LG To Go With Flow Wireless Multiroom Audio

Android and iOS apps to control whole-house distribution of network- and cloud-stored music.
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Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – LG will enter the wireless multiroom-audio market in a big way at next month’s International CES, where the company will unveil Music Flow technology in three tabletop AC-only Wi-Fi speakers, a portable Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker and three Wi-Fi soundbars.

At the 2014 International CES, the company showed two tabletop multiroom speakers but decided not to sell them in the U.S. so it could jump right to second-generation Flow technology.

In a Flow wireless-multiroom system, consumers use an iOS or Android app to select songs from music libraries stored on smartphones, tablets, computers and NAS drives. The music is then distributed to one or more Flow devices via mesh network over a home’s 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi network. The speakers and soundbars also stream music from Spotify,  Rhapsody, TuneIn, and others to be announced.

The Wi-Fi speakers also do double duty as discrete surround speakers when used in conjunction with LG’s Flow-equipped soundbars.

In addition, LG’s new BP550 streaming 3D Blu-ray player and LAB550W SoundPlate with Blu-ray player will stream their music to Music Flow speakers from CD or from USB drives.

Music on a smartphone automatically begins playing on a Music Flow Wi-Fi speaker when the phone comes within a 1-foot range, the company noted. When a consumer listening to music on headphones gets home, the music will begin playing automatically when the consumer gets close.

Another feature, called HomeChat, lets users control Music Flow devices via the Line free-text messaging app on a smartphone or tablet. Users send a text message to the Flow network, such as “play songs for party” or “turn off music after one hour.” HomeChat also acts as a personal assistant, letting users set alarms and alerting them to upcoming events.

The models are the portable H4 (NP8350) speaker; the AC-only H7 (NP8740), H5 (NP8540) and H3 (NP8340); and the LAS950M, LAS851M and LAS751M soundbars.

Details will appear in the TWICE show issue distributed at CES.

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