Music
Back to the Backers: mBox multi-room music system

After failing to reach its Kickstarter goal of raising $40,000 AUD last year, the Australia-based maker of the mBox multi-room music system is now giving Indiegogo a try with a new campaign for the product. But he’s opted for an even more ambitious goal of raising $50,000 by Aug. 27 this time.

MBox can send music wirelessly throughout a home to any Bluetooth, Airplay or Universal Plug and Play/Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)-compatible speaker. The chief selling point remains that users aren’t locked into a proprietary technology and can create a multi-room audio system with speakers they already own. Included with each mBox system are two devices: an mBox hub that can be used to connect any wireless speakers and an mBox mini that will connect any wired speakers to the wireless mBox network.

Up to six Bluetooth speakers and an unlimited number of AirPlay and DLNA speakers can be connected to it. MBox will ship in January at $250, but early bird Indiegogo backers can get one for reduced pricing that starts at $149.

It still remains to be seen how good the sound quality of speakers connected to mBox will be. It’s also questionable how many consumers will continue to opt for proprietary multi-room devices from brands they know, such as Sonos. Qualcomm’s AllPlay smart media platform, meanwhile, stands to provide a major challenge for mBox. Like mBox, AllPlay enables various wireless speakers and other audio devices to work together seamlessly regardless of the product’s brand. If anything, AllPlay has gained even more support and momentum since the first failed mBox campaign.