September 05, 2014 by Grant Clauser
File this under What-took-them-so-long? Monster, the company that started the pricy headphone trend when it launched Beats so long ago, has entered the wireless multiroom speaker world—otherwise known as the Sonos category.
At the IFA expo in Berlin this week Monster introduced the Soundstage wireless music system. Monster says it uses a proprietary audio technology called Pure Monster Sound meant to replicate the sound of live music.
The Soundstage system consists of three products, the S1 ($199), S2 ($299) and S3 ($399).
There’s no internet bridge or gateway (Sonos just recently made the Sonos Bridge optional), as other systems require. Monster Soundstage works off Wi-Fi with Qualcomm’s ALLPLAY system for streaming music from your connected phone or other networked media source (such as your laptop). It can also play music from apps such as Rhapsody and Spotify. Users need to download the Soundstage app.
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Alternately, the system includes Bluetooth, so devices that without the Soundstage app can still connect to the speakers.
Like other multiroom system, Soundstage lets you play the same music across multiple speakers or different streams to different speakers.
Monster Soundstage will hit stores late October.
More wireless speaker news:
Samsung Packs Big Sound into New Shape Wireless Speaker and Curved Soundbar
LG Announces Music Flow Wireless Speaker System
Denon Adds to HEOS Wireless Music Speaker System
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.