When an integrator is designing a home theater space for clients, using wireless audio is probably not a common thought. But advances in audio quality and the flexibility from a wireless ecosystem like Lenbrook America’s Bluesound BluOS platform can open up a broad range of possibilities for installers.
“Wireless isn’t necessarily the first thing people think of when they think home theater,” admits matt Simmonds, product manager at Bluesound. Simmonds says the primary reason integrators don’t consider wireless audio solutions for home theater has nothing to do with the technology, but it’s mostly due to “history,” meaning dealers have always run wires.
There has also been more recent concern related to the network bandwidth and whether or not a wireless home theater would stress the network.
“We have a platform in BluOS that is purpose-built for the modern wireless age, with high resolution and also the ability to enable the home theater to fit right into a multiroom audio layout,” he notes. “The home theater, in a sense, becomes one zone in the multiroom setup.”
“It’s really BluOS that enables it, and the issue really comes down to having the integrators trust in the ability of the platform to cope with network bandwidth,” he adds.
Bluesound has eased the network concerns in several ways, including having an element in its app called AV Mode. Using that mode, an integrator can toggle on or off to see the real-time effect on the network and measure any latency. From there, they can make real-time adjustments to the buffer.
“So by enabling AV Mode, it networked audio to happen in a home theater space,” he says.
Bluesound Hardware Includes Pulse Soundbar+, Pulse Sub+
From the hardware standpoint, Bluesound has a wide array of wireless home theater products designed for integration into whole-home audio systems. A central product solution is the PULSE SOUNDBAR+. It offers a high-quality, fully immersive sonic experience thanks to its range of features, including support for Dolby Atmos, 24-bit high-res audio, meticulous acoustic design, 120 watts of hi-fi amplification, and of course, our proprietary BluOS multiroom music software, according to Simmonds.
He says the included wall bracket and built-in accelerometer for orientation management make installation a breeze, and the SOUNDBAR+ connects to sources in a variety of ways — HDMI eARC, optical, analog, Apple AirPlay 2, two-way aptX HD Bluetooth, or many music service integrations.
The Bluesound PULSE SOUNDBAR+ can be paired with the PULSE SUB+ for enhanced deep bass and/or two PULSE FLEX 2i speakers as surrounds for a wireless surround-sound experience.
With Bluesound, home theater is not limited to soundbars and all-in-one speakers. You can create a 4.1-channel system using your choice of speakers, with the newly launched POWERNODE streaming amp. As the modern 2-channel receiver, it features 80 watts per channel of HybridDigital amplification and the world of hi-res streaming at customers’ fingertips.
With three wired source inputs, including HDMI eARC, and support for wired and wireless subwoofers, the POWERNODE is a flexible workhorse, equally at home on a TV credenza or occupying a 2U, half-width rack space. Bluesound products are installer friendly and smart home integrators can get access to drivers for popular control providers such as Crestron, Control4, RTI, Elan and more.