Author: Rene is founder & CEO @ Nioma.
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First of all I have to say I am really excited about the new Audioserver, since the price & size were my main show-stoppers for me to install an old Musicserver back when I was designing my Loxone smart home, while renovating an apartment.
Secondly, I do have multi-room audio but not a fancy cinema setup and most of my customers are upper middle-class people that build single family homes. These people like music but do not go for full cinema systems. This is supposed to be a disclaimer as I understand many of you are disappointed with the Audioserver not being able to integrate easily with a 5.1 or other cinema type set up.
Here are some of the things I really miss and I’d like to point out, than we will move to the cool stuff:
- No Google Chromecast support (AirPlay is great but some people are Android first)
- no UPnP / Sonos support - I can see the high-end speaker market slowly dying and people moving to Sonos speakers as they have great sound and much lower pricing
- 18 watts RMS. I have my doubts how this drives large 60W+ speakers. I could read comments that this is solved with great amp chips but I have my doubts there. Couldn’t test this at home though.
Now let’s move to the cool stuff.
I have the following speaker setup: In the living room I am using a Sonos One (not fully integrated into Loxone smart home) + Loxone speaker in a wooden box (ceiling). In other rooms (office & bedroom) I have two more Loxone speakers mounted on the ceiling.
I like the fact that I can connect it to different services, for example you can choose from your own music on SD card, choose internet radio (from a whole bunch of them), or my personal favourite – Spotify. Of course, you have hardware inputs, so even people having other styles of listening will be able to use line-in or an USB slot.
All in all I have to say I am very satisfied with the sound quality and overall music performance of the Audioserver and the above mentioned speakers.
But music is only one part of the Audioserver. Audioserver is deeply integrated in to the Loxone smart home what brings a variety of use cases:
I find it really cool that I can set my favourite song as a doorbell ring. You can set any song you like, from a simple ding-dong to your favourite rock song.
Second cool thing is that once an alarm gets triggered in case of a burglar break-in, very loud noise starts playing on all my speakers that will notify people through the whole home. Alarm can be triggered by window contact or presence sensors. Or any other way of detection that is maybe specific for your project. Same thing is possible with the fire alarm.
every morning Alarm wakes me up through the Loxone audio system.
4. Text to speech
or “TTS” is an extremely good feature. Different functions from your smart home can be read from your Audioserver so that you can hear what is going on, for example:
- Alarm is turned on/Alarm is turned off
- Sleep mode activated/Away mode activated
- Furthermore, if there are any problems you get notifications, for instance:
- Water leakage in the cellar
- Broken pump
- Unusual high consumption of appliances
- Etc. etc.
But I have to admit, my favourite feature is “announcements”. You can record up to 1min of audio and then choose in which rooms you want to play it. Some examples:
- “Honey, I am coming home” - as I get out of the office
- “Kids, dinner time” - as my children are playing in their room I can call them up for dinner.
- “Honey, I just wanted to tell you that I love you” - when my partner is home alone as I am doing business trips.
All in all, I think it really covers a lot of use-cases given the price. And I am really satisfied with the audio performance which is the core of the product.
Some say it was not a revolution, just an evolution. I would oppose it. I think a great step forward has been made with this product.
Would love to hear some more comments from people testing this! Simply leave a comment below and let’s discuss it!