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HUB by Ekko Kickstarter allows for easy multi-room audio
It happens all the time, you’re in the middle of a great scene or intense gaming session when someone asks you to lower the volume. That’s enough to instantly remove you from the moment, but a company named Ekko Audio has a new Kickstarter for a solution to this problem which they call the HUB. It’s a multi-room audio solution that doesn’t require you to setup expensive speakers in every room of your house. Instead it uses your Wi-Fi to simultaneously stream audio to any device that you plug into the 3.5mm audio jack, be it a speaker or your own headphones.
Instead it uses your Wi-Fi to simultaneously stream audio to any device that you plug in.
This lets multiple people listen to the same thing without disturbing others. Perfect for when you’re listening to an action movie late at night. The HUB is essentially a docking station with four small round wireless receivers in the standard model, or two in the HUB mini. Each person can pick one up, plug their headphones into it, and control their own personal volume thanks to volume up and down buttons on the top. In the center is also a mute/standby button so you can easily hear what’s going on around you when necessary.
Because the receivers connect to your home Wi-Fi network, they let you play synchronized audio the same way that other (usually more expensive) wireless speakers would. You can plug one of these into multiple speakers around the house next time you have a party, giving you seamless multi-room audio for a fraction of the cost. Each receiver has a 4.5 hour battery life before it needs to be recharged again, but on the bright side charging them is pretty easy. They support wireless charging so you all you have to do is drop them back in the dock and your job is done. This is great if you’re not a big fan of wires (and let’s be honest, who is?) since each dock can be connected with up to 10 receivers. That’s a lot of wires to deal with if you have to charge them all. They have a range of about 50 feet as well as the ability to stream lossless files like WAV and FLAC. With the free downloadable app, you also get access to custom EQ settings that each user can use to fine tune their specific receiver. If you’re giving them to a kid, they also have parental controls which lets you set a safe volume limit for children who might be too eager to listen to movies on full blast.
The receivers are useful, but the real magic is in the HUB. It lets you stream wirelessly via Airplay or DLNA as well as connect other sources like your TV thanks to the optical and RCA inputs on the back. The HUB comes in two colors: black or silver with pledges starting at $159. If you’re interested make sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign which already met its goal with 52 days left of funding at the time of this post. The only thing to be aware of is that expected delivery is July of 2017, so if you need something ASAP you might need to look elsewhere. If you can afford to wait, this looks like a promising way to get multi-room audio.