Over the last few years, I have become a huge proponent of multi-room audio systems. The ability to play one song in unison across my home or hand-pick from a variety of sources in each space is one of my favorite technology advancements over the last few years. While AirPlay systems can be tweaked to recreate this setup, it doesn’t offer the same refined experience as SONOS and the like.
Kickstarter veteran, Hidden Radio Design, is back with a new whole home speaker system that actively accounts for the shape and size of each room. After raising over 1.6 million dollars on two prior campaigns, the focus has now shifted to the HiddenHUB, an omnidirectional speaker system that aims to knock off some of the biggest names in audio.
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HiddenHUB stands eight inches inches tall and is wrapped with speakers on all sides. There are four “high definition” drivers and a subwoofer situated within the base. On top, you’ll find capacitive touch controls that can control volume, play/pause and skip tracks. It can be mounted to a wall and has an adjustable LED light that emits in all directions.
The speaker’s standout feature is the intelligent sensor system and proprietary logic board that measure room size and layout. After getting a feel for the space, each speaker is adjusted to “distribute frequencies and regulate each driver to fill every corner with rich sound”. There is likely a balance between marketing speak and real world performance here, but the ability to provide a more balanced sound wall across an entire space is enticing.
HiddenHUB is going after some of the biggest names in audio with this campaign. While popular systems from SONOS and BeoPlay offer high quality internals, the audio is often limited to one speaker pointed forward. This product is banking on the ability to play audio in multiple directions as a defining feature. While there is something to be said for omnidirectional speakers in large spaces, it’s the other features of HiddenHUB that are most intriguing to us.
Users will be able to individually control each speaker system while broadcasting audio over AirPlay, DLNA, and Bluetooth. HiddenHUB will offer support for Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and many other services right out of the box. Additionally, it touts integration with the new Apple TV and the ability to pair with Hidden’s smaller speaker offerings for added flexibility. It will offer 12 hours of battery life on a single charge and can create its own 5GHz network for communication between speakers in situations where a router is not available. There is a lot of flexibility here that other popular systems are not able to recreate at the moment.
So far, HiddenHUB has already raised nearly 50% of its $200,000 goal. Given that this company has already had two successful go-rounds on Kickstarter, it’s reassuring that a pledge will likely be fulfilled in a timely manner. Currently an early bird backing of $339 will deliver a HiddenHUB in March in white, silver or black. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until it comes to market with a $599 price tag.
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