DTS Play-Fi Platform Adds iOS, Windows Support
DTS subsidiary Phorus, whose first branded wireless receiver and speaker have initially used DTS’s Play-Fi Wi-Fi-based wireless high-quality audio streaming technology to accept transmissions solely from Android-based devices, will now benefit from an expansion of Play-Fi’s capabilities that make it compatible with both Apple iOS and Windows devices.
Apps for both platforms are being released that will make the Phorus PS1 speaker ($199) and PR1 receiver ($149) iPhone/iPad and Windows-PC compatible, said Dannie Lau, Phorus general manager and one of Play-Fi’s developers.
Play-Fi is what Lau described as “hi-fi over Wi-Fi.” He said it transmits compressed via Wi-Fi but, unlike with Bluetooth, without any sound quality degradation. Play-Fi also supports multi-room streaming to multiple speakers that are synched so that there is no lag in what is heard; it also supports multi-user streaming to up to 18 separate speakers or up to eight grouped speakers, he said. Eventually, a firmware update will allow the speakers to be configured as left/right pairs, said Sharon Graves, Phorus vice president.
Lau said the technology, which is already also incorporated in a wireless speaker marketed by Wren Sound Systems, is being licensed to other companies, who will make their own announcements regarding product availability.
Play-Fi apps, when launched, automatically search via Wi-Fi for compatible speakers. Each speaker can be named for room location or for an individual user, and the renaming automatically propagates to all devices; volume levels on each speaker can also be independently controlled.
Phorus’s PS1 houses two 40mm transducers with Neodymium magnets, a 15-watt digital amp and audio digital signal processing technology.
Lau said this technology introduction dovetails with the exponential growth in popularity of wireless speakers. He cited NPD data showing that wireless speaker category is faster-growing than even soundbars and headphones, with year-over-year growth at 170 percent for 2013; he also noted that in January, wireless speaker sales for the first time eclipsed iPod docking station sales.
Phorus products are currently available on the Phorus web site, on amazon.com and at Nebraska Furniture Mart, and the company is planning additional distribution announcements shortly.