Sonos has long been a pioneer in the Multi-Room wireless audio scene. Only recently was their dominance dented by Bose with Bose SoundTouch technology. But will the both of them be outflanked by another contender, in the form the Klipsch’s new ‘Stream‘ range of wireless speakers?
Klipsch’s new product line-up mirrors Sonos in a certain ways. You have the Klipsch Stream app which controls, and streams music to compatible Klipsch systems in your home; you have a few soundbars (the RSB-8 and RSB-14) competing against the Sonos Playbar; and the RW1 speaker which resembles the Sonos Play 1. Klipsch had even released adapters like the Gate and PowerGate, which mirrors Sonos’ Connect and Connect: Amp, respectively.
There are certain hurdles which could block them in this sphere, though. They don’t have competitive products against the Sonos Play 3 and Play 5 speakers, which are compact speakers suitable for larger sized rooms and halls. The RW1 speaker (equivalent to the Play 1) cannot be connected to the soundbar as rear channel speakers at all. And while we don’t have much information about the app yet, we do know that it does not support Spotify – the world’s most popular streaming service! And as of this writing, it isn’t available on the Apple App store yet, only on Android!
The only fighting chance they have against powerhouses like Sonos and Bose is their reputation for reasonably good sound. They can also depend on their current pool of customers, but it’s not enough. Speakers have to satisfy the demands of today’s consumers spoiled by choice. By far, Sonos has the largest collection of music streaming partners, so large it’s almost ridiculous! Their speakers sound decent too. Bose has the edge when it comes to app design, ease of use, and also great quality sound. Can Klipsch convert anyone over from Sonos or Bose? Hardly.
So I’m staring into my crystal ball, and things aren’t looking so rosy for Klipsch.
For a more in-depth report, check out Digital Trends’ coverage of the launch here.