Bluesound: Using Wireless Audio in Home Theater Applications with BluOS
When an integrator is designing a home theater area for clients, using wireless audio is likely not a general idea. But advances in audio quality and the flexibility of a wireless ecosystem like Lenbrook America’s Bluesound BluOS platform can open up a wide range of possibilities for installers.
“Wireless isn’t the first thing people think of when they think of home theater,” admits Matt Simmonds, product manager at Bluesound. Simmonds says the main reason integrators don’t consider wireless home theater audio solutions has nothing to do with technology, but rather stems primarily from “history,” which means dealers have always been laying cables.
More recently, there have also been concerns about network bandwidth and whether or not a wireless home theater would strain the network.
“We have a platform in BluOS specifically designed for the modern wireless age, with high resolution and the ability to fit the home theater directly into a multiroom audio layout,” he notes. “The home cinema becomes, so to speak, a zone in the multiroom setup.”
“It’s really BluOS that makes it possible, and the problem is that the integrators are relying on the platform’s ability to handle the network bandwidth,” he adds.
Bluesound tackled the network issues in a number of ways, including an item in their app called AV Mode. In this mode, an integrator can turn on or off to see the real-time effect on the network and measure any latency. From there you can adjust the buffer in real time.
“By activating the AV mode, networked audio could take place in a home theater room,” he says.
Bluesound hardware includes Pulse Soundbar +, Pulse Sub +
From a hardware standpoint, Bluesound offers a wide range of wireless home theater products designed to be integrated with home audio systems. A central product solution is the PULSE SOUNDBAR +. It offers a high quality, fully immersive sound experience thanks to its numerous features, including support for Dolby Atmos, 24-bit high-res audio, meticulous acoustic design, 120 watt Hi-Fi amplification and of course our proprietary BluOS multiroom music software, according to Simmonds.
He says the included wall mount 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 combined with the PULSE SUB + for amplified deep bass and / or two PULSE FLEX 2i speakers as surround for a wireless surround sound experience.
With Bluesound, home theater isn’t limited to sound bars and all-in-one speakers. With the newly introduced POWERNODE streaming amplifier, you can create a 4.1-channel system with speakers of your choice. As a modern 2-channel receiver, it offers 80 watts per channel hybrid digital amplification and the world of hi-res streaming at the push of a button.
With three wired source inputs, including HDMI eARC, and support for wired and wireless subwoofers, the POWERNODE is a flexible workhorse that looks equally good on a TV at home or in a 2U half-width rack. Bluesound products are installer friendly and smart home integrators can access drivers for popular control providers like Crestron, Control4, RTI, Elan and more.