DTS Play-Fi Overview
DTS Play-Fi lets you play just about any streaming music source or service from your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer wirelessly over a home WiFi network. That audio can then be streamed to one or more connected Play-Fi speakers throughout the home (like Sonos’ closed system, Play-Fi has a “party mode” where all speakers can sync and playback music simultaneously). As Play-Fi comes to more and more speakers and components we can expect a continued emphasis on wireless speaker technology from these brands.
WiFi-based whole-home audio is a trend that doesn’t seem in any danger of letting up. As more and more people seek to play their cloud-based purchased music to their home systems, more and more manufacturers are working to understand and deploy the best systems to facilitate that in the home. Play-Fi is a promising technology, and, unlike AirPlay, it can work in both iOS and Android environments. In fact, it can work over Apple Airplay 2 as well! It is even compatible with Alexa and other voice assistants.
If you never used Play-Fi, the attraction is that it can facilitate multi-room, multi-zone, and multi-user applications. That means you can connect multiple Play-Fi wireless speakers and enjoy music in every room of your home—all perfectly synchronized. Alternatively, you can assign multiple zones to different areas of your home and stream different music to different speakers in those rooms—all from the same device (subject to the device’s ability to send out multiple streams, of course). Altogether, you have a system where multiple users in a home can simultaneously stream music from different Play-Fi-enabled smartphones, tablets or PCs.
DTS Play-Fi is also concerned with audio fidelity, something that McIntosh, Sonus Faber, and Wadia are particular about for obvious reasons. Play-Fi can wirelessly transmit high-quality “lossless” audio—and it can do it throughout your entire WiFi network. Play-Fi works over Ethernet, Powerline (EOP), as well as via other IP-based networking technologies. It eliminates the need for proprietary bridges or routers, and the system is open for application development by third-party companies.
DTS Play-Fi has drivers for iOS, Windows, Android, and even the Kindle operating systems. Right off the bat that gives you access to more than 20,000 radio stations, podcasts, local music, media servers, and cloud-based music services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and many more. Set up, link, and control all of the speakers on the network from the same streamlined interfaces.