Core Brands Teases Play-Fi Multiroom Wireless Audio for SpeakerCraft, Niles

AirPlay competitor Play-Fi from DTS gets its first real customers: Core Brands’ SpeakerCraft, Niles, Proficient to demo multiroom, synchronized, lossless wireless audio at CEDIA Expo 2013.

Core Brands (SpeakerCraft, Niles, Proficient) embraces DTS's Play-Fi; will demo wireless audio at CEDIA Expo 2013
Julie Jacobson · September 24, 2013

At CEDIA Expo 2013, Core Brands will demonstrate what appears to be the first implementation of DTS’s Play-Fi wireless audio technology in anything other than a cheap gizmo.

Core Brands, a Nortek (NTK) group, says it will use the year-old technology, developed by DTS subsidiary Phorus, for its custom-installed audio brands SpeakerCraft, Niles and Proficient Audio.

Play-Fi is a WiFi (802.11n)-based wireless technology that, according to DTS, streams lossless audio to multiple zones with virtually no latency (less than 1ms). The secret sauce is a QoS layer that prioritizes Play-Fi streams. Previously an Android-only solution, the company announced an iOS app last week, which could give the fledgling protocol “some serious teeth to compete with rivals like Apple’s own Airplay,” says Digital Trends.

Core Brands appears to be the first real taker. Other than that, you’ve got a couple of tabletop gadgets from Phorus and Wren.

The forthcoming product line is distinct from Nortek’s other wireless multizone solution from Eleven Engineering. EE’s SKAA technology is being deployed in Core’s new DIY brand called Korus.

“We have a strategic development alliance with DTS to deliver a whole-home multizone, multi-source system for streaming music wirelessly to architectural speakers (Speakercraft, Niles, etc.),” says Rob Halligan, VP group strategy & marketing for Nortek’s Technology Solutions Group, which includes Core Brands.

In a brief exchange with CE Pro, he says, “This will be Play-Fi based and the key difference is that the Play-Fi based system is multiroom whole home, versus the personal, portable line we announced last quarter, the Korus V series.”

This isn’t the first wireless rodeo for Core Brands. SpeakerCraft and Proficient have toyed with multiroom solutions but their Synergi and Zero products, respectively, were put on hold.

Until CEDIA, Core Brands is keeping pretty quiet on its Play-Fi inspired solutions. Brett Faulk, executive director strategic products for Core Brands, does say in a press release issued today that the new “Smart-Audio” platform will be offered for both existing and new speaker installations.

Press releases follow on page 2.

  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

News · CEDIA Expo · Core Brands · DTS · Niles · Proficient Audio · SpeakerCraft · All Topics
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