Cracking the riddle of whole home audio has been a sort of quixotic quest for most manufacturers. The only company to really pull it off, Sonos, is still well ensconced in the niche of audio obsessives and Samsung, Apple, Sony et al haven’t offered much in the way of anything. Now, hopefully, can git ‘er done.
Beep is a very simple platform for controlling music anywhere on your network. The original system, a $99 ($149 after pre-order period) box with a big dial on the front, is designed to be a dumb terminal for all of your streaming needs. It grabs music from your own collection or services like Pandora and you can also stream music from your phone. The dial controls volume and can pause the proceedings and each beep has a line out. There is no built-in amplifier for this kit, but the plan is to put Beep technology into other manufacturer’s speakers.
The team, led by ex-Googlers Daniel Conrad and Shawn Lewis, grabbed talent from Squeezebox and Pandora to make the box they always wanted. While it’s a bit underpowered right now, the pair plans on adding more features as they approach launch this spring.
As a long-time Sonos lover, I’d be really happy to see a cheaper, fully featured whole home solution. Is Beep the one? Perhaps. It comes with a great pedigree and looks amazing. The brass and silver models they showed me were very well-made and easy to use. The guys are dedicated to their cause and they have some great experience. I think it’s enough, thankfully, to help them solve the age-old riddle of how to get music to play in every room of your manse.