January 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm

The Secret Sauce Inside Pure’s Sonos-Like Internet Music Speakers

pure jongo

As we predicted last month (sign up for more predictions), the home music war is getting real in 2014.

Pure joins the rest of today’s music announcements from CES with additions to its line of Sonos-like wireless speakers for the home, plus important new firmware to improve its sound quality.

Like Sonos, Pure’s Jongo speakers require the use of a special app on the iPhone or Android, or you can control it from your computer (the company says, “any music-streaming service, including Pandora, Rdio, Deezer, and Spotify”), while the music comes out of the speakers wirelessly. Pure already offered some of these speakers. At CES 2014, it unveiled a $300 50-watt T4 model and an Apple Airport Express-like speakerless module for connecting to speakers (Jongo T640B), and implemented a new version of Caskeid, its proprietary technology for keeping multiple speakers in sync, whether in different rooms or the same room.

Sonos, which beat every other company in the world to wireless home audio and now finds itself among a sea of competitors (perhaps none so direct as Pure), told me years ago that the reason it wasn’t worried about Apple AirPlay is that Sonos’ system uses Mesh networking — outside of your Wifi network — to keep its audio in perfect sync. In other words, this sort of synchronization is Sonos’ secret sauce.

Pure maintains that its new multi-speaker Caskeid technology maintains “a level of synchronization only [usually] possible with wired systems,” which is why this new firmware is a big deal.

Sonos has had perfect speaker synchronization for years, and sounds great across its entire line.

We have yet to hear Pure’s new system, although we hope to post a review soon, as well as to find out more about how Caskeid works.

Read more about why 2014 is the year for connected home audio.