CES 2018 – Axiim & WiSA
It would be impossible to tell the WiSA and Axiim stories separately for CES 2018, so we are going to have to combine the two here. From a straight technology perspective, not much seems to have changed with the WiSA standard. Aside from Axiim there have only been some minor changes to the available consumer hardware. Although some major brands have recently joined the alliance so we could see additional speaker options before the end of the year. They had an interesting demo available however, where an LG TV output stereo PCM audio to a WiSA USB dongle. Removing the need for a separate AVR.
The Axiim 4K Q, which will replace existing Qs for free, is out (pictured sans case below) – which is a great customer service story. On the technology front, Axiim recently announced the Link HD Wireless System which is quite similar in concept to the USB dongle WiSA was showing, but it supports 7.1 audio playback from the Microsoft Xbox family or a Windows 10 PC. The Link HD was demo’d in both configurations in the WiSA suite.
I also had the chance to experience an interesting demo of Dolby Atmos playback on an Axiim Q and Axiim WM series towers with up-firing drivers in the Texas Instruments suite. Yeah, that’s right Dolby Atoms. The details on how it works and when it will come to market were a bit (very) sparse, but as it was a prototype device that wasn’t unexpected. Witnessing things that shouldn’t exist is one of the things I love about CES.