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Polk’s Omni multi-room speakers talk ‘Play-Fi’ to play nice with other companies

From Samsung to Monster, multi-room speaker systems designed in the likeness of Sonos are sweeping the home audio industry this year. In fact, it seems they’re becoming so ubiquitous, they’re running out of names.

Polk’s new Omni Wireless Music System, announced Friday at IFA 2014, strangely follows right on the heels of Harman Kardon’s Omni 10 and Omni 20 multi-room speakers unveiled just a day before. Still, names aside, Polk’s rich new stable of speakers and streaming devices looks to be a formidable entry to the genre.

Related: Harman Kardon jumps on the multi-room bandwagon with new hi-res speakers

Following the Sonos-pioneered model, Polk’s new system is based around a unified Android or iOS compatible app which allows users to send music from their own catalogs, as well as from online services like Pandora and Spotify, to any of the components around the home via Wi-Fi.

Since Polk’s system employs DTS’ much anticipated Play-Fi open platform technology, users can even venture away from Polk’s new family to integrate any Play-Fi-equipped component they want — something that could be a real incentive to potential buyers who don’t want to get stuck with a single brand to fill their home-audio demands. And Polk bakes in a few other features we’re not used to seeing in the multi-room genre as well.

Related: Sonos redesigns its streaming app

The Omni Wireless Music System begins with five new components:

  • Omni S2 Wireless speaker ($179) — The smallest of the brood, the S2 is specifically designed for countertops and bedside tables, offering a convenient design that can be propped up or laid flat. The speaker offers dual drivers with discrete amplification, along with dual passive radiators to pump up the bass. Features include a 3.5mm analog input, a USB port to charge your phone, and a swappable grille.
  • Omni S2 Rechargeable Wireless Speaker ($249) — Taking wireless to the next level, the S2 Rechargeable offers the same design and multi-room versatility as the regular S2, along with battery power to go truly wireless, with no power supply needed. The speaker is also weather resistant, and boasts a claimed 100-yard range from your router.
  • Omni SB1 Sound Bar and subwoofer ($700) — Built with Polk’s specialized Voice Adjust, the SB1 is designed to accentuate dialog through optimizing its “3-speaker array” with controllable voice levels so you always hear the conversation. The system’s 8-inch sub promises rich bass response, and the bar can also learn your TV remote, though pertinent details like driver sizes and inputs have not been disclosed at this time. We’ll update this post once we know more.
  • Omni P1 Adaptor ($300) — The P1 adaptor offers to make your existing stereo part of the multi-room puzzle. The device can connect to a Blu-ray or DVD player via an Aux input, and houses outputs to run to a receiver as well, wirelessly sending the music where you want it.
  • Omni A1 Amplifier ($400) — Finally, the A1 stereo amp puts out a claimed 75 watts of power per side, so you can stream wirelessly to your current speakers over the Omni system, along with custom EQ settings for Omni, and even a phono input to add your vinyl collection into the mix.

We’re still waiting for final details, as well as to find out if this new system sounds any good, but it won’t be long. Polk Audio’s new Omni Wireless Music System is available for pre-order starting September 10, and is slated to arrive in stores by Oct 5.

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