Calabasas, Calif. — DTS expanded the roster of audio companies licensing Play-Fi wireless multizone-audio technology 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 multi-room audio system at last year’s CEDIA Expo, but the product hasn’t shipped.
Play-Fi-enabled products, however, 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. DTS’s goal is to license the technology broadly to CE makers to deliver a Sonos-like wireless multiroom-audio experience through multiple brands of interoperable products rather than through a single brand that uses proprietary technology, the company has said.
Play-Fi-equipped products wirelessly stream high-quality “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.”