The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA), founded by Summit Wireless Technologies, has introduced an HDMI ARC/eARC connected WiSA-certified audio transmitter, called SoundSend, that stands as the association’s first branded product.

The WiSA SoundSend audio transmitter will connect to a digital optical port or HDMI ARC or eARC port to easily add wireless multichannel audio connectivity between a smart TV from most major brands and WiSA wireless speakers. The SoundSend introduction means WiSA wireless speaker compatibility has opened up to a much broader field of smart TVs, besides just WiSA-certified sets, like high-performing LG models.

It also can lower the cost of WiSA system implementation in many cases.

Prior to this, most other WiSA transmitter solutions have been USB dongles intended to connect to WiSA-ready TVs and source devices to transmit signals to WiSA speakers with bulit-in receivers.

The WiSA SoundSend will go on sale in November at a $179 suggested retail price, Keith Washo, WiSA Global Partner & Channel Market Development VP, told HD Guru. But the WiSA transmitter technology is open for other brands to launch products. SoundSend will be available for sale through WiSA’s website and starting this November. Some other resellers are in the works, the company told us.

Retailers looking to carry the SoundSend are also invited to contact Washo directly.

At its core, WiSA was developed to get rid of speaker wires for an easier setup and more palatable room decor. WiSA is both a hardware and software standard for delivering high-resolution multi-channel digital audio (in up to 96kHz/24 bit quality) wirelessly from a source device to a maximum of eight powered speakers within the same room. Signals are transmitted point to point from transmitter to receivers inside the WiSA wireless speakers. This is accomplished with virtually no latency (just an unnoticeable 2.6 to 5.2 ms). Even in a 7.1 surround sound setup with multiple WiSA speakers, the delay in synchronization is no greater than a millionth of a second.

“SoundSend is designed to work with any ARC/eARC or digital optical-connected Smart TV,” said Washo. “They do not need to be WiSA certified hence indeed this opens up compatibility substantially to millions of Smart TVs with ARC/eARC in market.”

The SoundSend is the first WiSA standalone HDMI transmitter to work with eARC/ARC, the Association said, and it comes with a free WiSA app to have full control of the audio/speaker system.

Of course, the SoundSend will then wirelessly pair with and transmit audio to any brand of WiSA-certified wireless speaker for up to 8 channels (including wireless subwoofer) of immersive, high quality surround sound. Multiple supporting brands and models of WiSA-certified speakers can be mixed and matched in a system. There is no need of an A/V receiver.

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The SoundSend enables streaming high-resolution audio signals, including: Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos data within either Dolby Digital+ or Dolby True HD surround sound codecs, Washo said. However, SoundSend does not support any DTS formats.

The WiSA signal transmissions will be receivable by high quality WiSA-certified wireless speakers from supporting brands including: Klipsch, Bang & Olufsen, Savant, Dynaudio, Enclave Audio, System Audio, Electrocompaniet, Harman International and more.

“The SoundSend is the perfect solution to accompany today’s smart televisions that deliver millions of hours of highly-produced content with multichannel audio coming from hundreds of sources,” stated Tony Ostrom, WiSA president. “The product’s unprecedented and seamless connectivity provides consumers the freedom to mix and match WiSA Certified components to create a fully interoperable surround sound system.”

“In two easy steps, and without needing WiFi, one can connect WiSA Certified speakers to power and plug the HDMI transmitter into the TV,” WiSA’s statement explains. “SoundSend then automatically finds and connects to WiSA Certified speakers. The TV remote is then used for daily operation while the SoundSend send app offers tuning features that customize the speaker system to personal preferences.”

Furthermore, the association said the SoundSend transmitter features My Zone that “perfects the system by easily calibrating each speaker to the listener’s location to create a sweet spot for the best possible entertainment experience.”

“This groundbreaking solution guarantees interoperability for a variety of the world’s leading audio brands and further showcases WiSA’s commitment to implementing worldwide standards for wireless, high-resolution, multichannel audio,” WiSA’s announcement said.

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By Greg Tarr

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