Multiroom audio is increasingly popular, with manufacturers from Denon to Yamaha focusing on their own multiroom technologies. Vizio has been pursuing this area as well, revealing sound bars earlier this year, and two new SmartCast-branded speakers on Wednesday.
The SmartCast Crave Pro and Crave 360 use Wi-Fi and Google Cast to enable streaming audio throughout your home. Not only does Wi-Fi allow for listeners to easily play the same music over multiple devices at the same time, but offers improved quality when compared to Bluetooth.
“We set out to create the most easy-to-use multiroom streaming audio solutions for consumers that deliver high-quality audio performance,” Vizio Chief Technical Officer Matt McRae said in a statement. “The Crave collection allows consumers to seamlessly cast to any of the speakers or even a Vizio SmartCast sound bar, and control their audio right from their mobile device using the Vizio SmartCast app. Coupled with premium industrial design that enhances any room, the Vizio SmartCast speakers offer the easiest way to create a whole-home audio system that works with apps consumers already use on their smartphones.”
The Crave Pro is the more premium of the two, with a sleek satin aluminum finish and what Vizio calls room-filing sound. The speaker offers 2.1 audio, with the integrated dual subwoofer offering lows as far down as 40Hz and the custom-designed drivers producing volume up to 102dB. The Crave Pro is meant to operate as a stationary speaker, so there is no battery included.
The more mobile of the two new speakers, the Crave 360 features an included leather carrying strap, and sits on top of an included wireless charging base when not on the move. As the name implies, this model offers 360-degree sound, and while it is smaller than the Crave Pro, it still offers lows down to 50 Hz and up to 95 dB of volume. Battery life is claimed to be up to eight hours.
Both speakers use a glass touch dial that allows users to pause and resume playback, skip sounds, and adjust volume. Even so, you’ll likely mostly be controlling them with Vizio’s SmartCast app, available for iOS and Android, as this allows you to easily control all of the SmartCast products in your home at once. SmartCast products also have the potential to work with other devices, as they use Google Cast as opposed to their own proprietary protocol.
The SmartCast Crave 360 is available now via the Vizio website and Sam’s Club, and sells for $250. The SmartCast Crave Pro is coming soon, and will sell for $300. For more information on the entire SmartCast line of products, see Vizio’s website.