Zound Industries Selects Frontier Silicon Minuet Platform for Urbanears Connected Speakers

April 4 2017, 03:00
Frontier Silicon announced that its Minuet platform has been chosen by Scandinavian audio pioneer, Zound Industries, to power its new range of connected audio speakers with Apple Airplay, Spotify Connect and Chromecast built-in. The new Urbanears Connected Speakers are truly a reference of what current generation wireless speakers can offer, combining amazing design with a simple and rewarding experience at affordable prices.

Already established in headphones and earphones, Urbanears has entered the sound space of living rooms for the very first time with a new line of Connected Speakers set to bring unheard of ease and connectivity to the multi-room listening experience. Urbanears new line of Connected Speakers were engineered to bring boundless connectivity and powerful sound to the multi-room listening experience, with humanized interfaces, and seamless integration with everyday listening. 

First out in the Urbanears Wi-Fi speaker lineup are models Stammen and Baggen. Packed with advanced Wi-Fi technology (802.11b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz/5 GHz with diversity), Urbanears Connected Speakers support streaming from Spotify Connect, Airplay or Chromecast, Bluetooth 4.2 connections, or use the classic aux cord hook-up. Speaker software stays up to date with the latest features and connection possibilities via over-the-air updates. Two or more Connected Speakers can be combined to form a multi room system, and a different mood can be set to each room, or the speakers can be grouped together for synchronized listening.

Day-to-day play is managed using just two knobs located on its top panel. A single push switches Pause to Play, or Solo to Multi Mode. A twist adjusts volume, or select one of seven presets which users customize with their favorite Spotify playlists or Internet Radio stations. Such tactile operations bring back the charm and simplicity of walking up to the household radio and twisting the dial.

“Urbanears is all about bringing people closer to technology,” says Oscar Axhede, co-founder and creative director at Urbanears. “We wanted to create a listening experience that would bring the best of sound and connectivity into people’s homes, without the hassle of trying to figure out how to make the technology work.” 

First time setup is simple too, with help from the Urbanears Connected app which takes users through a step-by-step flow and optional tutorial. The app can also be used to manage stuff behind the scenes— like presets, speaker groupings, and equalizer settings.

Each speaker is wrapped in acoustically transparent fabric, and equipped with two high-frequency and one low-frequency driver, generating powerful, well-balanced soundscapes. Playing everything from high resolution digital audio to the rich analog sounds of a vinyl player, Baggen is suited for larger spaces, while Stammen easily fills small to mid-sized spaces. Using the in-app equalizer, users can fine-tune the treble and bass balance to complement different types of music and find their listening sweet-spot. All Connected Speakers currently come in six color variations, including Dirty Pink, Vinyl Black, Plant Green, Concrete Grey, Goldfish Orange and Indigo Blue.

Frontier Silicon's Minuet platform was selected by Zound Industries to power this new range of connected audio speakers. Minuet provides a complete toolkit for brands and manufacturers to develop smart audio devices with Apple Airplay, Spotify Connect, Chromecast, Internet Radio, Mobile Apps and Bluetooth. Frontier recently updated its software so that all Minuet-based speakers now also work with the Google Assistant, which means they can be controlled using voice via a Google Home device or phones running newer versions of Android. Frontier also developed the ‘Urbanears Connected’ mobile apps on iOS and Android through which consumers can access the enhanced control and features of their speakers.

Urbanears is part of the Stockholm-based Zound Industries group and is best known for its headphones and headphone accessories, including the world-renowned Plattan series. The Urbanears Connected Speakers' user experience was designed in close collaboration between Zound and Frontier, including the top panel that gives instant access to cloud sources, and has seven pre-sets for local playback. To finish off the simplicity and uniqueness, users can press a single button to make the speaker join a multi-room group.

“Frontier and Zound have worked very closely to develop a unique smart audio speaker which combines class-leading functionality and the highest standards of design – with a clear focus on simplicity and usability. We are delighted that Frontier’s Minuet platform offers the state-of-the-art technology at the core of this product proposition,” says Anthony Sethill, CEO, Frontier Silicon.

“We wanted to create a listening experience to bring the best of sound and connectivity into people’s homes, without listeners having to figure out how to make the technology work. Our technology partnership with Frontier has allowed us to achieve this goal,” states Oscar Axhede, co-founder and creative director at Urbanears.
www.frontier-silicon.com | www.urbanears.com
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