April 19

Wow! Where did the latency go? One step ahead with iWA

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  • Wow! Where did the latency go? One step ahead with iWA

Houston we’ve got a problem

Today there are many wireless audio technologies available. Most of them operate in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. This is the frequency range in which all your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices operate.

It is an overcrowded frequency making it almost impossible to work without interference. The same applies to the 5.8 GHz alternative, which is used by many Wi-Fi solutions as a secondary option.

Moreover, many 2.4 GHz solutions cannot instantly change frequency channels like Bluetooth (and WIDI) can.

Forget it!

Wireless audio requires high bandwidth to transmit the dense flow of data. Bluetooth simply cannot provide that. It's perfect for MIDI, but not for audio.

With 2.4 GHz solutions, the problem is that interference in the crowded spectrum requires error correction.

With the limited bandwidth available, this correction results in degradation of audio quality.

Don't shoot the messenger...

So you've invested a lot of your precious money in expensive solutions and they just don't deliver. Either they are prone to interference or they go for a compromise on sound.

You don't want to end up with software codecs (like aptX or LC3) or other compression technologies that degrade your sound quality.

What you do want is reliable transmission of your audio!

Now that you know this, you may be feeling a little frustrated. Sorry about that. You may even want to continue to believe that your device is the only exception to this.

It isn't.

The 2.4 GHz solutions for wireless audio are really limited. Especially for music makers.

It's time someone told you the truth...

Have no fear, iWA is here!

CME's iWA technology is different. It can transmit up to 24-bit/48kHz audio in stereo, wirelessly.

It does not use compression or other audio quality compromises because it has more than enough bandwidth.

It does not suffer from interference because it does not operate in the crowded 2.4 GHz range.

It is an accessible technology with affordable solutions that offer much higher continuous playback time than any other wireless audio solution available.

Why did we develop iWA?

The emergence of WIDI changed musicians' perceptions about Bluetooth technology. They were pleasantly surprised to discover that Bluetooth can offer great convenience for MIDI applications without compromising latency.

While many advanced users of WIDI believe that we can offer them an even better wireless audio solution, as experts in the field, we understand that Bluetooth technology may not fully meet the needs of all musicians. This realisation has inspired us to rise to the challenge and continue to innovate.

After researching numerous wireless solutions on the market, including expensive technology used by well-known brands of professional wireless microphones, we discovered that none met our two basic requirements: avoiding congested wireless channels to eliminate interference and providing sufficient bandwidth to ensure high-quality sound.

In the end, we decided to take a risk and work with the community to develop iWA technology from scratch. While it may be imperfect at first, it will grow step by step as more community elites join in, just as WIDI did. Eventually, it will become a powerful assistant for professional musicians, giving wings to their music creation.

ZHAO YITIAN  //  CEO of CME // MIDI Association Executive Board member

No latency

While zero latency does not exist, the ultimate goal of iWA is to replace your cables without you even noticing.

Because iWA technology is designed with musicians in mind, you can play and get instant response in any near-field playback situation.

It's perfect for drummers, keyboardists, producers and modern makers.

In this video, you can see the very first iWA test results. And as you can see, the over-the-air latency - literally replacing your cable - is close to 1ms.

In this test, the looped audio signal is compared between a wired and over-the-air signal. This means that iWA technology adds only 1ms of latency to any existing setup.

Amazing, right? There is no doubt that this latency performance will be continually optimised in the final iWA PCB hardware and firmware.

Keep it real!

Today, nearly 5,000 people have joined the wireless audio community for musicians. That input has changed the development plan. Now the focus is on a TX/RX solution, at your request.

Today we have set a new goal and an additional reward. When we reach 10,000 subscribers, all early bird subscribers will receive 50% off their pre-sale purchase of iWA!

With it, you can add iWA to the headphones and speakers already in your studio or practice space.

Below you can see the rough design of the TX/RX module. It is an AD/DA solution. Just plug in your audio jack, clip the module wherever you want and enjoy your sound immediately.

First design of iWA TX/RX solution

IWA TX/RX

It's a transmitter and receiver in one, with a toggle button (on the right) and LED indicators (4 LEDs at the top).

On the bottom right you can see a 3.5mm TRS Jack for mic/line input or headphone/line output, and it too is switchable with a button and indicated by the same 4 LEDs.

The left button is for iWA pairing, and two LEDs for connection status and on/off.

The current design has a USB-C connector for charging and power. Not for audio. For USB audio solutions, consider a simple dongle, such as WIDI Bud Pro, to plug into your computer, laptop or smart device.

The current design has 2x AAA batteries that are rechargeable. The 4 LEDs on the front right show the battery level.

So, is this final? No!

Crowd Creation: Get involved!

This is not a fixed design. Maybe the AAA batteries should be replaced with a lithium battery? Or the location of the buttons and LEDs should be different? Perhaps you have suggestions for a different clip design?

