ISE 2017: NuVo Bolsters Ecosystem for Whole-House Wireless Audio, Including New DSPs
At ISE 2017, Legrand’s NuVo bolstered its Player Portfolio ecosystem with a slew of audio products including its first soundbar and powered shelf speaker, plus multizone amp with DSP settings for each zone.
NuVo has come a long way since it first introduced its “Wireless Audio System” in 2012. Now the streaming products are part of an ecosystem called Player Portfolio, which includes music management software, wireless speakers, multiroom amps and, now, a dedicated Android touchscreen.
At ISE 2017, NuVo showed a host of new products at the Legrand stand, including several “firsts” for the company.
For starters, NuVo introduced its first wireless tabletop speaker, the P400, for Player Portfolio. It appears as any other device in the Portfolio ecosystem, ready to stream music from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Napster and Deezer.
The speaker – featuring built-in Wi-Fi, amp, a 5 1/4-inch woofer, two midrange drivers and two tweeters – mimics the features of NuVo’s new wireless soundbar (its first), the NVP500, introduced a few months ago.
NuVo product manager Walt Zerbe says it’s rare to find soundbars like the NVP500 that can double as a zone in a whole-house audio system.
Both speakers have on-board transport controls, or they can be operated through any Portfolio-enabled controller, including keypads and NuVo’s new P30 7-inch touchscreen.
At $350 retail, the new Android-powered touchscreen with PoE is quite a marvel for the audio company. It comes with the new-and-improved Player Portfolio app, which can remain open as the home page of the panel. But it’s also a full Android device, with a mic and a camera so, as Zerbe suggests, you could use it for “Skype or whatever.”
In addition to all of these pieces, NuVo is now shipping rack-mounted P4300 Player ($2,299), a multizone amp that can distribute three high-resolution audio sources to three zones simultaneously, with 110 watts of power per zone.
There’s a touchscreen built into the unit for configuration and feedback. But that’s not the interesting part.
The interesting part was announced during ISE: NuVo is activating DSP controls for the P4300 – one for each zone.
“It has built-in curves for NuVo speakers,” Zerbe says, “but we also supply enhanced audio curves for other speakers.”
NuVo provides optimal sound profiles for third-party speakers, which users are welcome to adjust as necessary.
On top of all this, NuVo has (for real) introduced KNX support for Player Portfolio, meaning any of the thousands of KNX-enabled keypads and controllers in Europe (and, increasingly, the U.S.) can be used to control the Portfolio products.
Quite an Ecosystem
Let’s see: wireless streaming amps, players, speakers, keypads and touchscreens, plus robust music-management software and integration with popular home automation systems … sounds like a pretty useful ecosystem for whole-house audio.
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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 email@example.com
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