Music
Musaic takes on Sonos with standards-based multi-room speaker system

The Premise. Multi-room audio has come a long way from the days when it required installation by a professional and cables running throughout the home. Not only have wireless technologies made it much simpler to install and music , but also smartphones and tablets have solved the complexities of how to control it from nearly anywhere in the home.

The Product. Musaic is a wireless audio system that can be set up in the home over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or classic analog input. Controlled by the Musaic app for iOS and Android, users can set their own preferences, search for genres or nationalities, enjoy streaming radio options like Rhapsody, Soma FM, and Napster (still distinct from parent Rhapsody), and queue up tracks for the perfect wireless listening experience. Musaic is also part of the emerging AllSeen Alliance for smart-home integration, with planned integration with WigWag and LIFX already.

The Pitch. London’s Musaic is keen on some basic design tenets that are easy to get behind. In the team’s video, two members of the Musaic team (including CEO Matthew Bramble) show how easily a home can be setup with the wireless speakers to deliver high-quality sound in a multitude of formats. What really stands out is the simplicity and variety of options available with the Musaic control app. The system looks easy to set up, control, and customize for individual users, or for events and parties. Musaic needs £60,000 to finish developing the software and complete the applications for certifications and regulatory approvals.

The Perks. A Musaic MP5 player with metal stand can be had for a contribution of £160, with free shipping to North America, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The larger, MP10 model is available at a £260 pledge, with a MP5/MP10 combo package starting at £370. Musaic should start filling homes with music in September 2014.

The Potential. Just by premise alone, Musaic is easy to write off as just another, albeit well-designed, option for wireless home audio that challenges the multi-room market leader and powerful newcomers. After seeing the app in action in the campaign video it’s hard to argue with the proposed platform. The song selection options, ability to queue up tracks, and plethora of streaming options make Musaic extremely attractive as are the presence of physical buttons to make switching up tunes simple when closer to a speaker than a table. That said, the company has a long way to go to catch up with the streaming options offered by Sonos.