Monday, January 12, 2009

Linksys New Wireless Audio Products


Today Linksys charges full speed ahead into the whole-house wireless media system category, debuting a boatload of equipment that promises to put together all your downloaded and streamed music. Whether it’s on your iPod, your PC, the Internet, or a hard disk someplace, the idea is to let you listen to it in any room. It sounds a lot like what Sonos does, but Linksys adds built-in N-standard Wi-Fi so you don’t have to mess around with any wires. Linksys boasts that the streaming is seamless — if you have music playing in two rooms, for example, it’ll be perfectly coordinated — and from the demo I got, it’s true.

The big sucker on the left in the pic is the all-in-one Conductor (DMC350), which is essentially a networked boombox. The guy in the middle is the Director (DMC250, $450), which has everything but the speakers. Also available are a player that lets streams music from other systems (far left, $300), stereo speakers (right, $150), and a souped-up wireless controller (far right, $350). Of course, there’s also an iPod dock ($80). The pricing is kind of annoying but pretty standard for systems like this. In all, it’s a pretty impressive package that should turn some heads that might have been considering a Sonos. No wires, after all.

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