Framingham, Mass. – Bose is making a wireless connection to the PC for the first time with a portable music system that eschews Wi-Fi for a proprietary wireless system intended to simplify setup.
The $549-suggested SoundLink wireless music system, a single-chassis tabletop portable with built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, will be available to consumers Aug. 27 through Bose-owned stores, authorized retailers, Bose’s Web site and Bose’s toll-free number, (800) 444-BOSE.
To eliminate the task of connecting to a Wi-Fi network, Bose offers a USB Key with embedded wireless. Once the key is plugged into a PC’s USB port, the PC streams PC-stored music and Internet radio stations and Internet music services to the SoundLink. To further simplify setup, Bose doesn’t require consumers to load software onto their PC. Music, including protected music, can be streamed through a consumer’s existing music software, including iTunes.
To make the wireless connection more secure, Bose said, a single USB transmitter pairs only with one SoundLink speaker system. In addition, only one USB transmitter can be connected to a PC at a time because the USB Key acts as a computer’s sound card, and computers handle only one sound card at a time, the company said. Wirelesss range is up to 60 feet within a typical home, the company noted.
The speaker system’s IR remote operates the speaker system’s power and volume, and for most applications, the remote controls play/pause and track-skip commands, which are relayed wirelessly from the SoundLink to the PC. The speaker system itself comes with touch-sensitive volume buttons. To amplify sound from an iPod or other MP3 player, the SoundLink adds auxiliary input.
If not plugged into AC, the SoundLink’s battery powers the embedded amplifier for up to three hours when the speaker system is playing at full volume.
System range wasn’t disclosed, but the company said the wireless technology penetrates most walls and extends to a home’s yard. The device will be available in black or white.
Although the SoundLink is Bose’s first music system to connect wirelessly to a PC, it is not the company’s first music system designed to select and play back PC-based music. The first such Bose system, the Wave PC Music System, was available in 2001 to 2002. That system consisted of a tabletop AM/FM radio, PC software and a 15-foot cable that consumers connected to a PC. The Music System and its IR remote could select PC-stored music and Internet radio stations for playback.