Apple Wireless Audio System

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
macsimum news is reporting that Apple was granted a patent in Europe covering audio systems. edit:see link below



The patent talks about configuring a surround sound set of speakers using a wireless device. Most importantly, it references speakers that connect via a wireless method. Now this is what I have been waiting for.



One of the big problems with surround sound is that most places are not wired correctly for it, and even if they are it restricts the placement of speakers. Apple could literally have speakers that connect via airport and rendezvous with no trouble. Students could easily move surround systems with them, and houses could benefit as well by not having to run wires. Combined with Apple's user experience, I imagine this would tie right in to the digital hub we've been waiting for.



Oh, and iTMS could easily sell surround mixes...

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Your link doesn't work! If true sounds cool!
  • Reply 2 of 18
  • Reply 3 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Animal Farm

    Correct link:



    http://tinyurl.com/lvwu2




    Yea that link worked, thanks!
  • Reply 4 of 18
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    I'm looking for a surround sound system to complement my HD setup and now this comes out. Doh!
  • Reply 5 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    You'll be afraid to buy now in case this appears!
  • Reply 6 of 18
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    Yeah, I personally saw that coming a mile away.



    I mean jeez, lets look at this last media event Apple held about a month ago. I was out of the country for 5 weeks when it happened so I missed the whole thing - except for the disappointment and the backlash against Apple that followed. ??? But...



    From my perspective, upon returning to the country and then viewing the event for myself, I thought it was great (and was not disappointed like everyone else apparently was) and by no means was it a coincidence that the Mac mini was introduced together with the iPod Hi-Fi.



    I mean come on. Didn't anyone notice that dramatic pause after Steve said with the most serious tone of the whole presentation, "and you can even hook it up to a television."



    Many seem disappointed that the Hi-Fi didn't have video out when Apple's other docks do have it. That could seem disappointing I suppose but if you realize that it WAS designed to be used with a television only at the end of the chain, not the beginning, it is not nearly as disappointing. See, if you have video content that you want the Hi-Fi to be a part of, it will be supplied through the analog 3.5 mm stereo minijack or S/PDIF optical digital miniplug of a Mac mini or from... well... from something else. It doesn't make sense to go the other way really, especially since the video part would most likely need to be cached anyway to assure smooth playback.



    The sound... AND the look of the Hi-Fi just screams center channel of a theater sound system. All the reviews I have read and the Hi-Fi that I have listened to myself all have the presentation needed as a center channel component.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by blue2kdave

    Oh, and iTMS could easily sell surround mixes... [/B]



    Yeah, AAC supports multiple channels. Does that full length Disney movie at the iTMS have surround sound? Someone open it in QT and do a Command - J.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    Doesn't anybody have any other thoughts on this.



    Sounds quite feasible, realistic and necessary, no?



    Buy a pair of wireless speakers (maybe they even come with the option to connect using cables if the setup and location allow) to use around your computer to improve upon the ever-shrinking speakers as a result of the ever-shrinking computers that Apple is producing. Almost a necessity, especially with Apple's focus on music and now TV shows. Didn't I see some figure recently revealing that 60% of Podcasts where played at the desktop.



    Maybe you had purchased the Hi-Fi too. In which case, all you would need to do is add a second pair of these wireless speakers and you have a home theater sound system with the Hi-Fi up front acting as the central localizing anchor.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    gremlingremlin Posts: 45member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rongold

    From my perspective, upon returning to the country and then viewing the event for myself, I thought it was great (and was not disappointed like everyone else apparently was) and by no means was it a coincidence that the Mac mini was introduced together with the iPod Hi-Fi.







