DTS Play-Fi

DTS Play-Fi

Now with DTS Play-Fi, you will be able to join together hi-fi kit from different manufacturers.

For most, the first thing that comes into our minds when someone mentions the word ‘multi-room’ is Sonos. With its interlinking speakers, soundbars and soundbases, Sonos is probably one of the best-known. Bose as well do have an multi-room family in which their devices can be linked.

Have you ever thought about mixing and matching hi-fi devices from different manufacturers in order to get the best performance and fit in each room? If so, DTS Play-Fi has made it possible! It is said that it ‘provides premium wireless audio for every room of your house” and will work with a wide range of products.

DTS Play-Fi is an app that allows you to connect and control different hi-fi devices at the same time to stream audio. This includes a multi-room channel setup or for more than one room within your home.

Launched in 2012, DTS Play-Fi was originally available on Android devices only. However, is now available on iOS, Kindle fire and Windows PCs.

How it works:

Firstly, download/open the app and a life of available devices should appear. When you tap it, you’re then able to choose audio from a number of sources such as, Amazon  Music, Tidal, Deezer and Spotify. Internet radio stations are also included. Some DTS Play-Fi devices do support AiPlay which is Apples way of streaming audio and video from iPhones and other devices. This feature is not available in every DTS Play-Fi products just like Apple Music is yet still not available as a source to stream music through.

There are so many features that can be done within the app. For example, you are able to configure two speakers into a stereo pairing which would meaning one would play the left channel audio and the other would play the right. This can also be done if you’ve got at least six DTS Play-Fi compatible products you can create a 5.1 surround-sound system.

Speaker groups would be set up as zones which allows you to pick which music source plays on which devices. For example, you’re able to play Deezer in one room and Spotify in another.

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Hi-Res Music

DTS Play-Fi can play files such as, MP3, M4A, AAC, FLAC, WAV, and AIFF. These files can be streamed up to 16bit/48 kHz resolution limit without being compressed. However, if a bigger file is streamed then it would get compressed automatically.

This option can be changed when changing the service’s in Critical Listening mode. This would let you stream 24bit/192 kHz music across your wifi network. If you are looking to stream 24bit/192 kHz then it is advised you a wired connection for more reliable performance as these files are really large.

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Products that support Play-Fi

There are many products that support Play-Fi. These include soundbars, systems and speakers from the following:

Definitive Technology, Integra, Polk, Klipsch, MartinLogan, Onkyo, Paradigm, Rotel, Phorus, Pioneer, Soundcast and Thiel.

Amount of products that can be connected when using DTS Play-Fi

There is no limit of the number of devices you would like to connect. However, DTS do recommend a maximum of 32 Play-Fi devices per home network as lest performance devices start to suffer.

Up to 16 Play-Fi products can stream the same song from your phones, tablet or Windows PC. You can link a maximum of four zones and make each zone play from a different audio source. When using DTS Play-Fi, up to 8 people can use the same wi-fi network to stream songs as long as they’re using different devices.

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Voice control

DTS Play-Fi has started to support Alexa (Amazon’s voice assistant) which is found in Amazon’s Echo range. This feature can be used in two ways. First being, doing an integration of Alexa Voice Services which is for products with the Alexa voice assistant built-in or using devices which work with Alexa. This would mean you’d be able to control Alexa-based music streams on DTS Play-Fi products.

It is yet still unclear on whether or not we can use the voice assistant to send music to specific speakers or zones.

Advantages

The main advantage of the Play-Fi is its versatility. The fact that you’re able to connect devices from different manufacturers would mean you’re not limited into a particular brand.

Also, the fact that because it works with more expensive products (usually uses means it provides superior sound quality) should result in better sound than more affordable one-brand alternatives.

DTS Play-Fi also have more mainstream platforms such as AirPlay 2 or Google Chromecast which streams audio at 24bit/192kHz.

Disadvantages

The PC app is limited to CD-quality output whereas iOS and Android provide hi-res capabilities.

Lacks Bluetooth support within products that utilise DTS Play-Fi.

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Alternatives

There are so many other brands that have their own services which allow people to connect their products together through the brands app. Bluesound and Sonos both won What Hi-Fi? Awards in their multi-room categories.

Other brands such as Audio Pro, B&O, Bose’s SoundTouch and Denon’s HEOS range all have their own multi-room feature too.

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