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WiSA SoundSend Review (using with Beolab 20)

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jabell
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jabell posted on Sun, Mar 21 2021 6:42 AM

Hi,

I wanted to share my disappointing experience with my newly purchased WiSA SoundSend transmitter.

Background:

I'm currently using a pair of BL20s as a 2.0 system with a non-B&O TV. In order to establish a wireless connection, I was previously using a Transmitter 1 connected to a Celadon USB IR Receiver (RCV3000) for volume control - no Core needed. However, the TL1+IR receiver could not decode Dolby Digital/Atmos. It was this reason that prompted my purchase of the SoundSend since it can decode the aforementioned audio formats. At the end of the day, why purchase $15k speakers if you can't enjoy Dolby Digital?

Experience:

I received my new SoundSend this afternoon. Set-up was easy enough: simply plugged it into the HDMI ARC port and downloaded the app. The TV automatically recognized the SoundSend and defaulted to it as the primary audio output. The TV also enabled Anynet+ so I could use my TV's remote for volume control - nice! From there, the SoundSend set-up was fairly easy. I pressed the reset buttons on the BL20s to get them into pairing mode and the SoundSend recognized them quickly. I configured the speaker placement on the app and I was done! 

I decided to run the TV non-stop for about 5 hours in order to test any syncing or signal issues. I tested multiple sources:

1. Cable Box: ATT U-Verse

This was the first source I tried. It was wonderful for the first 45 minutes or so. Then, all of a sudden, the BL20s turned off for about 3 seconds and then turned back on, right in the middle of the movie. This continued to happen about once every 45 minutes - 1 hour. About half of the time this happened, when the speakers would turn back on, sometimes only ONE speaker would continue to play... even though the 2nd speaker was powered on. When this happened, I would need to change the audio output back to using the internal TV speakers, and then back to ARC (SoundSend) again. This usually fixed the issue, but other times it did not and I would have to turn the TV off and on again. This is a very frustrating experience and not acceptable.

2. Native Apps on my Smart TV: Disney+

When viewing any content, only 1 speaker played audio. The second speaker remained powered on, but no sound would come out. I could not fix this issue. 

3. Apple Airplay

This is by far the most frustrating issue, especially since music is what I use the speakers most for. My Smart TV has Airplay built-in, so I figured I would not have any issues streaming music. Well, I don't know why this happens, but once I connect to the TV via Airplay, and right when I press the "play" button on my Apple Music app on my iPhone, both BL20s immediately power off, then immediately power back on again, all within 2 seconds, and then proceed to play the song like nothing happened. Once I decide to pick another song to play, the same thing happens all over again. So, I essentially miss the first 2 seconds of every song that I attempt to play, not to mention my concern of possible long-term damage that this could cause to the speakers.

 

So, unless someone has any solutions or recommendations, I will most likely be returning the SoundSend and reverting back to the Transmitter 1/IR receiver combo. 

I hope someone finds this information useful. Perhaps this is just a one-off occurrence (faulty SoundSend perhaps?), but the reviews of the SoundSend on the Apple App Store say otherwise...

 

Thanks for reading.

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mbolo01
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Thanks for the review, Soundsend is on my wishlist for when it will be available in my country.

Hopefully the Wisa team will help you addressing your issues, I found them responsive to my questions prior to the product launch.

Keep us posted please .... if you don’t return it.

BS Moment, BS Core, BG 4002, BC 4500, BS1, BL18, BL19, BL8000 + RCV1, A6, M5, M3, A1, P6 (tks Botty), H5, TR1

Millemissen
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jabell:

Hi,

I wanted to share my disappointing experience with my newly purchased WiSA SoundSend transmitter.

Background:

I'm currently using a pair of BL20s as a 2.0 system with a non-B&O TV. In order to establish a wireless connection, I was previously using a Transmitter 1 connected to a Celadon USB IR Receiver (RCV3000) for volume control - no Core needed. However, the TL1+IR receiver could not decode Dolby Digital/Atmos. It was this reason that prompted my purchase of the SoundSend since it can decode the aforementioned audio formats. At the end of the day, why purchase $15k speakers if you can't enjoy Dolby Digital?

I am just curious - why would you be interested in ‘Dolby Digital/Atmos’, when your setup is 2-channel based (the BL18’s)?

