The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA) has really picked up steam since the start of 2019, and the organization apparently has no intentions of slowing down. Back in June, the association, founded by Summit Wireless Technologies, added Compal (Toshiba) and Fengmi to its TV manufacturer roster. And today, the group announced another new name that’ll be joining their ranks: TPV, which manufactures TVs under the Philips banner. That brings the number of WiSA display members to seven.
As the association continues its aggressive growth strategy, WiSA projected that the number of WiSA Ready TVs will reach more than 20 million by the end of 2020.
“WiSA’s rapid adoption as the de facto standard in wireless, high-resolution audio is apparent with 20 million WiSA Ready TVs anticipated in market in 2020,” Tony Ostrom, president of WiSA, said in a statement. “Speakerless WiSA Ready TVs are anticipated to enter the market in 2020, and when connected with a WiSA USB Transmitter, will seamlessly deliver immersive audio to WiSA Certified sound bars and speaker systems ranging from 2.0 to 5.1 configurations. WiSA is poised to play a critical role as the industry moves in this direction.”
Since its founding a handful of years ago, WiSA has been on a mission to create a wireless home theater standard that is easy to set up, customizable in order to fit the consumer's needs, and audiophile-grade from a performance standpoint. The association is comprised of more than 60 leading consumer electronics brands that include TV makers, speaker manufacturers, gaming brands, and more.
At the time of its founding, WiSA was very much in a position where it had to educate the industry on what the organization had set out to accomplish. We’ve been to several CES’s and other smaller events during these early years (including our own CE Week) where we’ve bumped into Ostrom and his team and have received various updates along the way. And at each of those stops, the membership list slowly got longer and the demos continually improved and impressed.
That legwork early on, spearheaded by Ostrom and his team, has helped shift the narrative a bit for WiSA. In a call with Dealerscope, Ostrom said that, while there’s still plenty of educating that needs to happen, the organization does have brands that seek out membership and the WiSA technology. For those that do still need a WiSA crash course, Ostrom said, it’s mainly “getting them to understand the technology itself and what it requires of their own products.”
One noticeable shift that WiSA has made since its launch is getting into the entry-level arena with some of the WiSA Certified and WiSA Ready product—making adoption of the technology even more seamless and affordable for consumers.
To that end, Ostrom noted that, while WiSA got its start with some premium brands and they’ll continue to look that way as they expand the reach of the technology, the team also needed to find ways to make the technology more accessible.
“Interoperability needs to make sense from a technology perspective in the different TVs and speakers and other equipment we’re expanding to,” he told Dealerscope. “But, as we continue to look at consumer adoption and growing in that regard, interoperability needs to make sense from a price point perspective as well.”
What certainly makes sense, one way or the other, is how brands are willingly (and quickly) hopping on board with WiSA and their technology. In our own experience reviewing WiSA Ready and WiSA Certified product we’ve been blown away. It’s not hard to see why and how the average consumer would feel the same way once they get a little taste of this technology.