First unveiled at IFA 2016 in Berlin, and then shown off again at CEDIA 2016 in Dallas, Klipsch has finally released its multi-room audio system to the masses – at least it has in the US. Dubbed Klispch Stream, the company’s wireless multi-room audio system is being squarely targeted at similar products on the market, such as Sonos and Denon HEOS.
To take on those giants of the multi-room audio market, Klispch is releasing a few new products in the US; which includes two new soundbars – the RSB-8 and the RSB-15 – a wireless speaker dubbed the RW-1 and a tabletop stereo system called The Three. Those not wanting to shell out cash for a new audio system can also convert their old speakers into Klispch Stream products, as the company is also offering two products called the Gate and the Powergate which bring that exact functionality to older systems.
Multi-room audio systems are currently the hot topic in the AV market, but many manufacturers are beginning to have a few things in common – the wireless protocols that they use. While several open standards are now available, including Google Chromecast, AirPlay and bog-standard Bluetooth, Klipsch is throwing its support behind DTS Play-Fi. The company’s wireless multi-room audio system also supports HDMI, Bluetooth, optical and RCA for good measure.
DTS Play-Fi has quickly become one of the dominant audio formats in the AV market, especially when it comes to high-end products. Sure it doesn’t quite have the marketshare that both Sonos and Bose’s proprietary systems hold, but DTS Play-Fi does support high-resolution audio files – something Sonos is incapable of. Unfortunately, the high-res files are down-converted somewhat to 48KHz over wireless, meaning it still doesn’t have the clarity that one could expect from a wireless audio system that doesn’t dumb it down – such as Yamaha’s MusicCast.
In addition to the standard DTS Play-Fi support, Klipsch has announced that Stream customers will also be able to stream music from the world’s most popular music streaming service directly, using Spotify Connect. While not available at launch, Klipsch says that it is working on a firmware update that will bring the functionality to the products later this year.
CE Pro Europe has reached out to Klipsch to find out when these products will become available in the UK, but those in the US will be able to pick one up right away; with the 40in RSB-8 retailing for $500, while the 44in RSB-14 sells for $700 RRP. The RW-1 meanwhile is available in the US at $250. Both the Gate and the Powergate are also available, retailing at $180 and $500, respectively. The Three is not yet available, with it due for release later this month at a retail price of $400.