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Curly
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Curly replied on Sun, Mar 21 2021 12:13 PM

I’m wondering if you absolutely require going wireless. For a 2.0 system on a TV, I’m guessing all components are located near each other? Maybe wires would be acceptable. If so, your best bet would be an S8 connection hub.

Good luck!

Currently: BeoLab 17, BeoLab 18, BeoSound Core, BeoPlay S8 Connection Hub, Essence Remote

Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

CB
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CB replied on Sun, Mar 21 2021 1:11 PM
mbolo01:
Soundsend is on my wishlist for when it will be available in my country.

https://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/1924138446.htm
mbolo01
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Louannec - France
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CB:

https://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/1924138446.htm

Interesting, merci.

BS Moment, BS Core, BG 4002, BC 4500, BS1, BL18, BL19, BL8000 + RCV1, A6, M5, M3, A1, P6 (tks Botty), H5, TR1

jabell
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jabell replied on Thu, Mar 25 2021 1:52 AM

mbolo01:
Thanks for the review, Soundsend is on my wishlist for when it will be available in my country.

 

 

Hopefully the Wisa team will help you addressing your issues, I found them responsive to my questions prior to the product launch.

 

 

Keep us posted please .... if you don’t return it.

Thanks for the suggestion. I just emailed their support team, so hopefully they can provide a solution. I will keep you updated.

 

 

My experience has gotten worse: as of right now, audio only plays out of 1 speaker. 

jabell
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jabell replied on Thu, Mar 25 2021 1:54 AM

Millemissen:

jabell:

Hi,

I wanted to share my disappointing experience with my newly purchased WiSA SoundSend transmitter.

Background:

I'm currently using a pair of BL20s as a 2.0 system with a non-B&O TV. In order to establish a wireless connection, I was previously using a Transmitter 1 connected to a Celadon USB IR Receiver (RCV3000) for volume control - no Core needed. However, the TL1+IR receiver could not decode Dolby Digital/Atmos. It was this reason that prompted my purchase of the SoundSend since it can decode the aforementioned audio formats. At the end of the day, why purchase $15k speakers if you can't enjoy Dolby Digital?

I am just curious - why would you be interested in ‘Dolby Digital/Atmos’, when your setup is 2-channel based (the BL18’s)?

MM

I thought Dolby Digital was able to be experienced through a 2.0 system, but it sounds like that is an incorrect assumption based on your response. Pardon my ignorance! :)

 

jabell
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jabell replied on Thu, Mar 25 2021 1:59 AM

Curly:

I’m wondering if you absolutely require going wireless. For a 2.0 system on a TV, I’m guessing all components are located near each other? Maybe wires would be acceptable. If so, your best bet would be an S8 connection hub.

Good luck!

Ah! Great recommendation. Although I prefer going wireless for aesthetic reasons, I believe the old fashioned route (using wires) is best. I did some quick research and it seems like the S8 connection hub is capable of volume control, so that takes care of one hurdle. Does the S8 connect to the TV via optical? And does the S8 hub offer enough ports to accommodate 2 Powerlink cable inputs from both of my BL20s? Thank you!

Millemissen
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Flensborg, Denmark
14,089 Posts
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jabell:

Millemissen:

jabell:

Hi,

I wanted to share my disappointing experience with my newly purchased WiSA SoundSend transmitter.

Background:

I'm currently using a pair of BL20s as a 2.0 system with a non-B&O TV. In order to establish a wireless connection, I was previously using a Transmitter 1 connected to a Celadon USB IR Receiver (RCV3000) for volume control - no Core needed. However, the TL1+IR receiver could not decode Dolby Digital/Atmos. It was this reason that prompted my purchase of the SoundSend since it can decode the aforementioned audio formats. At the end of the day, why purchase $15k speakers if you can't enjoy Dolby Digital?

I am just curious - why would you be interested in ‘Dolby Digital/Atmos’, when your setup is 2-channel based (the BL18’s)?

MM

I thought Dolby Digital was able to be experienced through a 2.0 system, but it sounds like that is an incorrect assumption based on your response. Pardon my ignorance! :)

 

No problem!

Dolby Digital is a way to shrink the files - a bit like MP3 - and offers a lossy quality.....it can be used with a 2 channel file, a multi channel file, even with a mono channel.

