September 8, 2008 Having the convenience of wireless audio set-up doesn't necessarily mean investing in a whole new sound system. Shown recently at IFA in Berlin and CEDIA in Denver, JBL's On Air WEM-1 Wireless Expansion Module solves the problem by enabling any speaker to operate wirelessly up to a range of around 70 feet. The USD$359 expansion system consists of a transmitter module which connects to the audio source (this includes portable media players), a receiver/amplifier unit that connects to a pair of speakers and a remote control. The company has also introduced two new subwoofer units that incorporate the same technology - the 400-watt ES250PW and the 300-watt ES150PW.
Operating in the 2.4GHz frequency range and with four selectable channels, the On Air WEM-1 Wireless Expansion Module is designed to allow the simple addition of surround sound or multi-room versatility to an existing system or as a means of turning your PMP or computer into a home stereo. The receiver/amplifier unit includes a local input to cater for media players and features a 50-watt-per-channel amplifier, equalization controls and a subwoofer output that enables the set-up of a 2.1-channel satellite/subwoofer audio system. The unit is due for release this month.
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JBL's other new release - the ES Series ES250PW and ES150PW wireless powered subwoofers also operate in the 2.4GHz frequency range and promise big sound via polymer-coated-cellulose-fiber woofer cones (10 and 12 inch respectively) designed to deliver "superior articulation and higher playback levels" and a specially shaped bass port tuned to the woofer and enclosure. The JBL ES250PW costs USD$729 and the ES150PW costs $599.