In a not very surprising move, Qualcomm has added a Bluetooth stack to its AllPlay SAM (Specialized Audio Module), eliminating the need for vendors to provide their own. New as well is the ability to re-stream line-in/aux audio. At some point AllPlay vendors won’t have to do much other than buy Qualcomm’s chip to implement its impressive Wi-Fi audio technology.
In case you missed my incredibly insightful preview of AllPlay last December: Think non-proprietary Sonos with the ability to stream tracks with up to 24 bits of resolution and sampling rates as high as 192kHz. An SDK is supplied to music-streaming vendors so you can choose AllPlay speakers as an output without leaving your favorite app.
Stereo pairs and beyond
Qualcomm has also trimmed the signal delay when broadcasting to multiple devices from 5 milliseconds to 100 microseconds. This eliminates perceivable phase and delay artifacts, giving vendors the freedom to implement stereo pairs or surround groups of independent wireless speakers, rather than simply mounting two speakers in one box.
Asustech, Vestel, Magnat, and Hitachi are all joining the list of AllPlay speaker vendors (Monster is already shipping AllPlay products) . Better known for its TV prowess, Hitachi is still a big win for the technology, which is part of the AllSeen Alliance and its AllJoyn connectivity and interoperability framework. Still un-joyned (Sorry, I had to do it…) are mainstream speaker vendors such as Bose, Boston Acoustics, Harman/JBL, Sony, Imation, et al. A number of other players—including Definitive Technology, Polk Audio, and Wren Sound Systems—have jumped on the DTS Play-Fi bandwagon.