Therefore, this design is released in its full rawness. You can now participate in the further development of the iWA TX/RX.

Share your ideas, suggestions and maybe even links to other solutions that appeal to you in the comment section below.

It won't be the first time we drastically change direction or design based on your input....

Goal 1 reached on 4th of July 2022
Goal 2 reached on 25th of December 2022
Goal 3 reached on 1st of May 2023
Phase 4 announced on 1st of May 2023

Goal 1 reached on 4th of July 2022
Goal 2 reached on 25th of December 2022
Goal 3 reached on 1st of May 2023
Phase 4 announced on 1st of May 2023

iWA prototype test results April 2023


Tags

crowd creation, iWA


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    1. Thanks. We are doing the best we can to deliver the first iWA product in 2023. Feel welcome to invite your friends to join, it will certainly help to speed up the process. For operations, it is our objective to deliver an easy-to-understand product that can be used straight out of the box and go into advanced mode with a small learning curve.

  1. Great to see this progressing. Since I guess one is useless on its own will the TX/RX be sold in pairs, or at least a 2 unit starter pack option? Is it 1-1 or 1-many so the sound can be routed to multiple destinations? Is an accompanying app planned for controlling the audio?

    1. We will start with 1-to-1 and sold pert unit, not in pairs. Just like with WIDI, there will be different options over time, making the solution more versatile. Of course, upon introduction to the community, we will certainly consider pairs. it more or less depends on what the final product will be in reality. For an app, it is a bit more complex, as WIDI is Bluetooth and it would be easy to connect, with iWA, the technology is totally new and not available to connect to an app in the same easy way as with Bluetooth devices. That is why we have to consider to have all functions on the hardware design itself.

      1. I think if you market it as a single item you’ll need to be super clear that it doesn’t do anything in isolation and will need a partner to receive or transmit.

        1. Yes, I agree. Very useful feedback. The challenge is to define the audio source, there is a difference if it is analog or digital. So, it is likely there will be two variations on this product. That is why it predictably will be sold as a single unit.

    2. For the app, I just discussed this feedback internally. Ideally, we develop a web application that connects via USB. The advantage of a web application is that there is no need for installation, it is compatible with all operating systems, and implements real-time updates.

      1. On the app, USB is ok for occasional use, but is a wireless connection to the app at all possible?

        Also, on the wireless audio connection, how would you connect to a phone or tablet? Would it just not be possible without a headphone socket or audio interface? Bit of a pain on newer socket-less devices, but can't think how else this would work?

        1. As iWA technology, unlike Bluetooth, is not integrated in mobile devices for this specific scenario, at this point it is not possible to connect wirelessly. That is why we are considering the USB solution, and maybe a web-app for compatibility with any device. For audio transmission via this TX/RX solution, there will be at least two models. One for analog (like TRS) and one for digital (like USB). They will be different products, just like with WIDI adapters, this way, you can buy what you actually need and not pay for stuff you do not need. For socket-less devices, at this stage, iWA will not work. It will always need a physical port for connection, either analog or digital.

          That being said, and this is for the far far future, iWA technology is based on a technology that is already used for other purposes and therefore integrated in the latest Apple and Samsung mobile devices. Maybe, in the future, when iWA becomes a standard (like WIDI), it will become possible to connect without an adapter on that side. Who knows…

          One thing is for sure, we are not there yet.

  2. Presently, using the line g10t. I like the transmitter to plug directly in the audio ports on my Roland v-accordion. Although, the design you are proposing will work for guitarist and accordionist’s. Could install it on the strap. But then again the extra cable?

    The new pa5x has a stereo line input. Want to use that input for my Roland FR4x accordion.

    1. The idea is to deliver a first solution to optimise the wireless iWA technology. From there we can consider other form factors. With this specific TX/RX design, the solution is more flexible, like it was with WIDI Jack for Bluetooth MIDI. Nevertheless, everything can change based on feedback like yours. Thanks!!!

  3. Love the belt pack form factor, the removable standard batteries and the line out option. hugely encouraging to see, though I’m not sure what buying only one of these could possibly be used for, so I guess they’d need to be sold as a pair?

    1. You will need two to tango, yes! 😉 But there is a difference when the audio source is either analog or digital, that is why they will most likely be offered as single units, so you can be flexible in getting only what you exactly need.

  4. Good to see this going ahead. I'm not sure I'm happy with the 'belt pack' design. I was hoping for a more rugged box design, with ba;anced I/O and internal power supply. Batteries always fail at the worst possible time.

    1. The TX/RX design is a first step. After optimising the iWA technology, based on feedback like this, iWA can be integrated in a variety of products. So, your feedback and request is more than welcome. Actually the battery design is still up for debate. Because iWA’s power consumption is really low, we can go into multiple directions. What would be your preferred way?

