When will the wireless revolution finally provide a simple solution for surround sound in a home theater or living room setting? That’s a trick question, WiSA has been doing this for years. The problem is a relatively small selection of products, and a lack of consumer awareness. However, in 2020 that is changing thanks to systems like those offered by Enclave Audio that were demonstrated at CES 2020. With LG selling WiSA ready TVs, perhaps it’s time to get rid of those pesky speaker cables and go wireless.
Now, just avoid any confusion, in this context wireless means free of speaker cables or other signal-carrying cables. It does not mean cordless, these are speakers that you have to put into a wall. However, the thinking is that most residences have plenty of wall outlets. The key advantage here is that these are active speakers, and they receive a hi-res, low latency digital signal through WiSA. This eliminates the disadvantage of the “AVR and speakers” approach where when you drive all the channels, each channel gets less power. With an active system, each speaker gets full power.
Anyhow, the proof is in the listening and during the brief demo at CES, I was more than pleased with the natural sounding, and enveloping surround produced by the Enclave Audio WiSA system. The first time I heard WiSA it was through a pricey Bang & Olufsen system, which sounded amazing and goes to show that the WiSA technology itself can deliver exceptional fidelity reliably, despite its wireless nature. THX certification underscores the point, this system is in a different class than soundbars and such.
Here is the company’s press release from CES 2020:
“With cutting-edge wireless audio technology and connectivity, a complete 5.1 CineHome system sets up as quickly and easily as a soundbar but provides the unmatched audio performance of a multi-channel surround sound system. Designed to envelop the listener in a sphere of surround sound, each CineHome speaker system consists of three wireless front speakers (left, right, and center), two wireless rear speakers (left and right), and a wireless subwoofer. Unencumbered by the constraints of speaker wire, both the CineHome II and CineHome PRO surround sound speaker solutions feature quick set up.
The systems pair and sync automatically to deliver a high-definition audio experience across a 360-degree field of true wireless surround sound by leveraging WiSA technology, a worldwide standard for high definition, multi-channel wireless audio. The CineHome II and CineHome PRO speaker systems can be seamlessly bundled with the Enclave CineHub to work with virtually any modern television and features a simple, single cable setup. The CineHub wireless audio transmitter features Dolby Audio, DTS Digital Surround, Uncompressed PCM and supports eARC, ARC, Optical, Bluetooth and Analog inputs.
When bundled with the CineHome PRO wireless speaker solution, the Enclave CineHub delivers the first THX ® Certified and WiSA Certified home theater system. As a WiSA Certified™ speaker system, CineHome II and CineHome PRO can also be configured to work with any WiSA Certified transmitter or any WiSA Ready™ device within the ecosystem including the 2019 LG OLED and LG NanoCell TV’s. Both CineHome wireless speaker solutions operate on their own discrete wireless network exclusive to the audio system – independent from any external Wi-Fi networks – which safeguards the systems from latency, lag, or interference common with other wireless devices operating in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency bands while supporting uncompressed 24-bit, 96kHz audio with extremely low latency and less than one microsecond of synchronization between speakers.
Available now, the CineHome II surround sound speaker set is available through Enclave starting at $999.99 US MSRP and the CineHome PRO surround sound speaker set is available starting at $1,499.99 US MSRP. The Enclave CineHub is available starting at $149.99 US MSRP but when bundled with a CineHome II or CineHome PRO speaker set, is available for $99.99.”