EXCLUSIVE:Convoy Wins Battle To Sell Hot New 24Bit High Res Wireless Audio System
Capable of playing back high res audio files the system will initially be only sold via specialist dealers. According to Convoy management the Company is still working out pricing and distribution agreements.
The Bluesound product portfolio is a serious rival for Sonos as it delivers a new high-definition wireless music system that has been developed by Lenbrook the parent company of NAD and PSB speakers whose products are distributed by Qualifi who missed out on getting the new Bluesound range.
Unlike Sonos, Bluesound can handle high-res 24-bit music files – Sonos can only manage CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz as a maximum. Other technical highlights include a Direct Digital 35-bit, 844 kHz amplifier and ARM Cortex A8 processor.
Sonos management has confirmed there would be no new products and no support for high-res audio this year, the US Company are facing the real prospect that consumers who purchase a Sonos product this year will have to buy a new 24bit enabled wireless audio product if they want to play 24bit audio tracks available from major digital content audio sites such as iTunes, Google Play Music and Spotify.
Currently there are five components in the Bluesound range, available in black or white, which can be controlled using iOS or Android apps on a smartphone or tablet:
Node – a hi-res wireless music streamer that connects to your wireless network and an amplifier to bring wireless streaming to your existing hi-fi or home cinema set-up.
Powernode – a standalone, stereo streaming music player with built-in digital amp and speakers.
Vault – a high-res music server and CD ripper with a 1TB hard drive and a proprietary BluOS file management system, which is Mac and PC compatible.
Pulse – an all-in-one music streaming system but with a different aesthetic design to the other previously mentioned components.
Duo, a 2.1 stereo speaker system and subwoofer with built-in digital amp.
Like Sonos products, Bluesound products let you play audio files from your networked computers and hard drives, the big difference is that this system plays high-res audio files that have resolution greater than the 16-bit/44.1-kilohertz resolution of CD’s. Earlier this month the music industry agreed on a new standard for high res audio with organisations like Apple, Google and Amazon set to start streaming High Res Audio files that have been likened to what 4K is to display.
Mirroring the evolution taking place in television technology (from HD to Ultra HD), musicians such as Neil Young and brands such as Sony, EMI, Warmer Music, are now moving to replace MP3 collections with high-resolution files and playback hardware.
Recently Lenbrook Industries announced that their Bluesound brand is adding Spotify Connect to its high-resolution wireless multiroom audio system.
The system, launched last year in Canada, already streams Slacker, TuneIn, Rdio, Deezer, Juke and High-Res Audio in the U.S.
With Spotify Connect, consumers hand off Spotify-playlist streaming from a smartphone as they enter the house to a network-connected home audio product, which begins playing the Spotify playlist right where it left off when the home product is turned on.
Spotify also promotes Spotify Connect as reducing battery drain on mobile devices because consumers don’t have to stream Spotify from a mobile device app over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to a home audio system.
With a Bluesound system, Spotify content can be streamed to multiple networked Bluesound speakers at a time, the company said.
Spotify Premium subscribers will be able to stream Spotify through their Bluesound systems starting July 1 after installing a software update and upgrading to a new Android or iOS app on their mobile device, which acts as a Bluesound system controller. Spotify’s library consists of more than 20 million songs organized into curated or personal playlists.