FrontRunners: Free Bird

The big sound of floor-standing loudspeakers by French hi-fi manufacturer Focal is now available in a desktop-size wireless package. The Focal Bird audio system (www.focal.com), which has a starting price of $995, incorporates a new wireless technology from the Kleer brand that transfers audio signals at the CD-format quality of 16 bits/44.1 kHz. The 2.1-?channel Bird system includes the Power Bird amplifier, which has a built-in subwoofer, and a choice of three compact wireless speakers that can be mounted on stands or hung on walls.