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LG Audio Focus: Wireless Multiroom

LAS VEGAS – LG is embedding wireless multiroom-audio capability in a wide range of audio product.

The company’s first U.S.-market wireless multiroom-audio products consist of three tabletop AC-only Wi- Fi speakers, a portable Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker, a trio of soundbars, and a networked Blu-ray player.

The wireless-audio products incorporate the company’s Flow wireless-multiroom technology, which enables control from an iOS or Android app and supports wireless distribution of 192kHz/24-bit audio over a 2.4GHz/5GHz wireless mesh network. Only one of the new products, however, features 192/24 DAC; the others feature CD-quality DACs.

More than one song can be distributed simultaneously to up to 100 different Flow devices from music libraries stored on smartphones, tablets, computers, and NAS drives. The devices also stream music from iHeart, Rhapsody, and Spotify. Pandora will be available with a firmware update arriving soon after shipment.

SKU by SKU: The Flow AC-only tabletop speakers are the 30-watt H3, 40-watt H5, and 70-watt H7. The portable Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker is the 20-watt AC/DC H4. It can also be used as a surround speaker. With Wi-Fi on, its battery lasts three hours.

The Flow-equipped soundbars are the LAS950M, LAS851M, and LAS751M.

The top-end LAS950 moves LG up higher in the soundbar price spectrum from a previous top price of $599. It’s a 700-watt 7.1-channel system with separate amps per channel, a wireless subwoofer, three HDMI inputs, an HDMI output with audio return channel, and Bluetooth. The inputs do not use the HDMI 2.0 standard.

The two other Flow-equipped bars are the LAS751M and LAS851M, both 4.1-channel models with one HDMI in, one HDMI out, wireless sub, Bluetooth, and outputs of 320 and 360 watts.

Three soundbars without Flow will also be offered.

In Sound Plates, the company will expand its selection with built-in 2D Blu-ray payer, Wi-Fi, and 15 audio and video streaming services to two SKUs from one. The 2.1-channel LAB550H and 2.0-channel LAB550W also feature 192kHz/24-bit DACs, two HDMI ins, one HDMI out, and Bluetooth with ability to stream audio from select Bluetooth-equipped LG TVs. The top model comes with wireless sub; the other lacks sub.

The opening-price 2.1-channel LAP250H features built-in sub, Bluetooth with Bluetooth connection to a TV, 100-watt output, and two/one HDMI connections but no Wi-Fi or streaming services.

Blu-ray HTiBs: The selection goes to three from four with the launch of two new models, which will join a 2014 carryover model. The two new systems are 5.1 models with 3D Blu-ray playback, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 15 audio and video streaming services. The 1,000-watt LHB655 features one HDMI in, one HDMI out, and four tall speakers. The 1,200-watt LHB755W steps up to two HDMI ins, wireless surround speakers, and Miracast Wi-Fi Direct.

Maximum mini systems: The company will expand its selection of large “mini” system to five from two with models whose outputs range from 1,000 watts to 4,400 watts. They come with lighting effects, DJ-like effects such as scratching and mixing, and audio sources such as CD, Bluetooth, USB and aux in. Most models are three or four-piece systems. They also stream audio from select Bluetooth-equipped LG TVs.