A WISA-enabled Beolab 19 Subwoofer managed to shake things up
WISA is an industry group dedicated to developing and implementing standards for wireless transmission of audio in an unused slice of the radio spectrum. The goal is to create a system that guarantees wireless performance and interoperability between products that bear the WISA logo.
A pair of Beolab 17s served as rear channels
At CES 2014, I had an opportunity to demo a WISA-based system from B&O. It is a demo that I will never forget, because it was the first time I have ever heard true high-fidelity audio coming from a wireless system. The feat was even more impressive if you consider what a difficult environment the show presented for wireless devices. Cell phones were non-functional, WiFi pairing with nearby devices was spotty at best—but the WISA demo was flawless. It’s pretty much a guarantee that if your wireless system works at CES, it’ll work just about anywhere.
WISA showed off the guts of a wireless audio system
The system consisted of a pair of Beolab 18 speakers for the front L/R mains, a pair of Beolab 17s in the rear, a Beolab 18 sub, and a Beoview 11 TV, which features a WISA transmitter and an integrated center-channel.
All I can say is that the demo was top-notch. WISA can deliver eight channels of 24/96 audio without a hiccup. Every aspect of sound quality, from the intensity and definition of the bass to the tangible 3D quality of the sound, there was nothing missing—except for the speaker cables.
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Last edited by imagic; 12-02-2015 at 07:42 AM.
Projector: BenQ w1500 + ES Sable 135" Screen AVR: Onkyo TX-NR646 ATMOS/DTSX + Darbee 5000
Speakers: Polk Audio TSX550t (FL/FR), CS2 Series II (C), Monitor40 Series II (RL/RR),
Onkyo THX Bookshelf Speakers (Ceiling L/R), (2) JL Audio 12" Subs + (2) Dayton 15" Subs + (2) ButtKicker LFE
Arrangement: 5.1.2 Source: HTPC, Roku 4, Nexus Player, Samsung UBD-K8500 4k Bluray Player
Hopefully by next year there should be some WISA competition, maybe I'll wait, or maybe I'll just pick up from JTRs or Catalysts in the meanwhile.
Yeah this stuff costs a lot more than normal gear with similar capability. B&O is always about balancing form and function. An Apple analogy is always in order, if anything B&O product is the inspiration for the Apple aesthetic—and pricing—and stores. I digress... for the size, and for how compact the system is—it's pretty amazing.
For anyone who even knows what a Noesis or Catalyst is, a B&O system is the last thing you'd ever want. The laws of physics demand as much.