      1. Ideally, you’d be able to power it by battery or usb, with the ability to charge the batteries by USB as well. This would allow for a battery powered body pack, and the the paired device to be plugged in.

        1. We are considering such a battery solution. We are indeed looking at a combination of simple replaceable batteries (like AA or AAA) and power via USB-C. When you use rechargeable batteries, you may be able to charge them via USB-C. So I think we are on the same line here 😉

  5. This will be awesome. If I read this correctly, I’ll be able to go wirelessly from my Kemperand GR55, to the PA!

    1. That is the plan. That being said, we currently focus on near-field solutions first. Like studio or rehearsal situations. Live sound will become the segment of interest after we have optimised the technology, as it requires longer distances to travel.

  6. The design to me looks great and I am surprised how small it is.
    So looking forward to buying some and start streaming my sampled pianos from my iMac to my piano via a sub mixer
    Thanks for all the info

  7. Here's another vote for a TX/RX version sold as one pair. I use a Roland Aerophone, so it would be nice to have a very small transmitter attached to the instrument. The receiver plugs into the PA. I currently use a BOSS WL-20L, which is a great form factor. But it's 2.4ghz, so can get interference. In that case I switch to a SWIFF Audio WS-50, which operates in the UHF band, I understand. I have several WIDI units, and they work great, so I am really excited to see what you decide to build.

    1. There seem to be more requests for this, so we should certainly investigate this at our side. Thanks for sharing!!

      1. I think that selling devices in pairs is not very flexible. If suddenly one device breaks down, you will have to buy a pair again and overpay for one device. It’s better to let them be one at a time, and those who don’t have one yet just buy two at once.

  8. I play a Roland Aerophone through an app on my iPad. I would use the iWA to replace the cable from the iPad to my PA speaker. To that end, I wonder if it would make sense to develop a separate transmitter and receiver at some point. The transmitter would ideally be as small and unobtrusive as possible.

    1. Well, looking at the comments, there seems to be a case for this, and it should be explored. That is why it is great to receive this feedback, it can really change the design. Thanks a lot!!

  9. I would love to see a single 2 channel unit with the ability to transmit one channel and receive another. The application for this would be instrument level signal from a guitar to the pedalboard on one channel, while the line level monitor mix is sent on the 2nd channel back to the body pack for in ear monitors!

    1. Thanks for sharing. That is a possibility for the future of iWA. Currently we are looking to solve 1-to-1 near-field solution first. Of course, you can always split one stereo signal into two mono signals via a simple splitter. Especially for in-ears, we are looking at more complex setups and longer distances on stage. We think we can do that, but we will have to take this step by step!

  10. So I will need 4 units to connect my Roland Fantom 8 (2 XLR) to my active loudspeaker monitors (1 XLR each)…?

    1. iWA is able to transmit in stereo, We currently focus on 1-to-1 connectivity. In your case you have one on each side and you will have to split the stereo signal to each monitor. That is with the current design of the TX/RX shown in this blog.

  11. I am looking forward to your product and would like to add my two cents:

    – The power button of such devices should be two-way, on/off, instead of a simple click. When there are multiple devices like these, it can be cumbersome to turn them on after a power failure or overnight shutdown. I would like to keep all the switches in the "on" position at all times and control the power supply to the rack to manage the state of all the equipment. A two-way switch also allows for a neat integration of such devices into instruments. For example, in an electric guitar, it can be incorporated in a way that one toggle switch performs two actions: turning on the transmitter and switching the signal to it, thus quickly switching the guitar from wired to wireless mode.

    – Whenever possible, try to make devices easier to disassemble and use as building blocks. It would be great if a device designed to work on a battery could also be powered without it since, as a receiver, it is likely to have alternative power sources such as a power outlet, a USB port, or even the device it is connected to.

  12. In my case I will need four stereo pairs to be used between two pedal boards. Will there be a problem with that many in such a close proximity? Is there a chance they would interfere with each other? Really looking forward to simplifying my setup and tear down.

    1. At this stage, we are working on stereo-to-stereo. So, straightforward point-to-point. Having multiple pairs operating in the same environment, should not be an issue with the pulse technology we are working with. Nevertheless, we are careful with making statements on this matter, as the development will require more and extensive testing.

    2. Please keep in mind that there may be more than 1 stereo instrument on stage that want to use these iWAs… Hopefully they won’t interfere with each other. In our band it would be a Roland FR-8x accordion, a Roland AE-20 Aerophone, and a guitar on the same stage.

      My WIDI devices work great with absolutely no issues. I can’t wait to get a couple of these iWAs to become even more mobile on stage.

      1. Thanks for sharing that Alf. We first focus on point to point and will expand possibilities along the way. Just like we did with WIDI. In all fairness, the multiple pair transmission is on our roadmap, but not completely tested at this point. We will get there, together!