Dolby Atmos is basicly only available together with a multi channel (= more than 2) sound file - Dolby Digital Plus from streaming services, Dolby TrueHD from Bluray discs.

For a 2 channel based setup it will always be best to use the option PCM in the source (the tv).

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

jabell
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In case anyone is interested, I reached out to Jeff Noah (WiSA Product Manager for SoundSend). He was very informative, but it sounds like there are still some kinks to work out:

 

Jeffery:

You are the first to point out (and we appreciate it!) that the "slow start" of playback is far more detrimental to the "music listening" experience than watching a movie or TV show - which should have been obvious to us but for some reason that never clicked.

A previous B&O customer (18's) had a bit more bizarre behavior with his speakers, and we unfortunately updated several things at once, so we don't know what actually improved the issue of the speakers disconnecting with every second or third channel change and sometimes at random.

We had replaced the other customer's SoundSend with a unit programmed with newer firmware (1.21), and his speakers were updated to the latest B&O firmware. The B&O Lifestyle rep also updated the Summit Wireless Receiver Module firmware in both his speakers. At this point, his speakers no longer exhibited the issue of disconnecting randomly or upon some channel changes.

Let me point out that these updates will not fix the delay at the start of playback. We are working to identify a solution to eliminate this delay upon initial playback or content change and will let you know when we have a solution.

In the meantime, we do recommend you contact your B&O Lifestyle representative and see if they can provide updated firmware for your speakers if any is available.

Regards,

Jeffery

Jeff Noah
WiSA Product Manager
jabell
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In case anyone is interested, I reached out to Jeff Noah (WiSA Product Manager for SoundSend). He was very informative, but it sounds like there are still some kinks to work out:

 

Jeffery:

You are the first to point out (and we appreciate it!) that the "slow start" of playback is far more detrimental to the "music listening" experience than watching a movie or TV show - which should have been obvious to us but for some reason that never clicked.

A previous B&O customer (18's) had a bit more bizarre behavior with his speakers, and we unfortunately updated several things at once, so we don't know what actually improved the issue of the speakers disconnecting with every second or third channel change and sometimes at random.

We had replaced the other customer's SoundSend with a unit programmed with newer firmware (1.21), and his speakers were updated to the latest B&O firmware. The B&O Lifestyle rep also updated the Summit Wireless Receiver Module firmware in both his speakers. At this point, his speakers no longer exhibited the issue of disconnecting randomly or upon some channel changes.

Let me point out that these updates will not fix the delay at the start of playback. We are working to identify a solution to eliminate this delay upon initial playback or content change and will let you know when we have a solution.

In the meantime, we do recommend you contact your B&O Lifestyle representative and see if they can provide updated firmware for your speakers if any is available.

Regards,

Jeffery

Jeff Noah
WiSA Product Manager
jabell
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It's worth noting that Jeff Noah also mentioned that the Axiim Link does not exhibit the startup delay as with the SoundSend. 

 

I have returned the SoundSend and placed an order for the Axiim Link. I will report back shortly with results. 

jabell
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It's also worth noting that Jeff Noah said the Axiim Link does not exhibit the startup delay as with the SoundSend.

 

I have returned the SoundSend and purchased an Axiim Link. Will report back shortly with results. 

Curly
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Curly replied on Sat, Apr 3 2021 6:27 PM

For a simple 2.0 or 2.1 system to a non-B&O TV, I think the S8 connection hub is a great option. The hub connects to the TV via Toslink optical. You connect one speaker to the hub via Powerlink and connect the speakers to each other via PL as well. You use the R and L switch on each speaker to assign left and right channel. You don’t actually connect both speakers to the hub, you connect them to each other and just one of them to the hub. And yes, the hub allows you to use your TV remote to volume up, down and mute the speakers.

As for sound codecs, you’ll be limited to whatever your TV outputs over Toslink Digital Out. You can check your particular TV specs to see what that is but it will not be Dolby Atmos, I know that much. I’m pretty certain no TVs output Atmos over Toslink; I think you’d need some type of external AVR for that. If that matters to you. 

I hope this helps! 

Currently: BeoLab 17, BeoLab 18, BeoSound Core, BeoPlay S8 Connection Hub, Essence Remote

Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

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