We’ve seen a whole bunch of ways to stream music wirelessly to headphones and speakers lately. Apart from the long list of wireless headphones on the market, Sonos Connect, and Google’s Chromecast Audio both let you broadcast audio to existing speakers and stereo systems. And the Blipcast, which lets users send TV audio to their smartphone’s headphones over Wi-Fi, launched a Kickstarter back in January.
Today, another system that lets you untether existing audio hardware was introduced on Kickstarter: HUB by ekko. It’s being marketed as a high-fidelity Wi-Fi system for headphones and speakers that can connect a single source to as many as 10 audio outputs, allowing you to listen to music on your own, watch a movie using headphones with your family, or have an intimate silent dance party with your friends. The HUB plugs into any audio source with an output jack and broadcasts sound to small disks the company calls “audio pucks.”
The HUB also has a multi-room feature that lets you set up a wireless speaker system throughout your home if you already have a powered speaker or a sound system. Individual charging stations are also available, so you don’t have to worry about your wireless set-up running out of power.
The whole system is controlled through an app that lets you change the volume and set volume controls on individual audio pucks—a safety measure for kids listening. The app also lets you pipe in streaming music service.
The HUB has 96kHz / 24-bit high-res sound and connects over Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t need a Wi-Fi router to work. It broadcasts its own ultra-low latency network, but it can also be configured to connect to an existing network.
The company is selling two models: the HUB mini, which comes with two pucks, and the HUB, which comes with four. Additional pucks will be available for purchase. In an email, ekko co-founder Sean Murray told The Verge that the HUB mini will retail at $199 and the HUB will retail at $299. On Kickstarter, depending on what device you buy, you can save anywhere from $30 to $50, or $60 to $90 off with “Early Bird” pricing.
The downside is HUB by ekko isn’t expected to ship until July 2017. So if you’re excited, buckle in and be prepared to wait.