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Panasonic launches Sonos competitor with Qualcomm AllPlay

David Ludlow
6 Jan 2014
Qualcomm AllPlay
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Multi-room audio system coming from Panasonic thanks to Qualcomm AllPlay

Panasonic is taking on the likes of Sonos with its own multi-room audio system.

Rather than using its own propriety protocol, Panasonic's new SC-ALL8 and SC-ALL3 wireless speakers and SH-ALL1C Network Audio Connector, which hooks up to an existing stereo, all use the Qualcomm AllPlay protocol.

Similar in operation to Apple's AirPlay, AllPlay lets you send music from smartphone or tablet apps over your network to compatible speakers. Thanks to the way the system works, you can stream content from different apps to different speakers and even group multiple speakers together, playing the same content in different rooms.

AllPlay requires apps that support the streaming protocol to work, keeping the same user interface but channelling audio over the network. Panasonic has announced that its Music Streaming App (iOS and Android) will support the protocol, stating that "songs from music subscription services, Internet radio, songs stored on a smartphone, or songs archived on a PC or NAS" can all be played.

It's not clear exactly which music subscription services will be supported, but those that aren't can add support directly into their own apps, with Qualcomm releasing an SDK soon. There's the potential that one big service won't be supported, with Spotify promoting its own, similar Connect standard.

The SC-ALL8 is a five-speaker system, with Nano Bamboo Double Layer for the woofer and tweeter. Panasonic is promising that it will produce clear and detailed audio, with plenty of low range. No details of the SC-ALL3 have been released yet.

The SC-ALLC connects directly to an existing stereo using analogue or digital connections, letting you use your current speakers. All products will be available in Spring 2014.

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