Wireless audio has come a long way, and one company that continues to propel the technology in exciting directions is Enclave Audio. Rob Jones, chief technology officer, discusses how easy it is for dealers to install and calibrate full wireless surround-sound systems, advantages over soundbars, where wireless audio might be headed next and more in this week’s podcast episode.
To make the category enticing for dealers and customers, Enclave Audio offers WiSA-based wireless surround-sound bundles from its CineHome and CineHome Pro lineup and more. The company has focused on theater solutions and easily-installed upgrades to soundbars, with the wireless option expanding the potential customer pool for 5.1 systems.
“One of the things we have found for dealers and integrators is, especially with those customers who have shared walls – apartments, condos – who can’t punch holes in the floors, run wires under the carpets … this is a great solution,” Jones says. “Anything WiSA in that way is a great solution, anything wireless in that way is a great solution.”
Wireless audio as a broad category has been growing and branching out, he adds, with various formats including wireless headsets, wireless earbuds, Bluetooth speakers, Sonos speakers, etc. Jones says Enclave Audio (a ProSource member) chose to focus on single-room home theater for its wireless specialty.
“We wanted to do one thing really well,” he says. “And wireless allows you to be able to offer certain conveniences for those customers who just don’t have the time, the space, the patience. Or they simply look at the back of an AVR and go, ‘I don’t get it.’”
So how do dealers upsell from the go-to soundbar attachment sale for big-screen video to a wireless 5.1 audio system?
“I think there’s a responsibility first as a company to get the customer to understand the difference between what we offer as a product and an experience vs. what a soundbar offers. I tend to believe, just in talking to our customers, they’re going to go out there and buy that 65-inch, 75-inch OLED, this big, beautiful picture and that’s the most important thing – and we’re yelling to we’re blue in the face, ‘Wait, wait, wait, audio matters!,’” Jones says.
He appreciates soundbar technologies that can mimic a surround-sound spatialization for theater or sports, but processing can’t fully duplicate putting a speaker in the location where you want sound to emanate for effects, he comments.
Integrators, he says, have the capability to discuss with customers how they can take the same kind of single-wire to the TV simplified setup footprint and apply it toward a 5.1 system rather than a soundbar to go with their new display. They can deliver big audio to go with the big-screen experience.
“If we can get the dealers thinking in that way, everybody who’s on the wireless audio multichannel living room bandwagon is going to thrive,” Jones says, “including the dealer. It’s going to make for a stronger relationship with the customers, an expanding ecosystem … you can go to 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, you can add subs if it’s a larger room and not adequate coverage.”
The only thing dealers need to keep in mind is there must be power outlets near the individual speakers and subwoofers that will be communicating with the Enclave Audio system hub.
Like other smart connected technology where dealers can remotely tap into customers’ systems to troubleshoot or diagnose issues, Jones adds that Enclave Audio offers its tech assist support that can be used to save a truck roll perhaps.
Hear more from Jones about wireless audio’s future and potential Enclave solutions by watching or downloading the podcast above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.