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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:12 pm 
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The nice folks at Axiom have a new product on Kickstarter called the AxiomAir. Unlike the other Kickstarter project discussed on CAM earlier this week, this one doesn't immediately look like an obvious scam. It's actually interesting, it's actually going to be made in Canada and it comes from an actual audio company.

It's a customizable, semi-portable, multi-room capable non-bluetooth speaker using what I believe are drivers from the Axiom M3 with 150 watts continuous power (class D?), and a Raspberry Pi inside. There's an optional battery, karaoke module, microphone and it seems even a projector. Nice to see that they've ditched Bluetooth for a higher-res audio option. The big question is how smooth and reliable will their interface and app be. If that works well it could be a nice product for places where there's no hifi; the garage, back yard, cottage etc.

For $475 (USD I assume) for the early backers it seems pretty reasonable when you look at the alternatives that are pretty much all Bluetooth. I'm interested, but I wonder how easy it would be to stream audio from a laptop to it if I wanted to watch a movie and use this as the speaker since they don't show the rear interface. Anyway, here is the product and Kickstarter link. I've always liked the guys at Axiom so I hope they do well with it.

http://air.axiomaudio.com/?utm_source=customers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=AxiomAir

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/axiomaudio/axiomair-wireless-wifi-speaker-multiroom-sound-sys

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:23 pm 
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Interesting. I read it, but I didn't see anything about it being MADE in Canada. Where does it say that?

The built in APP and interface looks really good. I'm considering a Naim Mu-so, but the price there is about $1700. Hmmmm.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:57 pm 
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The unit itself and also the software look eerily similar to what Sonos is already doing......and has been doing for a long time now. I know there are a few differences, but my point is still valid. I don't see anything revolutionary either.

Wish them luck, but I'm not getting the big fuss with this at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:16 pm 
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This is interesting news - thanks for posting it!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:00 pm 
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najibs wrote:
Interesting. I read it, but I didn't see anything about it being MADE in Canada. Where does it say that?


"Because the AxiomAir is manufactured in our factory in Canada, we can create an almost endless variety of finishes to suit your decor." It's on the kickstarter page.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:36 pm 
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So this is this is the same Axiom that is off Hwy 60 in Dwight Ont.
http://www.axiomaudio.com/


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:47 pm 
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... and what a slick presentation!

Pretty certain Axiom is also teamed with Bryston for their line of speakers.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:28 pm 
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BlockerBrothers wrote:
The unit itself and also the software look eerily similar to what Sonos is already doing......and has been doing for a long time now. I know there are a few differences, but my point is still valid. I don't see anything revolutionary either.

Wish them luck, but I'm not getting the big fuss with this at all.

I too thought of the similarities to Sonos with a street price after the kickstarter of $350 more than a Play 5 but then I saw the portability option in this that Sonos does not have.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:44 pm 
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BlockerBrothers wrote:
The unit itself and also the software look eerily similar to what Sonos is already doing......and has been doing for a long time now. I know there are a few differences, but my point is still valid. I don't see anything revolutionary either.

Wish them luck, but I'm not getting the big fuss with this at all.

There are some pretty big differences. The Sonos needs both AC power and either wi-fi or a hard-wired pc connection. The Axiom unit has a battery option making it truly portable and is also it's own wifi hotspot so it can be used anywhere. Sonos is limited to basically cd-quality resolution, the Axiom supports high-res. That's not that important to me as the master is more important than the format, but I'm guessing this unit will sound better than the Sonos due to better audio hardware and engineering. I don't think Sonos is equal to Axiom in either of those departments. The fact that it runs on open source raspberry pi also means there could be some interesting developments down the road.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:28 am 
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Anyone know when it's set to launch production? I didn't see that info. Just a bunch of slick marketing that may have me intrigued.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:36 am 
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if you click on the watch video link and scroll down it states that production will begin in October 2015.

