Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer – 4 Zone Streaming with BluOS
For the first time, the English loudspeaker manufacturer Monitor Audio Ltd. is now also using a solution based on the BluOS streaming platform, namely the new Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer. This is designed primarily for custom installation systems. It was presented for the first time at the ISE 2020 in Amsterdam – sempre-audio.at reported exclusively – and is now expected to be available at specialist dealers.
Some time ago, the renowned English loudspeaker specialist Monitor Audio Ltd. announced that it had entered into a partnership with the Canadian streaming specialist BluOS, together with Roksan Audio Ltd.
BluOS is the Lenbrook Group technology company responsible for the BluOS streaming platform originally developed by NAD Electronics International. After initially spinning off Bluesound International and using the streaming platform under this brand as the basis for a broadly based streaming product range, the decision to spin off BluOS in 2017 was a major step towards the goal of further developing BluOS as an independent platform.
It was essential that BluOS was not only used for the companies of the Lenbrook Group – NAD Electronics and Bluesound – but also made available to other companies as a platform.
The first company to take advantage of this offer was, as is well known, Dali Speaker A/S, which already announced the Dali CALLISTO Active Loudspeaker System when announcing its partnership with the Lenbrook Group, which was finally presented as the Dali CALLISTO Series consisting of the Dali CALLISTO 2 C and Dali CALLISTO 6 C as well as the central Dali Sound Hub, which can be extended by a BluOS module. The Dali Sound Hub now also plays a central role in the new Dali RUBICON C Series, consisting of Dali RUBICON 2 C and Dali RUBICON 6 C, also active loudspeaker systems, which can be extended with BluOS via the Dali Sound Hub.
Even though the announcement of the partnership of Monitor Audio Ltd. and Roksan Audio Ltd. with BluOS already dates back to mid 2018 – we reported – it has been quite quiet about this new cooperation so far. But at the beginning of this year, Monitor Audio Ltd. presented the new Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer at ISE 2020 in Amsterdam.
It is especially interesting that Monitor Audio Ltd. chose a custom installation solution for the first product equipped for BluOS. However, on closer inspection this makes sense, as a solution based on a broadly based streaming technology is of great interest especially in the custom installation area, especially for a company like Monitor Audio Ltd. which is well positioned in this area, both in terms of the speakers themselves and the underlying electronics.
The new Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer is, how could it be otherwise, designed as a streaming client that is based on BluOS and thus offers everything the platform has to offer. Music streaming is supported in all relevant formats, up to 24 bit and 192 kHz and including content encoded in MQA. Access to your own content via a network storage solution, a so-called NAS, is simply possible via SMB, but Bluesound’s own storage solutions are also available, the so-called Bluesound VAULT 2i, which also has CD ripping capability. Furthermore, a variety of online services can be accessed, such as TIDAL, Qobuz, Deezer, Spotify, HRA Streaming from HIGHRESAUDIO and many, many more. BluOS is one of the platforms that are particularly well positioned in this respect. Of course, Internet Radio is also supported.
The Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer itself already offers four zones that can be freely addressed to create a suitable installation. In addition, BluOS provides that in combination with any BluOS device, a multi-room installation with up to 64 zones can be set up, whereby different zones can be combined with each other, or each can be addressed separately.
Of course, the control is done first and foremost via the BluOS app, which is available for Apple iOS, Google Android, but also for Apple OS X and Microsoft Windows.
BluOS is also an exciting solution from the point of view of integration in custom installation systems, as it is probably the platform that is most committed to this area. Interfaces to all major platforms are available in the Custom Installation area, and a lot can still be expected in this area. After all, the Lenbrook Group itself wants to push this area massively and has recently created its own new division, Bluesound Professional…
Monitor Audio Ltd. recommends the use of the new Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer in combination with the Monitor Audio IA150-8C.
“I am delighted to be able to demonstrate our IMS-4 Music Streamer at ISE. I am sure that the visitors to our stand will be delighted by both its performance and versatility.Michael Hedges, Technical Director Monitor Audio Ltd.
The new Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer has a very unobtrusive form, with a design reminiscent of the other Monitor Audio Ltd electronics in the custum installation segment.
When presenting this solution, the English company assumed that the new Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer would be available from April 2020. Well, it was not quite possible to meet this target, a few weeks delay had to be accepted, but now this solution is supposed to be available in specialist shops these days. The distributor says that a price of € 1.490,- has to be taken into account.
Getting to the point
It is particularly interesting that Monitor Audio Ltd. chose a custom installation solution for the first product equipped for BluOS. However, on closer inspection, it makes sense, as a solution based on a broadly based streaming technology is of great interest, especially for a company like Monitor Audio Ltd. that is well positioned in this area, both in terms of the speakers themselves and the underlying electronics. The new Monitor Audio IMS-4 Music Streamer is, how could it be otherwise, designed as a streaming client that is based on BluOS and thus offers everything the platform has to offer.
|Manufacturer:||Monitor Audio Ltd.|
|Distribution:||R.M.S. State of the Art Audiovisual Products|