  13. The latency is a real problem, seriously, and a solution must be found.

    I need it myself personal use while playing my CME XKey for example, which is great, and although it wasn't cheap at all, it doesn't have mechanical parts involved apart from the membranes for the key themselves and it's so well designed and practical I love it more and more every day.

    Thanks though that I didn't buy once of those CME keyboards from 10 years ago which now seem never existed. I can only thank I was not one of those customers.

    About iWA, I don't think the technology itself is a problem or designing the device, although it won't be so cheap to make not so many chips as bluetooth makes, as the potential users would be many many less than regular bluetooth users.. But the worst problem is making it legal so you can sell it everywhere in the world, and this is buying licenses mandated and defined by very high instances in each country for using radio "air spectrum", the same as mobile telephony operators do, which now collision and compete against TDT (digitual TV) providers after the analog TV has been shutdown for allowing more channels with higher resolution than previous ones. It wouldn't be a problem if people only used this kind of new solution when there's only one person at home using this device, but when it starts being adopted by more people, probably they will want to use it in audio-visual spectacles of every kind. The big ones, who can pay for it, will probably using already the ones you mentioned, very expensive, because it's the air space that is so expensive itself. The same as being able to build a basic home is not so expensive compared to the price of the land and the license to build your home in that particular land, as you would need to be granted access to water, electricity, emergency services, and so on…

    Of course you can assign it a name, the same as GPS, GLONASS, GPRS, 3G, 4G, 5G, UMTS, WiFi, Bluetooth, WIMAX, and so on. But some of them already operate and are able to withstand the interferences produced by other devices by slowing down the connection, splitting into more focused channels that in fact overlap other channels, and dividing time between users and slowing the amount of data transmitted by users or compressing even more the signal if needed if they are certified as Bluetooth, or WiFi, etc…, but all of these that you are comparing with are FREE, GRATIS, and these frequencies ara available for general public, although called ISM (Investigation Scientist Medical) nobody can grant you will not have collisions with people experimenting with these signals, and either way it's not only the frequency, but the maximum power you can transmit, and also, the amount of radiation emitted in a certain space, and most WiFi and Bluetooth signals already use the maximum available per country, which I think it is 100mW in Europe and 500mW (maximum) in USA, but it depends on the usage, how much crowded is a certain space in the USA, and so on, so it might be enforced to be even lower like in Europe. And even worse, chip manufacturers now are forced to make chips in a special way that they cannot interfere in another country by simple firmware modifications. And even more, for somre countries they also need to exclude frequencies used by speed limit sensors used by police, which may be different in each country.

    You would also need to make the choice is each person should have to buy a license themselves one by one (like a driving license, or ham radio users, etc…

    If you're focused on just the units/devices, you're building the house starting by the roof.

    I didn't read the documents about previous goals though, but just what I've read so far doesn't make me confident enough, although I subscribed trying to help reach that 10,000 number just because I am happy with my Xkey Air..

    1. Thanks for sharing your details and concerns. iWA technology implements a nano-seconds pulse technology that is fundamentally different compared to other solutions. It operates at very low power levels and uses a large frequency spectrum. This means that it can coexist with other wireless technologies without causing significant interference.

      Additionally, it uses a short-range communication approach, which further reduces the risk of interference with other devices and allows for global usage without the need for specific licenses.

      1. SI insist in that some blog posts could be confusing to the reader, as the non-technical audience could potentially think the street is free from any obstacles when it isn't, when talking about 2.4 GHz versus bluetooth or other protocols, as if they didn't share the same radio-electrical space.

        Bluetooth, Wifi, Xbox controllers, all share the same ISM radio spectrum and collide with each other, in this case 2.4 GHz.

        Short-range communication approach doesn't by itself remove the requirements for using the already licensed ISM radio spectrum, but for sure, the risk of interference is lower.

        Other ISM already licensed bands include 5.8 GHz, 868 MHz, and others, but you're being too cryptical on this basic subject, may be trying to attract more people to this new protocol.

        Somebody could "tweak" the protocols so the latest revision of a given protocol gives for priority to the radio traffic using that specific protocol, in this case iWA, when sharing the same spectrum, unless unexpected traffic occurs, either by proper or improper usage.

        Let me also point to video-game controllers, as most of them have a mini-jack audio socket for connecting your headphones, and while the headphones are wired to the video-game controller, the controller itself is using a wireless connection to the video-game system, for example Xbox or PlayStation.

        Of course the range is much lower compared to Bluetooth and even lower compared to WiFi.

