Xbox is Big Win for WiSA Wireless Audio, But WiSA Must Help Itself

For six years, the WiSA Association has struggled to achieve critical mass for its wireless surround-sound technology, but new member Xbox could change the game, so to speak. Meanwhile, WiSA needs a better website .

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Most audio aficionados will agree that WiSA – the Wireless Speaker and Audio spec – is an excellent technology for delivering high-quality surround-sound to multiple speakers without wires. But the six-year-old standard has struggled to gain followers.

Xbox joined the WiSA Association this week (press release on page 2), and could finally generate the visibility that WiSA deserves … if Xbox actually employs the technology. Most companies who join tech-related associations don’t actually implement the technology. They just want to stay informed.

The press release announcing the new member doesn’t quote anyone from Xbox and doesn’t say that Xbox will actually incorporate WiSA into its gaming consoles. WiSA’s PR only hints at such engagement:

This summer, Xbox marked a significant milestone with its unveiling of the world’s most powerful console, Xbox One X, and its largest and most diverse games lineup in history. … Creating an immersive audio experience that sets-up in minutes through the integration of WiSA technology will place gamers in the center of the action easier than ever before and create an entirely new and elevated gaming experience. …

“We are excited to welcome Xbox and have them work alongside our speaker brand members to increase the inmarket system offerings that can be created through the interoperability of WiSA technology,” said Tony Ostrom, President of WiSA. “Xbox delivers a fantastic gaming experience with premier audio alongside a significant amount of content into the homes of consumers, including TV shows, movies and music. Together, we can create simple high-performance audio solutions through the integration of high definition wireless audio for all Xbox fans.”

Delivering uncompressed audio in the 5 GHz band, WiSA is good enough for Bang & Olufsen, which incorporates the wireless technology in several high-performance TVs and speakers. Demonstrations of the technology at B&O headquarters in Denmark wowed many dealers who had not experienced WiSA before.

RELATED: Bang & Olufsen Pro: The Most Exciting Channel Program You Never Heard Of

Other than B&O, though, WiSA hasn’t seen a whole lot of uptake over the years, despite a number of demonstrations and announcements by would-be adopters. Klipsch finally has compliant products some five years after becoming a founding member of the WiSA Association in 2011. A couple of startups like Axiim and Enclave have products too.

How do you Find WiSA Products?!

But what about Harman (JBL, Infinity, Mark Levinson, Revel and other top audio brands), Definitive Technology, Artison, Onkyo, Polk Audio, Martin Logan, Pioneer and other WiSA members that have demonstrated or planned to deliver WiSA-enabled products?

Try doing a Google search of WiSA-enabled products, and you'll get nowhere.

It’s difficult to tell which of the WiSA “partners” currently sell compliant products, as the WiSA website only mentions members and announced products, not shipping solutions.

A list of WiSA-compliant products on the market might be a nice touch. It would bring awareness to the technology and make it super-simple for consumers to assemble a complete WiSA-enabled surround-sound system. It might even spur development of WiSA products.

WiSA is pretty awesome. Hopefully Xbox will actually implement the technology and help the association improve its visibility and adoption.

For now … how about a list of certified products, WiSA?

Next page: Xbox WiSA press release

{pagebreak}PRESS RELEASE

Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association Welcomes Xbox as Newest Member

SAN FRANCISCO (October 23, 2017) – The Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association, an industry group dedicated to bringing high resolution, wireless, multi-channel audio products to the home theater market, announces video gaming brand Xbox as its newest member.

This summer, Xbox marked a significant milestone with its unveiling of the world’s most powerful console, Xbox One X, and its largest and most diverse games lineup in history. WiSA Association welcomes Xbox as its first video gaming brand making it part of the wireless multi-channel audio movement, putting it in a unique position of direct access to current member brands with the goal of delivering simple yet powerful audio solutions.

Creating an immersive audio experience that sets-up in minutes through the integration of WiSA technology will place gamers in the center of the action easier than ever before and create an entirely new and elevated gaming experience.

CE Pro Blog: Xbox is Big Win for WiSA, But WiSA Must Help Itself

“We are excited to welcome Xbox and have them work alongside our speaker brand members to increase the inmarket system offerings that can be created through the interoperability of WiSA technology,” said Tony Ostrom, President of WiSA. “Xbox delivers a fantastic gaming experience with premier audio alongside a significant amount of content into the homes of consumers, including TV shows, movies and music. Together, we can create simple high-performance audio solutions through the integration of high definition wireless audio for all Xbox fans.”

WiSA’s innovative technology improves the gaming experience by allowing gamers to create any level of audio system they desire and grow that system’s capabilities over time. WiSA eliminates the complicated set-up and wiring of traditional audio systems by utilizing cutting-edge wireless technology to create powerful and reliable audio systems that boast uninterrupted listening. WiSA’s interoperability testing means that users can feel confident that all WiSA certified components from all brands will work perfectly together. WiSA also ensures multi-channel transmission of low-latency, high-definition audio, dramatically increasing the enjoyment of gaming, movies, TV and music.

The WiSA Association consists of more than 30 member brands, including the world’s top manufacturers and resellers of audio products, who remain devoted to developing and promoting the adoption of WiSA-certified products worldwide. Together, WiSA and its members deliver unmatched performance and ease of use in the home theater industry.

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About the Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSAÔ) Association Established in 2011 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, the Wireless Speaker & Audio (WiSAÔ) Association is an industry group dedicated to bringing the industry’s only fully interoperable, high resolution, multi-channel wireless audio capability to consumer and professional products. The Association is responsible for developing technical specifications, performing interoperability compliance testing of WiSA-certified products, supporting members with marketing campaigns and promoting the broad adoption of WiSA product interoperability. For more information about the WiSA Association, visit www.wisaassociation.org.

About the Author

Julie Jacobson
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Julie Jacobson:

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

ARTICLE TOPICS:

NewsSpeakers/SubwoofersWireless AV

ARTICLE TAGS:

Bang & OlufsenKlipschWireless AudioWISAXbox