Behringer announces OMNI series, brings your legacy gear to the AirPlay party

Behringer made a bit of a splash as CES last year with its oversized iPhone dock, this year it's keeping things a little more front-room friendly. Launching its new OMNI system, the audio maker hopes to bring a little AirPlay magic to your house, without excluding some of your legacy hardware. The system consists of modular elements that let you add your passive speakers into the mix, as well as work together as a whole. More specifically, the OMNI SP3 and SP5i units are all-in-one 2.1 systems, and there's a dedicated subwoofer too. But, if you don't have or want their own breed, you can bring in your own. The OMNI Amp is a 2 x 40W stereo amplifier and AirPlay receiver that lets you play your music with your existing passive bookshelf or floor-mounted gear, and active speakers can be looped into the AirPlay party with the OMNI link box. The speakers are provisionally set to cost $249 (for the SP3i) and $349 (for the SP5i and sub), while the amp and link boxes will likely set you back $199 and $129 respectively. No word on the official launch date, but head on over to the press release for more info.

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BEHRINGER Introduces OMNI System with AirPlay

New IP-Based Wireless Consumer Audio System to Bridge Gap Between New and Old Components on Display at Consumer Electronics Show 2013
(Seattle) January 3, 2013 – At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, BEHRINGER will unveil its new OMNI System, which utilizes Apple's AirPlay technology to create an audiophile-grade home music experience that is both easy to set up and affordable. Designed as a total home audio system, OMNI supports streaming audio from iOS devices and iTunes® directly to the SP3i/SP5i active loudspeakers using your existing Wi-Fi network. It also supports the use of legacy speakers through the addition of the OMNI LINK or AMP to drive existing active or passive speakers, safeguarding your investment in existing technology.

"The days of expensive, hard-wired audio systems are officially over," says Costa Lakoumentas, SVP of Marketing. "Thanks to wireless technology and BEHRINGER innovation, consumers can now link new and old systems to create their own personal broadcast empire without spending a fortune." Lakoumentas continues, "The OMNI system allows music to be streamed to individual or multiple speakers at the same time, creating a seamless sound-field that will fill nearly any home. The ability to connect existing speakers into the OMNI ecosystem allows owners to retain prized audio equipment."

Aesthetically pleasing, OMNI loudspeakers are designed to meld with their environment, so as not to detract from even the most sophisticated décor, and are available in either a black or white hand-buffed lacquer piano-style finish or uniquely-appointed, stitched synthetic leather. Both the SP3i and SP5i offer a fully immersive listening experience suitable for all musical genres and tastes, while the optional OMNI SUB can be added for explosive bass response sure to satisfy even the most demanding listener.

OMNI System components include:

OMNI Amp: 2 x 40-Watt amplifier for use with existing passive speakers
OMNI Link: an industry-first stereo receiver for any active amplified system
OMNI SP3i: active 3-way speaker system with 4" integral subwoofer-crisp, clean sound at high volume
OMNI SP5i: active 3-way speaker system with 6" integral subwoofer-deep, rich sound at high volume
OMNI Surface: active 3-way, flat-panel, wall-mount loudspeakers