With the falling cost of wireless speakers we experiment with Creative’s Omni Multi-room Speakers and test their application in a music production environment…
Price £110 each
Omni Multi-room Speaker key features:
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers designed for multi-room use
- Sound Blaster InterConnect iOS/Android app used to control speakers
- Stream from online services including Spotify Connect, TIDAL, iHeartRadio and more, or your own music library
- Voice-enabled assistant, allowing voice access via Siri and Google Now
- 4 drivers for enhanced bass and stereo playback
- Up to 8 hours battery life
- iPX4 splash proof
We’ve reviewed a lot of wireless speaker systems here at MusicTech and they can be reasonable solutions for mobile music production, if you don’t mind the odd bit of latency. And as simple solutions for listening to music – yours, or otherwise – they have been getting a lot better in terms of sound quality. One area we haven’t explored, though, is the rising popularity of using such speakers in a multi-room environment. You could have several set up around your house or studio – one for the control room, one for the live room, for example – or just have a pair you use for another set of reference speakers.
Until recently, this was an expensive route and not one where the advantages outweighed the cost. But Bluetooth speakers are plunging in price and these Creative multi-room speakers weigh in at just £110 each (street), so you can wire up (or not, as this case may be) your house or studio for far less than back in the day, when only Tomorrow’s World would consider the multi-room idea.
We have two of these Creative Omnis on test, and each is a solidly built stereo speaker with controls for power, volume, microphone (so you can take phone calls) and an all-important Wi-Fi button, so you can link several over your home network. Connections include USB, SD card and mic. As a single stereo speaker, you get decent output with great presence and bass and a surprising stereo feel given the small size. Naturally, it’s not studio-quality referencing – these are for enjoyment more than work, as we’ve discussed – but you do get decent welly that will fill small- to medium-sized rooms.
It’s when you get the iOS and Android Sound Blaster InterConnect app that things start getting interesting, though. With this set, it’s easy to start streaming from services like Spotify Connect and Tidal and to set up speakers to act as either lefts or rights, so you can have a great single (and wide) stereo setup per room, or get several single ones set up, all via Wi-Fi. Admittedly, we’re constantly (and perhaps a little too) impressed with wireless devices like these and yes, they are perhaps a studio-referencing luxury, but for music enjoyment around the home, they’re
a great-value route.