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Core Brands Introduces Hybrid Wired-Wireless Multi-Room Audio System

DENVER – Nortek subsidiary Core Brands is coming to the CEDIA Expo with a hybrid wired and wireless multi-room audio system due to ship late in the first quarter.

Pricing was not available at press time.

The system, sold under the new Korus brand, consists of a wired/wireless controller that connects to multi-room amplifiers to send four audio streams simultaneously over speaker wires to up to 16 wired zones. Via DTS-licensed Play-Fi technology, the controller sends audio wirelessly over a home’s Wi-Fi network to up to about eight zones. The audio is received in each zone by a Play-Fi-equipped streamer/amplifier that powers in-room or installed speakers.

The controller has four analog inputs to connect to legacy sources, but the system is designed mainly to distribute music from Apple and Android mobile devices, from select mobile music-streaming apps, and from DLNA-equipped PCs and network- attached storage (NAS) drives, said audio segment director Mitch Witten. The system also uses the Apple and Android mobile devices as remote controls.

Wired and wireless zones are synchronized to eliminate echo effects, the company said.

The system can be used in new construction or used to upgrade an existing installed system by replacing the system’s controller. In retrofit applications, the system could be used to create an all-wireless system.

The two products will be available only to the custom channel, Witten said.

In the future, the company also plans custom-channel distribution of tabletop single-chassis amplified Play-Fi speakers.

Core Brands previously introduced Korus-brand tabletop speakers that use incompatible 2.4GHz SKAA wireless technology developed by Eleven Engineering, but Witten said the Korus brand will be used to signify all wireless products, some using different technologies and some destined for different distribution channels.

The company previously said the SKAA-equipped speakers would be available in the fall at and in retail outlets.