        These video-game controllers are near field wireless latency free devices, transmitting both controller signals, which are very similar to traffic related to MIDI signals, and also high quality high resolution stereo audio, may be not lossless audio, although I don't know, but very similar anyway,, so you can hear the response as quick as you press a button or move a joystick while playing a video game, and not 120 milliseconds late, and while the whole system is under 13 ms it shouldn't be noticeable to the user, and you can test the difference connecting your headphones via Bluetooth to your TV, even when it can be already even lower than the old 120 ms, and more close to below 50 ms which is still better than before but not enough for high demanding musicians or gamers.

        Microsoft uses a custom non-standard proprietary protocol to lower the latency in Xbox video-game controllers, but I don't know how Sony PlayStation managed to lower the latency when they claim to be using Bluetooth for their controllers, so my guess is that they use Bluetooth for gaming features and another custom proprietary protocol for audio connected by cable to the video-game controller.

        What I want to say is that ALL THESE GAME CONTROLLERS still use THE SAME 2.4 GHz radio spectrum used by Bluetooth headphones and Wifi signals. How did they avoid congestion and collisions? By customizing the protocols to give priority to their own communications, be it by tweaking the way radio-packets are modulated in the radio-spectrum and may be also by cheating on the other signals to give priority to their own radio-packets.

        I am not a geek nor an engineer, but what I did may be considered illegal in some countries, may be in others it isn't.

        For the receiver I use a standard mini FM radio connected to my headphones, using single or dual AAA standard 1.2 V rechargeable battery, price between $10 and $15 including taxes excluding battery and charger.

        For the transmitter I use a standard mini FM radio transmitter, connected to the computer or instrument I want to play by using a standard mini-jack male plug that you can in turn plug into your MP3 player, mobile phone, generally used in cars, directly plugged into the electric 12 V lighter socket in the car through USB, although others may use an internal battery, and the price was almost the same.

        With these two elements I get latency free lossless audio for even less than $30, including taxes and transport to my home.

        I just tune whatever unused radio station FM frequency between 80 MHz and 120 MHz for example and I have no interferences or delay at all.

        At this point I would also like to bring some light comparing these method to bluetooth audio for example:
        – any interference in this prehistoric analog and may be illegal to use approach wouldn't delay the signal, as it would always be in the right time, but of course I couldn't do this if all my neighbors were using this method, and that's probably why it is not widespread
        – interferences in bluetooth signals, even when not interrupting the audio signal, may enlarge or stretch it a specific section of time, like old analog tapes did when physical tension of the tape or electrical conditions or even extended usage made the wheels spin faster or slower than intended

        I''ve read that iWA would use redundancy, probably to lower the downsides of digital packet delaying versus critical in-time synchronization, which is a must for every serious musician, up to the point it is part of the MIDI protocol itself that was born as soon as the 80's.

        Redundancy itself is good, but the goal I guess is having strict real-time precision, instead of blurring delays as it happens now while using other methods.

        Summarizing, from a musician's point of view, timing is critical. Timing was not a problem when using analog audio, but it is a serious problem using digital audio, even more while sharing radio-spectrum with other digital protocols, that you will be sharing for sure.

        I wish you all make good decisions in the end.

        Thank you for readin' and replyin', I am just trying to help before the creature is born, although it might be too late already.

        1. Thanks for your reply. We differentiate Bluetooth from Wi-Fi because they have different pros and cons as a technology. As mentioned in many blogs, they operate in the same spectrum. That is why they share the same issues, and that is why the iWA solution is valid for both. Nevertheless, both ways of transmission offer different solutions to the RF interference problem.

          Quote:
          What is the difference between iWA and 2.4GHz solutions available?
          The 2.4GHz frequency works in the same bandwidth as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Therefore, this protocol is sensitive for interference. When interference occurs, most 2.4GHz devices do not have the capability to perform rapid frequency hopping as Bluetooth (and WIDI) can.
          Unquote

          Source: https://www.cme-pro.com/iwa-instant-wireless-audio-by-cme/

          It is great that you have developed your own DIY solutions. Very impressive. Nevertheless, the US$ 30 cost price for only components is relatively high. Take into account all other elements a company most add (people, places, marketing, transport, warehousing, industrial design, factory costs, etc.) and you can easily come to a production cost that does not make it economically feasible at all.

          If you add up distribution and reselling margins, you might end up at a reselling price point that is not interesting to any consumer. But that is just wild-guessing with the information I have on your project.

          What we are trying to achieve with iWA is simple:
          – uncompressed HD audio at 24-bit/48kHz
          – latency as low as 1ms
          – high immunity for RF interference
          – accessible pricing
          – long battery life

          It sounds simple, but it is a real development challenge to get there.

          Thanks again for all your words, it is much appreciated.

          1. I guess I was not accurate.

            I am not using a DIY solution, but final products, with 3 year warranty from vendor, bought from Amazon, already enclosed in their pocket unit, with the belt clip both of them, so I didn't buy any parts.

