makes lessor quality recordings sound less muddled, less messy. Beck's Morning Phase was particularly delightful through the TD-M1s which I view as a big check in their plus column.
I also sent some CD-quality tunes to the TD-M1s using Apple's AirPlay from my iPhone and had members of my family stream theirs as well and it was all good. Opening up this kind of sound quality to other people's iOS devices without wires is a great way to share great music and great sound. Using the Apple Camera Connection kit, I also played my iPad-resident music through the TD-M1s and the results were as compelling as those from my desktop. Using the slick Creation 5 C5 Pro app for the iPad, I was also able to stream up to 24/96 music files from my NAS via Wi-Fi though the iPad and to the TD-M1s. The question when listening to music through these speakers became a question of what music do I want to enjoy through them next.
Compared to my every day desktop setup, the ADAM Professional Audio A3X (see review) coupled with the Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC (see review), the TD-M1's sound more lit up, more alive. By comparison, the ADAMs sound darker and deeper (they are rated down to 60Hz). The sense of immediacy I spoke about up front with the TD-M1s is really quite remarkable as I consider the ADAMs to have a very nice sense of presence. However, comparing the two speakers/DACs, the TD-M1s are clearly more transparent sounding, more startlingly present.
From a Whisper to a Scream
I enjoyed every last minute listening to the Eclipse TD-M1s. Every song, every album, every note. They strike me as sounding as close to a clear view onto your music as I've heard sitting at my desk and I'd attribute this to the sum of their parts including their single driver, the chosen digital amp, and 24/192-capable DAC. What's more, and more remarkable as well as being highly useful, is they sound equally engaging even at whisper levels.
Footnote 1. From the Eclipse images of the TD-M1's circuit boards, it appears as if they are using the Wolfson WM8742 DAC which is a delta-sigma DAC so it is not strictly speaking a NOS DAC but you can bypass its digital filters.