I'm intrigued about how it creates its own hotspot outside of an existing wifi network. Could be that it requires a data plan, much like a cellular equipped tablet, in order to allow multiple users to connect at the same time.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:34 am 
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mpublicover wrote:
if you click on the watch video link and scroll down it states that production will begin in October 2015.

I'm intrigued about how it creates its own hotspot outside of an existing wifi network. Could be that it requires a data plan, much like a cellular equipped tablet, in order to allow multiple users to connect at the same time.

It is a common function that many wireless devices can do

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_ad_hoc_network

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A wireless ad hoc network (WANET) is a decentralized type of wireless network.[1][2] The network is ad hoc because it does not rely on a pre existing infrastructure, such as routers in wired networks or access points in managed (infrastructure) wireless networks. Instead, each node participates in routing by forwarding data for other nodes, so the determination of which nodes forward data is made dynamically on the basis of network connectivity. In addition to the classic routing, ad hoc networks can use flooding for forwarding data.


Basicly the device becomes the network, and your controller (phone for example) would connect to the Axiom device instead of a network.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:36 am 
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Looks interesting, but what's with the +3 to -9 dB frequency response? Is this some new standard I haven't heard of?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:58 am 
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$795 seems like a lot to pay for a speaker of this nature (kickstarter site lists intro price of $475 - savings of $320). That puts it well above Sonos Play 5 territory.

I don't keep a lot of uncompressed music on my phone or tablet due to space reasons so not sure the AxiomAir would be right for me. I keep all of my uncompressed music on a NAS which Sonos constantly reads and updates its library listing accordingly. Reading the Axiom site, I don't think the AxiomAir can do the same thing so I would be limited to listening to the few songs I have on my phone / tablet.

I like certain aspects of this device - portability chief among them - but feel ultimately like it will require some fine tuning before it can compete with the likes of a Sonos Play 5 or B&W A7.

EDIT>>>>>

On the Kickstarter site it states that the AxiomAir can play songs located on your phone, tablet, computer, or network-accessible drive. This makes it far more interesting!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:16 am 
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prouddaddy wrote:
I don't keep a lot of uncompressed music on my phone or tablet due to space reasons so not sure the AxiomAir would be right for me. I keep all of my uncompressed music on a NAS which Sonos constantly reads and updates its library listing accordingly. Reading the Axiom site, I don't think the AxiomAir can do the same thing so I would be limited to listening to the few songs I have on my phone / tablet.


Until the unit comes out and I get to try it, there will always be questions on how some things work. But I have spoken to them and the unit can act as both a uPnP receiving source as well as a master control host for playing music. you can set it up with SMB/CIFS to log into a NAS and catalog the whole of a share for music. What makes this seem rather more cool is that it is software agnostic and uses a web browser ip address for control. So if you were having a party, you can set it up that anyone with a phone/tablet with music on it can queue up music to the play list without having to pre-load a dedicated app like Sonos. Also it is really portable. According to tests (Andrew Welker) said that a single battery will give you around 9 hours playing at full volume. The unit has 2 battery slots so you could get 18 hours. Thats plenty for an all day party at the beach.

The key part to it will be in the sound. I have tried to find the spec for Sonos and from their marketing blurbs they say things like the Play 5 has 5 amplifiers for each speaker, but doesn't really say how big the amplifier is or what sort it is, or any real details. Without a baseline to compare one to the other it's rather hard to really justify any difference. But in equal breath, I have seen and heard the Axiom AHA1500 amp and it is one heck of a good sounding amp. If the amp inside the AxiomAir is as good sounding just smaller than their other amps, then I think the normal $750 cost could be well justified.

I have put my money where my mouth is and pledged my $475 as I want a truly portable speaker system that I can take up to a cottage and get some decent sound without being tied down by a power cord. I do believe they will deliver something that sounds great and am willing to back them to make it happen. The worst could be that I've spent too much, but then again, I think back to my $700 DVD player when they first came out. Sometimes you need to take that leap to get on the wave.


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