Bose, who are struggling to get traction in the home theatre market with some CEDIA dealers reporting problems with their high end systems, has launched a new SoundLink wireless music system that uses a USB key with embedded wireless to connect with a PC.
Bose, who are obsessed with proprietary systems, have introduced their own Wi-Fi for what is basically a proprietary, portable wireless system.
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Housed in a single-chassis tabletop system, the new portable system comes with built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. It will go on sale in Australia soon.
Recently executives at Audio Connections, a Sydney CEDIA dealer admitted to ChannelNews that they had had to replace several Bose home theatre kits because of problems.
With their latest offering, Bose has eliminated the task of connecting to a Wi-Fi network via the traditional method. Instead, the US Company is offering a USB key with embedded wireless. Once the key is plugged into a PC’s USB port, the PC streams PC-stored music and Internet radio stations and Internet music services to the SoundLink.
What is not known is whether the system has DRM technology built-in, that prevents music downloaded from peer to peer music sites like Limewire from being played.
Bose said that consumers don’t need to load software onto their PC. Music can be streamed through a consumer’s existing music software, including iTunes.
The speaker system’s IR remote operates the speaker system’s power and volume, and for most applications, the remote controls play/pause and track-skip commands, which are relayed wirelessly from the SoundLink to the PC. The speaker system itself comes with touch-sensitive volume buttons. To amplify sound from an iPod or other MP3 player, the SoundLink adds auxiliary input.
If not plugged into AC, the SoundLink’s battery powers the embedded amplifier for up to three hours when the speaker system is playing at full volume.
The device will be available in black or white.
According to Twice Magazine, the system range wasn’t disclosed, but the company said the wireless technology penetrates most walls and extends to a home’s yard. The company also didn’t mention whether a single USB transmitter could stream music to multiple SoundLink speaker systems.
Although the SoundLink is Bose’s first music system to connect wirelessly to a PC, it is not the company’s first music system designed to select and play back PC-based music. The first such Bose system, the Wave PC Music System, was available in 2001 to 2002. That system consisted of a tabletop AM/FM radio, PC software and a 15-foot cable that consumers connected to a PC. The Music System and its IR remote could select PC-stored music and Internet radio stations for playback.