    You've seen the last event? Has Apple posted up???
  • Reply 10 of 18
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    C|net has it. They cut it into two pieces. The first being centered on the mini and the second centered around the Hi-Fi.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    rongoldrongold Posts: 302member
    The MacBreak video podcast is also excellent. 20 minute video with interviews with Joz and many others, all within the different demonstration rooms that Apple had set up (kitchen, study, living room, dorm room... bathroom).
  • Reply 12 of 18
    corkurkcorkurk Posts: 90member
    If Apple (or anyone for that matter) could pull this off I would seriously look into purchasing. A simple, intuitive (yet comprehensive) interface to set all the speaker levels is something that most receivers lack. In my experience, most receiver interfaces are terrible (on their tiny displays)with way too many buttons and menus leading into sub-menus leading into even more more sub-menus.



    The wireless speakers would be nice too. I always hate trying to hide wires across the entire room. Just being able to place them where you want them, then sit down at your iMac and set the entire system up in a few minutes would be great! Sign me up!



    My only question is how the speakers will be powered? My sister and her husband recently purchased a set of wireless rear speakers for their home theater. While it kept them from having to run speaker wire across their living room, they still had to plug them into an outlet. How much good would the wireless connections (and touted freedom in placement) be if your still looking for 5 or 6 AC outlets?
  • Reply 13 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rongold

    The MacBreak video podcast is also excellent. 20 minute video with interviews with Joz and many others, all within the different demonstration rooms that Apple had set up (kitchen, study, living room, dorm room... bathroom).



    I agree totally!!
  • Reply 14 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    An actual wireless speaker means a built in amp and a receiver running on batteries.



    Which means regular recharging/changing batts (way more than a wireless mouse or keyboard since an amplifier is a much larger load).



    Now, for something like a wireless enabled iPod HiFi this makes sense, since it's a single portable box that can be plugged in and the battery part is a convenience for when that isn't possible.



    But a 5.1 fixed position surround system? A total pain in the ass. You want to keep up with battery charging/changing duties in at least 5 speakers? Until power can be beamed along with the audio signal, this just isn't going to happen.



    Now, having said that, I'm not seeing anywhere in the linked to article any reference to a wireless speaker system.



    I see something similar to the auto calibration feature in surround sound receivers wherein test tones through each speaker in sequence are used to set relative levels and delay times, with, in this case, a "measurement ultrasonic wave signal" is used in lieu of a microphone to get that test tone information back to the processor.



    Am I missing it?
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Look a little more closely, and you will see the wireless reference. Also, you are right about everything being built in (amp, etc), but wireless doesn't mean it runs on batteries. Look at the Airport express. No, these would be powered speakers with a wireless connection to the main source.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Then what the heck is the point of having wireless?



    If I leave my PowerBook unplugged for 2 hours, I either have to bring power to me (rewire my house to up through my bed to reach the computer) or get up and walk over to somewhere that a power source already exists.



    So, I either have to WIRE my house with power (but not speaker cables) or take my speakers off the walls after every other movie to recharge them.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by blue2kdave

    Look a little more closely, and you will see the wireless reference. Also, you are right about everything being built in (amp, etc), but wireless doesn't mean it runs on batteries. Look at the Airport express. No, these would be powered speakers with a wireless connection to the main source.



    Maybe we're looking at different things. There is no mention of wireless speakers in the linked to article. There is some talk of sending and receiving, but that is explicitly in reference to getting calibration info to the surround processor, not sending audio signal to the speakers.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macserverX

    Then what the heck is the point of having wireless?



    If I leave my PowerBook unplugged for 2 hours, I either have to bring power to me (rewire my house to up through my bed to reach the computer) or get up and walk over to somewhere that a power source already exists.



    So, I either have to WIRE my house with power (but not speaker cables) or take my speakers off the walls after every other movie to recharge them.




    Exactly. It's typically easier to get speaker wire to multiple positions in a room than it is to get power. Plus, speaker cable can be quite a bit less intrusive than an AC cord.



    Picture a small surround speaker mounted to the wall. You can get speaker cable that tucks easily under cove or base moulding, then lays flat on a short run up or down to the speaker.



    Now imagine running a power cord to that speaker.
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