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.
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.
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 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
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.
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