            It's just a pocket FM radio, the tiniest I could find while cheap.

            it's $10-15 per unit (taxes and transport to my home included), although it is a cheaper analog technology, prehistoric, wide-spread since, for everyone, not just for musicians, and that's why it is so cheap. I use this for my own personal use, when I couldn't find an affordable and digital wireless solution in this segment.

            But on the other side CME seems to have already found a a proper digital solution, and iWA might become real in the near future.

            Quote:
            What we are trying to achieve with iWA is simple:
            – uncompressed HD audio at 24-bit/48kHz
            – latency as low as 1ms
            – high immunity for RF interference
            – accessible pricing
            – long battery life

            It sounds simple, but it is a real development challenge to get there.
            Unquote

            Indeed it is, and it is great, I'd be one of your customers, and I don't expect the final price would be as low as my current setup, by any means.

            But I am sharing my "user experience" somehow, as I've been using such a small receiver unit connected to In-Ear and Overhead headphones for a long time, but I ended up plugging and unplugging the jack from the headphones right into a longer and proper cable with a smaller extension (coiled/serpent/helix/spiral)" instead of using the receiver in the pocket most of the times. Anyway sometimes you have several people around and you may want to have the option to go wireless to avoid cables tangling. Even if I do not use my setup 100% of the time, I like having it in case I need it.

            Regarding the TX/RX unit, I'd like to share the dimensions and usage of unit designed as a Bluetooth adapter for Sennheiser HD599 headphones:
            https://www.airfrex.com/product?pgid=jj9ibxd0-7d9c72d9-45aa-4c90-9d5f-e8f196ed9374

            Having a unit in your belt/pocket is not an issue, but and embedded adapter is much less of an issue (cables not tangling, summer friendly, etc…)

            CME needs to make the cut and start at some point, pocket/belt TX/RX unit is great, like the one prototyped at the end of this post, although embedded or close to embedded is much much better, even if it higher priced, but I think it would be nice at further stages of development.

            I'll keep an eye on iWA products.

            Thank you.

  14. By the way, I just read you are comparing "Standard 2.4 GHz" to "Bluetooth".

    You are very wrong here, there's "no standard 2.4GHz" nor any "standard 5.8GHz"…

    A number followed by Hertzs is just a frequency 2.4 million times per second in this case, or 5.8 million times in the other frequency operated by WiFi protocolos, which are defined by a set of standards written after thorough testing and iterations by a world wide organization abbreviated by IEEE: https://www.ieee.org

    Summarizing:
    – IEEE 802.11 is used for WiFi
    – IEEE 802.15 is used for Bluetooth

    The frequency is not a standard by any mean.

    WiFi is a standard as much as Bluetooth and other protocols operating over the air using radio (electro-magnetic) signals, and now, for two-way communication instead of just broadcasting, with multiple users sharing the same radio space, they need to follow a set of rules, the same way car drivers do when sharing a road.

    Each standard can use different ways, as most of them only care about themselves, and protocols at least at first didn't care as much if they collide with a different protocol.

    And each protocol can decide how many channels they will split their frequency into (if any), which I think it's close to 64 for Bluetooth and between 11 and 14-15 for WiFi depending on country. And they could split the assigned frequency between several user by either dividing the frequency itself even more, changing the modulation of the signal or even arbitrary deciding what user will speak next and for how much time until the next user can speak (the radio chip is the user in this case and it will decide what to do according on algorithms already defined in the protocol itself).

    I don't know what you are doing on iWA, but you're only showing the paintings over the inner walls of the next-generation hom that you're supposedly designing and testing.

    I wish you luck, but what you have done so far, I did it already, for far less money that you could even expect, and using even smaller devices, sending and receiving a 100% loseless signal, with no latency at all (and this means as much latency as a wire if we are under the microscope), and it is a kid's game, nothing new, and I can choose any frequency I want.

    Another fact plays into this game, and this is if the communications are encrypted as they are under Bluetooth or WiFi, or if anybody close enough to the signal range could just tune your frequency and send to Spotify the last track of very famous artists even before they do.

    You have to consider all those aspects if you didn't.

    1. Thanks for sharing even more details. I am pretty sure you are a clever person that can do amazing things. As an innovator, part of our job is to develop a technology that is economically interesting for mass production and, maybe even more importantly, easy to understand for its target audience.

      That is why, as the writer of this article, I try to simplify elements that are really complex. The purpose is that our beloved community members can understand the basics of our technology and collaborate on future products.

      Besides this, as this is a new technology, we have to be really careful with what we share, to keep our competitive advantage. At the same time, we have to share enough to keep communicating with our community and people like you.

  15. Sorry, I also typed wrong so I rectify:

    * 1 Gigahertz =1 GHz = 1,000 Mhz = 1,000,000 kHz = 1,000,000,000 Hz

    So in fact 1 GHz is a thousand million times per second and not just one million times per second, but the rest I think is valid.

