Wireless audio is here and consumers are quickly making the switch to start using wireless audio systems in their homes. CEA reports that “one in ten consumers own a wireless Multi-Room Audio product, but nearly half of non-owners (44 percent) indicate interest in owning one.” * According to WiSA, LCC president Thomas Lee, “Market information from industry analysts [is] projecting that over 40 million wireless speakers of all types will be shipped this year in this fast growing market segment.”
Even as the demand for wireless audio grows there are still misconceptions in our industry about wireless systems, so we asked Lee to expand on them. “There is general confusion regarding the number of audio channels supported by different wireless audio technologies – Bluetooth can be stereo, Wi-Fi based wireless audio is typically stereo (both of these technologies are designed for music playback) and WiSA supports up to eight channels (designed for home theater use). Consumers seem to be surprised to learn that almost all the Wi-Fi based wireless systems are 'closed' systems – the only products a consumer can use for expansion are those manufactured by the same company.”
According to Lee, the benefit of WiSA certified products is that they allow you to offer your clients an uncompressed HD wireless audio system that will work with their home theater without limiting them to a specific brand.
Where Wireless Audio is Headed
So where is the latest trend going for wireless audio? Lee explains, “There is a growing range of wireless audio products available at a range of price points. Just as with wired audio products there are solutions now at $1K for a complete 5.1 wireless audio system all the way to $50K+ – all using the same underlying wireless audio technology. Products are now available with different speaker and amplifier technology, enclosure options, power levels – just like the wired audio world.” As consumers' choices for wireless audio options grow, so does the ability to have wireless audio throughout the home – bedrooms, kitchen, outdoor entertaining space, even the garage.
Wireless audio expands the market for consumers who want multi-room audio. It can increase existing consumers’ orders as well as break the ice with lower barriers for new customers. Even though many DIY solutions exist, having a solid understanding of the technologies available will help you gain your client’s trust in making the best decision for their home.
Looking to learn more about wireless audio solutions?
Check out our related Emerging Trends webinar, Wireless Audio Solutions - Understanding Your Choices
on March 19, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).
* CEA Reports Continued Growth in Wireless, Multi-Room Audio System Sales