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Harman Kardon Gets Into Multi-Room Audio at CES 2016 With Omni+ Speakers

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Harman Kardon Gets Into Multi-Room Audio at CES 2016 With Omni+ Speakers
Not that multi-room audio is a new thing, but 2016 is the year when the concept of multiple connected speakers is set to take off. While a slew of manufacturers including Sonos, Bose, and Sony already have product lineups to take the segment on, others such as Harman Kardon are just getting into the act.

Speaking of which, the American audio specialist company has announced its new Omni+ range of products, which includes the Omni 10+, Omni 20+ and Omni 50+ speakers, the OmniBar+ soundbar and the Adapt+ accessory which can be used to give your older speakers multi-room connectivity. All of the above can handle high-res audio with support for up to 24-bit/192kHz files, and can stream using Google Cast or Spotify Connect. In addition, the Omni 50+ can be used outdoors, thanks to some basic splash resistance. Multi-room connectivity is controlled using a dedicated companion app.

All of the speakers have plenty of connectivity options, with 5G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, and auxiliary inputs all supported. AirPlay is missing from the list, but this shouldn't be too much of a problem considering the companion app can use Wi-Fi to stream audio.

Harman Kardon has also made it easier to pair multiple products together to create a 3.1 or 5.1 wireless surround sound setup, by connecting two or more speakers to the OmniBar+. Typical multi-room connectivity uses the companion app, and can be set up to play either the same track in multiple rooms, or different tracks in different rooms, by using multiple speakers connected via your home Wi-Fi network.

All of the new speakers have just been launched at CES 2016, and are expected to launch globally in the first half of 2016, with pricing ranging from $199 for the Omni 10+ to $999 for the OmniBar+. India-specific availability and pricing information is yet to be made available, but we'll keep you posted as soon as we find out.

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Ali Pardiwala Ali Pardiwala writes about audio and video devices for Gadgets 360 out of Mumbai, and has covered the industry for a decade now. Ali is a Senior Reviewer for Gadgets 360, where he has regularly written about televisions, home entertainment, and mobile gaming as well. He is a firm believer in 4K and HDR on televisions, and believes that true wireless earphones are the future of the personal audio industry. Ali is available on Twitter as @AliusPardius and on email at alip@ndtv.com, so do send in ...More
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