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More Play-Fi Wireless Audio On The Way

CALABASAS, CALIF. — DTS is moving closer to its goal of broadly licensing its Play-Fi wireless multi-room-audio technology so that consumers can build a multiroom system by using multiple brands of interoperable products rather than products from a single brand.

DTS expanded its roster of audio companies licensing Play-Fi with the addition of Fine Sound Group’s high-end McIntosh, Wadia and Sonus Faber brands.

Fine Sounds is “working with DTS to roll out our new products featuring Play-Fi connectivity later this year,” said Fine Sounds president Charlie Randall.

During January’s International CES, Sound United brands Polk and Definitive Technology announced plans to offer products incorporating Play-Fi, and DTS said they will offer products in time for the holidays. Last September, Nortek’s Core Brands announced a Play-Fi agreement and showed a hybrid wired and wireless multiroom audio system at last year’s CEDIA Expo, but the product hasn’t shipped.

Play-Fi-enabled products are currently available from Wren Audio and DTS’s Play-Fi division, formerly DTS subsidiary Phorus.

DTS is licensing Wi-Fi-based Play-Fi technology for use in a broad array of products from multiple brands, including tabletop speakers, audio components such as A/V receivers, and dedicated adapters that can be added to existing sound systems.

Play-Fi-equipped products wirelessly stream highquality lossless audio stored on mobile devices and on networked DLNA-capable computers and NAS drives, the company said. One or more Play-Fi products can be controlled from a free app running on Android and iOS mobile devices and on Kindle Fire tablets. The app also accesses vTuner Internet radio stations, podcasts and select Cloud-based music services, then sends the content to Play-Fi products.

Multiple users can each stream a different source simultaneously to different Play-Fi products, or one user can stream to all Play-Fi products in a house.

Play-Fi technology is promoted as overcoming Wi- Fi quality-of-service limitations by prioritizing Play-Fi traffic, compensating for the typical types of interferences suffered by Wi-Fi networks, and synchronizing audio throughout the house by reducing latency to less than 1ms, eliminating echoes that could otherwise be heard when multiple Play-Fi devices play back music simultaneously in nearby rooms.

“Whole-home audio over Wi-Fi is poised to become one of the most impactful trends our industry has ever seen,” said Fine Sounds’ Randall.

Fine Sounds chose Play-Fi because it offers “the industry’s most advanced features” and delivers “the highest possible quality, capable of pleasing even the most discerning of ears.”