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Wireless Comes To In-Wall Speakers

Soundcast Systems will break into the multi-room-audio market with a basic retrofit system that distributes music wirelessly to in-wall speakers at CEDIA Expo.

The company’s existing products stream iPod- and PC-stored music wirelessly to home audio systems and to other audio devices.

“This is a very basic distributed audio system that provides music to various rooms, providing an opportunity for the installation community to go after retro work without having to tear up walls and floors,” said Soundcast president Malcolm Hallombe.

The ZoneCast system is a multi-source, multi-zone distributed audio system whose in-wall speakers are equipped with a 50-watt amplifier and RF receiver. The active speakers connect to AC power, and each speaker connects via CAT-5 to an in-wall keypad in the same room or to a stand-alone IR receiver. Each keypad controls volume, source selection and power on/off, but not source functions. The keypads also feature an IR receiver for use with an included handheld IR remote.

The system will stream three sources simultaneously if each source is connected to its own Soundcast transmitter. Up to four speaker pairs at a time can play simultaneously.

ZoneCast, expected to ship early in the first quarter, is targeted to hit retail price point of $799 to $999 per zone, excluding installation and transmitter. Installation time is estimated at less than an hour for each speaker pair and keypad, Hallombe said.

The system will be available through the Digital Delivery Group’s (DDG) nationwide network of stocking representatives and through distributor Capitol Sales.