Sunday, August 07, 2005

High-end audio streaming

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Sonneteer of UK is specializing in high-end home audio products. The product line that caught my attention is Bard series of wireless streaming devices, BardOne set of transmitter and receiver, BardUSB transmitter, and BardThree receiver with an integrated 25W RMS amplifier. The most notable fact about these products is transmission of uncompressed audio. On top of that, they use the full wireless bandwidth to send up to 8 channels of stereo and it's not WiFi with its relatively heavy overhead and high dropout rate but pure wireless at 2.4 GHz with forward error correction to avoid any choking.
BardOne consist of 2 pieces: Tx - transmitter and Rx - receiver. Transmitter is plugs into any audio source with stereo output, including PC and iPod and streams the music uncompressed to Rx end that is in turn plugged in to your amplifier or AV receiver. BardUSB is just the same as BardOne Tx but plugs in to your USB 1.1 port and acts as a sound card for the computer. BardThree is basically a smart replacement for BardOne Rx. It features a 25W RMS amplifier so you can plug your spekers directly into it. Like I said, all of these products can stream up to 8 channels of stereo simultaneously making it possible to use in multi-zone audio setups.
Pricing for these is not really friendly though: BardOne set consisting of Tx and Rx - $825, BardUSB with BardOne Rx - $599, and BardThree with a BardUSB - $700.
And one more thing - the newer versions of BardUSB will support SPDIF which can be used to send Dolby Digital and DTS surround sounds.

Source: Sonneteer

Posted by Mike at 9:05 PM

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