WISA-COMPATIBLE TVS REMOVE THE NEED FOR WIRES OR AN AV RECEIVER
Imagine an eight-channel surround sound system supporting 24-bit/96kHz digital audio quality, all without speaker cables or an AV receiver all pieced together with products from several different brands.
If that sounds like convenience personified, it also sounds like a pipe dream. But it won’t be for much longer, thanks to the first big companies starting to support the Wireless Speaker & Audio industry standard, aka WiSA.
Products bearing the WiSA logo use ultra-fast wireless communications tech, which enables the transmitter to send high-quality uncompressed audio data directly to speakers with virtually no latency.
Formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are supported, WiSA connectivity can be added to products via a USB dongle, and because WiSA-compatible speakers are all active, there’s no need for an AV receiver to drive them.
WiSA was first unveiled at CES 2013; it’s taken six years for it to gain a foothold, but at this year’s CES it was revealed that all of LG’s 2019 flagship TVs will come with WiSA support via USB dongle, while the Microsoft Xbox One console and Windows 10-based PCs will receive support in the near future.
Speaker brands adopting WiSA include Klipsch, Harman International, Enclave, Electrocompaniet, Golden Ear, Platin and System Audio. During CES 2019, a demo showed off one of LG’s new TVs beaming audio directly to a 5.1-channel Klipsch setup, and hopefully, that’s just the beginning of a new wireless audio revolution.
Given how popular wireless audio has become of late thanks to smart speakers, Sonos et al, it seems bizarre that WiSA hasn’t become more widely adopted already – but perhaps 2019 is the year that it blazes its way into the public consciousness.
Having been covering consumer tech since phones were dumb and TVs weren’t flat, few things in the gadget world still have the power to surprise Sam – which is why he loves writing about those few things that do. A Londoner transplanted to New York, and now returned to the English coast, he’s a photographer and loving what drones have brought to the hobby.