Networked wireless speaker systems are becoming increasingly popular, driven largely by the Sonos brand. But good speakers in this product category can be costly and aren’t typically designed so that they can be used outdoors.
Kien is a modular networked home audio system that lets users set up wireless speakers wherever they want—inside or outside the house. In addition to being less expensive than many rival products, Kien also comes in a wider choice of colors than most speakers. It will be fielded in black, blue, green, red and white models, allowing consumers to better match the speakers with the colors inside their rooms. The system will ship in March 2016 and is made up of satellite speakers at $249 each and a $399 subwoofer.
The satellites are portable and operate on battery power. They can be recharged by placing them on the subwoofer. Placing the satellites next to the subwoofer via their interlocking design also creates a soundbar. Kien’s makers set an Indiegogo goal of raising $50,000 by June 17.
Kien’s design and easy portability help set it apart from most rival products on the market. Another strong feature is Dynamic Sweetspot: it tracks users’ locations and the sweet spot will follow them around so that music will always sound best wherever they’re standing, similar to Mass Fidelity’s smaller Core project. Unlike the similarly modular aiFi speaker, Kien is a Hi-Fi audio solution. But, like any speaker featured on a crowdfunding Web site, it’s impossible to tell from its campaign alone just how strong its audio quality is.