Monster enters audio streaming game with SoundStage speakers
Monster has announced three new Wi-Fi speakers as part of its new Monster SoundStage wireless music system, which also supports Bluetooth and TV audio.
Monster is best known as the creator of the original Beats headphones as well as the manufacturer of speaker and AV cables. But Monster is now putting its AV know-how toward distributed music with three new speaker systems.
The three models are the S1 ($200), the S2 ($300) and the S3 ($400), and each features a "leather top surface and sleek ultra-slim design."
In 2014 we have seen an explosion of these devices from the likes of Bose, Denon, Samsung, Panasonic, and LG, and you can now add Monster to the list. While several companies have tried--DTS and Roki--and so far failed to create a Wi-Fi music streaming standard, the Monster uses a chip from Qualcomm, the AllPlay, which is also used by Panasonic.
The speakers feature "software algorithms to synthesize a larger sound stage," which in our minds equals "wide mode" and "first thing we turn off." The just-announced Mass Fidelity Core also purports to do a similar thing, though the effect is not defeatable and actually "core" to how the device works.
While the Core bounces sound off adjoining walls it's unknown whether the Monster uses its hardware -- newly designed front drivers and rear-firing bass drivers -- or software to create this larger-than-life effect.
The speakers will be accompanied by a SoundStage app that enables you to access media from all the devices on your network while also building playlists and managing the SoundStage speakers you own.
In addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the speakers come with a number of connections, including (unusually) digital optical for connecting your TV, a USB charging port, and a 3.5mm stereo input.
Monster has also told CNET the speakers will support high-resolution audio.
Check out our first hands on impressions from IFA 2014 right here, then expect to see more details emerge on the way to their release on October 25.