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Hands-on in Sweden: NuVo Wireless Audio Reviewed for ISE 2013

In advance of ISE 2013, Per Johansson of the Swedish distributor Canseda describes hands-on experience with NuVo Wireless Music System integrated with Control4.


Hands on: NuVo Wireless Music System is now shipping; will be demonstrated at ISE 2013

One year after its debut at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE 2012), the NuVo Wireless Music System is shipping—just in time for ISE 2013. Per Johansson, whose Swedish distribution company Canseda carries multiroom audio systems from NuVo Technologies, has some of the most extensive hands-on experience with the wireless product in Europe.

He tells CE Pro, “Since you are aware of the lead time of the NuVo wireless system, it will be really nice to be at the booth showing the system up and running.”

We caught up with Johansson in advance of the show, and he shared his experience with the product so far.

What were you thinking when you first saw/heard about the NuVo wireless solution at ISE 2012?
Splendid! That was my first thought when the NuVo guys started talk about it some time ago. As you know, it has been a frustrating time since the first talk-up to delivery. We have been talking about it on different shows but now it is reality, and what a system!

Now that you’ve used it, what do you think? How is the performance? Ease of use?
When I got my first system delivered and I installed it my first impression was how easy it is to install. It took just a couple of minutes from unpacking to playing.

Since we also distribute Sonance, Control4 and Canton, I had the opportunity to test the system in many different ways. In particular, the P200 (2x60W amp, €450) is a blast together with floor-standing Canton speakers.

The performance, speaking of hi-fi, is really surprising. The amplification is the thing that surprised us the most.

The positive response from dealers when the sales guys demonstrate it in shops, especially the hi-fi shops, is because it really does deliver with “real speakers.”

As you know, everyone is comparing it to Sonos and the sound and power is what everyone has positive comments on.

Check out the CE Pro Podcast: What to See at ISE 2013.

Bluetooth [streaming] is the other thing that was a surprise to both us and the dealers. It works! The system remembers the devices that have been hooked up to it so when a person comes back to the system he/she can start playing their music immediately, whatever services they use—Spotify, Wimp, iTunes, Local ….

I’m glad that NuVo chose to use aptX Lossless format [pdf] which once again gives the system hi-fi quality.

I used the Control4 driver from Extra Vegetables to integrate the P3100 [3-zone 6x20W amp, €975] into a big multiroom audio system as the zone amplification. It was easy to install and easy to use. 

I got the driver from Extra Vegetables to be used with Control4 and I was able to use the P-3100 in a big system as Zone amplification and also services in to the Control4 system. It was easy to install and easy to use. 

Compared to the U.S., European homes can have some difficult construction for wireless, especially big slabs of concrete. How does NuVo hold up?
So far I have used the system with just one Gateway [GW100 wireless router/gateway] in our office building and it does really hold up without any hiccups. I have another one to use as an extender but I have not felt that I needed it.

As you mention, the way houses are built in Europe makes the installation a bit more difficult and the installer has to know a little bit more about how to make a wireless system work properly.

It has much to do with how and where you place the gateway. Also, many homes do have wired outlets in the houses so wired connection is a possibility to make a system work even better.

[Related ISE 2013 CEDIA course: Extending WiFi Networks]

What has been the response from dealers? Are most of them using some other wireless audio solution currently or are they simply avoiding the category?
As I mentioned above, the response has been really positive and they see that there is an alternative in the wireless market, especially with the hi-fi qualities that NuVo delivers.

Most custom installers are doing wireless systems even if they prefer wired systems. You can’t avoid the wireless category. Customers are talking about wireless as the perfect solution to everything.

I think we will have different sales opportunities with the NuVo system. The P100 [2x20W amp, €360] and P200 will be a perfect solution for the customer who wants to install everything himself … and use existing speakers … and have a hi-fi solution.

The P3100 is a great product when a customer wants to upgrade an existing multiroom install. Since everything is preinstalled and wired the installer can just change the hardware in the rack and they are in to today’s standard of services. That’s nice.

Canton, which you also carry, has some wireless audio products as well. What makes the NuVo solution different?
Canton do have their wireless system with active speakers and the system works in a smaller system. They offer really good sounding from speakers that size and it is perfect if you are using the PC as the main hub to your house.

The difference with NuVo is wireless amplification which gives the customer the possibility to use existing speakers of their choice. Also you have the services built in that makes a difference. 

I think these systems apply to different customers and the way they are using the systems in their everyday life—Canton with an IR remote and NuVo through an App on the network.

The future is really promising and, for us as distributor, with the brands we represent, they work so well all together.

NuVo at ISE 2013: Stand 5-R86

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Audio · Amplifiers · Distributed Audio · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Events · ISE · Wireless A/V · Ise 2013 · Control4 · Nuvo Technologies · Wireless Audio · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]


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