By Todd Bernhard on Sat, 11/23/2013
Bluetooth held great promise when it first appeared on the scene, but its Achilles Heel has always been long distance. Beyond ten meters, and certainly around 30 meters, the sound can be unreliable. If you're an audiophile, you wouldn't build a whole-house audio solution around Bluetooth. Even AirPlay locks you in to Apple devices and supported apps.
Enter Korus, a portable wireless speaker solution that brings it's own technology to the table. The Korus solution, from Core Brands, includes a 30 pin or Lightning adapter that plugs in to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Audio is automatically routed via this attachment, called a Baton and using "SKAA" technology; so there is no Bluetooth pairing to worry about, and every app is automatically compatible.
I had a chance to try the Korus solution first hand. I was worried that by using the docking port, I would be limited by my iOS device's battery but fortunately, Korus offers a $20 syncing/charging cable that encloses the Baton, allowing you to use the features of the Korus while charging your gadget.
The target audience is audiophiles, so I expected high-end sound, range, and overall quality comparable to a wired installation, and I was not disappointed. The range of the Baton was more than required for my 2,200 square foot house. It even works outdoors, letting you control the pool party from the comfort of your living room. I should not have been surprised, given Core's 40 year high-end audio and custom install history. They have brought this experience to the portable, consumer market.
Apple iOS devices are supported now, as well as Macs and PCs using a USB Baton. Android gadgets may have to wait until next year. Each Baton can connect with up to four speakers, and each speaker remembers 10 Batons, so your friends can join in and act as virtual DJs! There is a free app that can be used to adjust the volume levels for each remote speaker.
I had the opportunity to speak to with representatives from the company, and I suggested adding headphones. This could be useful in the car, to keep one or more kids entertained and keep mom and dad happy. This might be part of the evolving product line. They told me that the lack of lag time between audio and video makes the Korus ideal for watching movies as well as playing games. If you're looking to treat someone special, including yourself, this holiday season, Korus is one to watch...and listen to!