    And 2 notes:

    * I don't care if somebody listens to what I am playing and listening to, but may be not everybody

    * of course "Bluetooth LE" (Low Energy) uses less energy than WiFi, because it has been designed that way, and you also need to be closer than using WiFi, as written by the IEEE, as well as incorporating the "Low Latency" MIDI over Bluetooth or Bluetooth LL (low-latency), although everybody refers now to Bluetooth LE (low energy) as the low latency protocol is now part of that IEEE paper

    1. No worries, everybody can make a mistake. For Bluetooth, we have developed WIDI technology. It was launched in a similar fashion as we do now with iWA, at a very early stage of development. With over 20 years of experience with wireless technology, MIDI and musical instruments, we have researched many technologies and we are aware what the limitations are of different wireless technologies, especially Bluetooth.

      Between 2019 and 2023 we launched 6 Bluetooth MIDI products based on our WIDI technology. Close to 100,000 WIDI devices have been sold worldwide. That is why, and we tried, we know that Bluetooth technology will not be able to deliver the performance for wireless audio as desired by musicians.

      Same goes for Wi-Fi and other solutions operating in the 2.4 ghz range, in that case it is not really about the technology itself, but about the crowded bandwidth causing RF interference.

      Those problems, we are trying to solve with iWA technology.

  16. It would be convenient to have the ability to pair an audio source with multiple receivers and have the option to select the active receiver from any of the devices. For instance, I plan to embed a transmitter in my PC, and have receivers in my audio system and headphones. I would like to primarily use the speakers, but if I turns on headphones, I want to seamlessly switch to them without leaving the couch or going through the pairing process. It would be great to have two control options – manual selection or automatically activate the last connected device, and if it turns off, switch back to the previous one.

    Additionally, when implementing the ability to connect multiple receivers, having a broadcasting mode would be beneficial to transmit to all receivers simultaneously. For instance, I might have a PC and audio systems in multiple rooms and might need to broadcast audio to all of them at once.

    I believe that the ability to connect multiple sources to a single receiver is also in demand. For example, guitarists playing multiple instruments could have one receiver in their amplifier and several transmitters in each guitar. This approach is offered by products like the Line 6 Relay G70 wireless guitar system, which is very convenient.

    I'm eagerly anticipating the release of such technology, despise cords =)

    1. I agree with you on that. It is a step by step process. With WIDI Bluetooth MIDI we did a similar thing. We started with point to point and added groups later. With iWA technology, as it is very new, we focus now on that point to point solution first. When we have that optimised and validated by the community, we expand features based on requests like this. Thanks!!

  17. Any ETA? I hope the device will be lightweight and compact. It should not strain the audio jacks while attached to device. 2 AA batteries seemed too heavy. How does it compare to those wireless guitar audio transmitters.

    1. It si too early to provide an exact date. As we are in an early stage of development it is hard to make a comparison based on its industrial design. Thanks for your feedback on the batteries. In most cases guitar transmitters are A mono and B operate in the crowded 2.4 gHz frequency range, making them sensitive for RF interference.

  18. I have a digital mixer with limited outputs, and loads of gear that can sample audio, it would be nice to set up a 1:M relationship hub, so I don't have to use multiple ports on my mixer to run audio out

    1. That would be great indeed. Our first project is 1-to-1 and allowing multiple pairs to run in the same environment. Next, we want to add 1-to-multiple. We will get there, it will only take time.

  19. With limited gain control how easy would it be to use 32bit/48khz over the same protocol, or is the protocol necessarily 24bit by design? 32bit recording for field recorders has been quite important recently and has almost completely replaced the second backup channel on low gain for many mixers.

    1. 32-bit will require much more bandwidth, while the 24-bit / 48 khz quality is more than sufficient for the majority, so, although it is interesting, it is not likely iWA will be able to deliver that.

  20. I've been waiting for this tech for many years. For me the key features would be battery life, but most importantly dynamic range.

    I think it's perfect that you want to make it small and portable.
    Batteries that can be charged outside of the unit seam ideal, so we can always keep a spare and instantly swap batteries.

    Great job! Thank you so much in advance! 🙂

    1. Thanks for contributing. For dynamic range, I do not have a final conclusion on it. For battery life, iWA technology has extremely low power consumption, so battery life should be much better than alternatives.

  21. I thought a bit about my main use cases.
    I have two scenarios for the transmitter receiver combo:
    1. retrofitting my favorite headphones with wireless tec
    2. making home studio monitors wireless.

