Audio, the direct-to-consumer marketers of home speakers, launched its
first wireless-speaker system, intended for surround-sound and multi-room use.
The Zona wireless surround system
at $499 consists of a wireless transmitter and two powered bookshelf speakers
with tuned ports and built-in wireless receivers that operate up to 150 feet
from the transmitter.
Aperion designed the speakers to "work
aesthetically and sonically with most home-theater systems," the company said.
The transmitter connects to the surround pre-outs of an AVR or DVD player to
deliver uncompressed 16-bit/48kHz CD-quality audio to the speakers. Zona can
also be used to transmit music from a PC via a USB 2.0 connection or from most
other audio sources to other rooms. Multiple speakers can connect to a single
transmitter for multi-room applications.
The two speakers link
automatically when plugged into a wall outlet over one of three selectable
channels. The system uses 2.4GHz wireless technology with 18ms latency.
The speakers are biamplified
two-way models with solid-MDF cabinet, bass port and external power supplies.
Cabinet dimensions are 9.9 inches by 6 inches by 6.3 inches. The speakers'
drivers consist of a 1-inch soft-dome silk tweeter and 4.5-inch woven
fiberglass woofer with a combined operating range of 55Hz to 20 kHz. The
speakers' amps are 2x20-watt Class D models with DSP.
"When speaking with our customers we found
that many leave surround or rear speakers unconnected because they couldn't
find a simple or neat way to run the wires," said Aperion's Jason Hicks. "Most
other wireless solutions on the market suffer from poor fidelity, complex setup
and an unreliable connection."