Russound began shipping the first product its XStream wireless audio line, the X1, more than a month ago and quickly sold out its entire inventory.
With more of that product back stock, the Newmarket, NH, manufacturer has announced a March 19 ship date for the second product in the line, a tabletop networked music-streamer/amplifier called the XStream X5.
The company also has offered more details about its integrated marketing initiative targeting distributors, installers, and consumers, including a contest that will award winners with free Russound products for two months.
As reported by TWICE in January, the $849-suggested XStream X5 can be used to create a decentralized 16-zone wireless-audio system if 16 X5 devices are added to a home network. The device incorporates a stereo amplifier to connect to passive speakers, preamplifier to connect to an outboard amp, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Ethernet port, recently Apple-approved AirPlay, DLNA networking, and embedded music-streaming services. It also features analog RCA and optical digital inputs to connect to a local source such as a TV.
The X5 can be controlled from an iOS or Android app, and users will get the option to add control from one of three locally wired keypads already available from Russound for its centralized wired multi-room audio systems.
Sources connected to one X5 can be distributed to other X5 devices. Such sources can include a smart TV’s music-streaming services if the X5 is connected to the TV’s audio outputs. Built-in streaming services include Pandora, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, and vTuner. Additional streaming services will be added throughout the year.
The X5 also integrates and controls other AV products because of a built-in IR-code library, enabling a mobile device to control components in a home theater system.
The previously shipping XStream X1 four-zone wireless multiroom-audio system was designed for retrofit installations or expanding an existing wired multiroom-audio system. It consists of a four-zone $319-suggested X1-TX8 wireless transmitter, a $399 X1-RX220 amplified receiver with 2x20-watt RMS amp to power to passive speakers, and a non-amplified $249 X1-RX2 receiver to connect to existing stereo systems.
The four-zone transmitter, which can be controlled from a Wi-FI-equipped mobile device, features three line-level stereo inputs and a fourth input that lets installers choose between line-in or optical digital in. Though operating in the 2.4, 5.2, and 5.8 GHz Wi-Fi bands with channel-hopping and fixed-channel capabilities, the transmitters uses a proprietary digital wireless technology to enhance reliability and reduce latency.
The transmitter range is up to 100 feet to the receivers.
The X1 products can be used with a C-Series multizone controller/amplifier to wirelessly expand an existing wired multiroom-audio system.
Russound’s “Be XStream” promotional campaign for the Xtreme Series includes a contest to encourage distributors and dealers to post an image along with a short blurb on Russound’s Facebook fan page showing how they deliver performance in the work place, on the job site, or in marketing their business. Dealers who enter the contest from May until CEDIA EXPO in September should encourage others to “like” their entry, and the dealer receiving the most “likes” by the time CEDIA 2014 rolls around will get free Russound Acclaim speakers for jobsites from October until the remainder of the year. Everyone who enters will receive a free XStream performance T-shirt.
The whole point to this is to engage dealers to think about their marketing efforts and to think about all of the efforts and creativity that goes into selling their services,” said Russound’s marketing director Jeff Myatt. “That’s largely what XStream is all about—customizing each job and doing things differently.”
Russound encourages interested dealers to visit its new microsite as well, at www.russound.com/xstream.