GoRave Plays Audio from Any Device Anywhere

GoRave says its “wireless” audio distribution system makes it possible (and easy) to use any app on any smart device to play audio in one or multiple rooms. The key to the system is are wireless transmitters, called “Audio Senders”, which are designed to be used with a variety of smart devices (Android and iOS), as well as with computers via a universal USB dongle. The Audio Senders wirelessly transmit the audio from whatever is being played on the device to one or more of GoRave’s 5-channel AR5 Audio Receivers. Because the Audio Senders simply transmit whatever audio is being output on the Android or iOS device, the user can listen to Spotify, NetFlix, YouTube, or some other source of audio - including Skype calls - through the connected speakers in the home.

GoRave does not use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for its wireless connectivity...

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Sturdy, Stylish Sound

Bulgaria’s Everything But The Box (gotta love that name) previewed a series of high style cast-aluminum speakers, available in a wide range of high-gloss and metallic finishes.

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Perfect Together: Acurus and Atmos

Indy Audio Labs is putting the finishing touches on the long-awaited Acurus Act 4 AV preamp-processor, which is slated to launch in February 2015 for $6,000, according to Rick Santiago, CEO of Indy Audio Labs.

Now in beta, the 11.3-channel pre-pro will be equipped with Dolby Atmos processing. “We think Dolby has come out with a great platform to take surround to the next level,” Santiago said. “It’s been tested in professional cinemas so to be able to get it in the home is really exciting.

“The Act 4 is a great centerpiece for a high-performance Atmos home theater,” he continued. “It’s got all the I/O connectivity you need, including the latest HDMI and connectivity with your network, balanced outputs, a phono premp, icon-driven menus, and a beautiful 7-inch touch-panel display that translates to mobile devices very simply so you can control the processor from anywhere in your home.”

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Snowsound USA Optimizes Room Acoustics

Snowsound USA previewed a patented, variable density acoustic panel that eliminates echos and selectively absorbs low-, mid-, and high-frequency sounds to optimize room acoustics. Inspired by nature, the panels are intended to create a “more peaceful environment” by mimicking the sound absorbing properties of freshly fallen snow. (Everybody’s got an angle…)
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No Fibbing - FIBARO is Finally Here

After four years of availability in over 55 countries around the world, smart home hub and device maker, FIBARO, is finally entering the U.S. market. In addition to the Home Center Lite (approx $280), FIBARO will also be making available the more powerful Home Center 2 (pricing TBA). The most significant feature that differentiates FIBARO from the competitive smart home hub systems (Revolv, $300; SmartThings, $99; Staples Connect, $49; etc.) is the systems’ abilities to interface with and control elements of home AV systems. Currently, Revolv and SmartThings offer extremely limited control of some Sonos components; but neither hub is capable of controlling gear in home theater systems.

FIBARO is also notable for its...

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Origin Acoustics Aims to Reinvent Architectural Audio

Origin Acoustics is made up of the team that literally invented the architectural speaker in 1976 and they have re-teamed to revitalize and re-revolutionize the in-wall and in-ceiling category. Company president, Jeremy Burkhardt, said they reunited because of the shared passion and love for this business and industry and the desire to continue making innovative products. The team’s first step was to get together and examine the leading architectural speakers currently on the market and brainstorm ways to make these speakers smaller so larger woofers can fit in smaller spaces and easier to install.
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Leviton Takes a Bite Out of BitWise

Further proving that there’s more volatility in the smart home industry than in a hot air popcorn popper, Leviton Security & Automation (formerly HAI by Leviton) (and, before that, simply HAI) announced on the eve of CEDIA EXPO 2014 that the company had acquired Englewood, CO-based BitWise Controls, LLC. Founded in 2008, BitWise Controls specializes in automation controllers and products designed for the professional and pro-sumer smart home markets. The company’s three automation controllers - the BC1, BC2, and BC4 - are capable of home automation tasks as well as AV system control and offered a less-expensive alternative to systems from companies, such as Control4 and Crestron.

Although not specifically intended for direct consumer purchase and installation, the pricing of the controllers (starting at slightly above $500 for the basic, single-room BC4) also makes them a viable alternative to the gobs of DIY-oriented sub-$300 smart home hubs - none of which are capable of AV system integration. (The Revolv Hub is the only exception to this rule, although its sole AV-control capability involves limited integration with several Sonos components.)

Terms of the deal were not announced. It can be assumed, however, that Leviton did not pay quite as much for BitWise as Google did for Nest ($3.2 billion) earlier this year.

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Bowers & Wilkins CM6 S2 Speaker System Test Bench

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CEDIA Expo 2014 Preview: Let the Geekfest Begin

2014 CEDIA Expo Coverage Begins Wednesday

In the grand scheme of all things electronic, it’s not as big a deal as the annual CES in Las Vegas. In many respects, though, CEDIA Expo 2014 is an even more important event for people interested in customizing home technologies to make them seamless, integral parts of their customers’ lives. Oh, hell, what am I saying? “Customizing home technologies…” The guys—and most of them are guys, although that’s changing—who go to the CEDIA Expo every year are fascinated by gear that can be hidden, be controlled at a distance, is motorized or otherwise moveable, and can be tweaked and tinkered with. Sure, we talk about "lifestyles", but the reality is we go to CEDIA to geek out on the gear.

It’s a completely safe bet that when the show floor at CEDIA Expo 2014 officially opens at 9:00 AM on Thursday, September 11, the place will be packed‐and a number of us from Sound & Vision will be fighting our way through the throngs of installers, designers, specifiers, representatives, and booth demonstrators...

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Captain Obvious Strikes Again: The Era of Streaming Is Here

Boy, oh boy, do I feel like an idiot. I read a news item this morning, and it unleashed a series of tremendously brilliant insights that rocketed through my brain . Surely, no one else had ever so deeply penetrated into the nature of the truth of things. Now, it occurs to me that in fact, everyone else had realized all this long ago. Captain Obvious had struck again.
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