April 12, 2011
| by Lisa Montgomery
If you’ve got Wi-Fi, consider yourself a good candidate for a whole-house music system. Proficient Audio recently announced at the EHX show in Orlando an audio distribution system that can transmit all of your tunes to as many as four locations via Wi-Fi. In a Wi-Fi network the AirFlex system can stream iTunes content directly from an iTouch, iPhone, iPad, computer to as many as four receiver units. This is accomplished by plugging an Airport Express into either the transmitter or the receiver. Download the iRemote into your iPhone, iPad or iTouch, and you’ll be able to control the music remotely.
Another option is to plug a traditional audio component into the transmitter unit. One transmitter can feed content to up to two receivers up to 70 feet away via 2.4 GHz channel hopping technology. Built into each receiver is a 50-watt amp to power a pair of connected speakers, and Proficient Audio has designed a bracket that allows the palm-sized receiver units to be attached to the backside of a Proficient PS Series subwoofer.
Proficient says the system should take a professional integrator no longer than four hours to install. The price is hard to beat, too, with a four-room system coming in at under $3,000 (including a pair of bookshelf speakers).
The product caters to the needs of owners of existing homes, who may not like the idea of drilling into walls or removing baseboards in order to hide wiring. The only cabling you’ll need is one that connects the AirFlex receiver (each location needs one) to a pair of speakers.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.