    In both scenarios I would prefer the transmitter to stay connected to power, so I wouldn’t have to worry about multiple devices running out of battery.
    (The Boss WL 20 guitar wireless transmitter can charge while operatIng, which is quite convenient)

    In case of the studio monitors I would like both the receiver and transmitter to be self sufficient and without batteries.
    (For instance a product like the Boss WL 30XLR seems desirable for live gigs, but not the home studio, where „wireless“ is more like a really really nice to have, but I wouldn’t want it at the cost of constantly having to deal with batteries.

    Now I‘m just brain storming, but one solution I would personally find interesting would be a receiver that goes into the monitor‘s power jack, extending it and drawing just enough energy from it to do it’s job and make the speaker wireless.
    Would that even work? 😀

  22. I am extremely eager to see this happen.
    Maybe they could be tapped together for instant pairing? If it reduced inactive waiting and made the process more intuitive and reliable, I think it would be beneficial. I think a perception of unreliability is one of the things holding wireless back.

    1. Yes, I agree. Because wireless is not visual, there need to be a visually understandable process in place with LED indicators to indicate the process. Automatic pairing is what has been implemented in WIDI devices too. So, it is on the list to integrate. Thanks

      1. I have not found WIDI pairing to be seamless, especially with groups. That’s actually why I’m suggesting an alternative simple, manual, and 100% reliable pairing system with clear visual feedback that pairing was successful for iWA!

        1. Thanks for your feedback. Did you find the online start guides before? https://www.cme-pro.com/widi-master-start-guide-bluetooth-midi/

          With pairing you have many options. By factory default, WIDI devices are set to automatically pair to each other and 3rd party Bluetooth MIDI controllers. If you want to pair to an operating system or smart device, you will always need to follow the pairing as inherited from your operating system. This is different for iOS, macOS, Android and Windows.

          The group feature is an advanced feature. It is not something we are currently looking at for iWA. I agree, the involvement of the necessary app that runs on your mobile device, can lead to unwanted behaviour. We try to explain that in the online start guide too: https://www.cme-pro.com/widi-master-start-guide-bluetooth-midi/#tve-jump-1834add1fd2

          Of course, your feedback is well taken and we are always trying to find ways to improve the experience and bypass limitations.

  23. Also, I've had difficulty powering MIDI devices that I converted to wireless with your other devices, so perhaps a battery pack for USB midi devices that attaches to the WIDIUHost would be great too, one day 🙂

    1. You can use standard 5v power banks that are really affordable. As the WIDI Uhost can also supply power to bus-powered MIDI controllers, the required power source depends on that MIDI device, and it is impossible to predict what will work best for you. That is why it was decided to offer a USB-C power port to fit your needs.

  24. I would love a version that has a 1/4" connection so we can use it for guitars or other instruments. Most musicians hate 1/8" (3.5mm) connections.

    1. Thanks for sharing. We did a similar thing with break-out cables for our WIDI Jack. We noticed that still, the 1/8 is selling in much larger quantities compared to the 1/8 variation. Making two different types seems to be economically not feasible at this stage. Nevertheless, if there is a serious demand, it is easily done.

  25. In this order of importance for me:

    2x AA batteries
    1x Li-ion battery
    3x AAA batteries

    Can't wait regardless of final form !

  26. Hello Thomas,

    Very good and interesting information!

    I have a thought about the battery format. Would you be able to use a more space saving "coin size" battery format like a CR 2025 for instance? I use these in my cycling computers, and they seem to last a long time, while powering a color screen map, receiving data from my bicycle sensors, and tracking my route via GPS.
    I don't if there is a battery in this format that would provide the power required for the iWA device, but it's a thought.

    Keep up the good work.

    RayK

    1. Everything is possible. The question is if it is a suitable solution. Let me ask our engineers and mechanical designers. Thanks for sharing.

  27. One thing that comes to mind is the background hiss introduced with analog connections. I have a 2.4ghz transmitter/reciever each 3.5mm analog and the hiss when nothing is playing drives me crazy. With my FiiO BTA30 Pro transmitter using SPDIF there is no hiss, but noticeable delay even in AptX LL. I would suggest maybe adding SPDIF or Optical in (preferably SPDIF) to allow the transmission side to be all digital without hiss introduction.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I’ll share it internally, but I guess the hiss in your analog system might be caused by a bad product. It is not necessarily associated with analog.

  28. For the TX/RX, having an optional extra physical mini remote control would be handy so you can adjust the volume going from a mixer main out when you are walking around. In some venues they don't have great signal so you may not always be able to access the internet to do it via web page. Having a physical remote control would mean you can incorporate wireless features into an older analogue mixer such as controlling the volume of the main L/R out. I think this would be useful for those who don't have digital speakers or a digital mixer but don't want to get rid of their old gear because it is still good and just want to be able to adjust volume from the crowd, or a bar manager needing a way to override things and turn down the PA because its too loud. Also being able to have one TX send the same signal to multiple RX's attached to multiple speakers would be handy too.

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