Panettone sound system shapes up for sweet music

It is claimed that the single speaker will rival surround sound systems
It is claimed that the single speaker will rival surround sound systems
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THIS could be music to your ears. A wireless sound system that could finally relegate surround sound speakers with yards of messy cables to the dustbin is about to be unveiled to consumers.

The “Panettone’ – so called because its shape resembles the sweet Italian dessert cake – is to be launched at the Gadget Show Live later this month.

The breakthrough technology inside the Frankenspiel FS100 Panettone by SoundScience Corp involves several internal speakers, an amplifier and a sub-woofer all hidden inside the cube-shaped device, which its makers say can be placed anywhere in a room and provide the same sound as five similar wired-up speakers placed around the room. Listeners will have to purchase digital music streaming services such as Napster.

The system, which has been in development for six years, is the first completely wireless speaker set to hit the market and its manufacturer claims it could revolutionise how consumers listen to music.

The all-in-one sound system, which will hit the UK market in May at a cost of £300, has been developed to specifically challenge the dominance of wired speakers such as iPod docks and surround sound speaker systems, most of which traditionally come with several lengths of wiring.

Luke Peters, editor of technology magazine T3, said: “As the way to purchase music becomes increasingly digital, the convenience of pressing a button and having tunes play on a stereo across the room, or in another room, becomes apparent. We can lament the physical form but there will be a time where all of our gadgetry talks to each other wirelessly.”

The Panettone automatically forms a personal wireless network with the user’s Smartphone, PC or Tablet, meaning users can change tracks or adjust volume from their phone as if they were listening through headphones. It also enables the transmitting device to be in full control of the music without the need for additional remote controls, dongles or complicated software.

Jon Vizor, director of Cotswold Sound Systems said: “The fact that there is not a wire in sight is exactly what customers have been wanting for years and could never really understand why it wasn’t possible.“

The Panettone will also be the very first product to use Intel’s brand-new technology “Intel Wireless Music”, which uses a version of WiFi – the same technology used in home internet routers.

Instead of transferring internet files, Intel has modified this wireless technology to transfer CD-quality music across any room and even through walls. Stuart Miles, founder of gadget review site, said: “The potential is great, because there are lots of devices that can work on WiFi. The problem is that there are loads of different formats and standards and devices don’t talk to each other how you want them.”

The Panettone also shares many characteristics with similar wire-free home hifi systems made by US manufacturer Sonos, which are growing in popularity.

Will Findlater, editor of Stuff Magazine said: “Wired systems that play music stored on MP3 players, computers or even CDs aren’t going to disappear for years, and in many cases will remain the most convenient solution – but they’re already starting to look old-fashioned.”