Loewe has launched its first streaming amplifier in the form of the descriptively named multi.room.
The stereo amp is focused on transforming your hi-fi system or home cinema speaker package into a smart, streaming and (as the name may suggest) multi-room-enabled sound system.
The headlining feature here is compatibility with the likes of Apple AirPlay, Google Chromecast, Spotify Connect and DTS Play-Fi, all of which will allow you to stream wirelessly from a mobile device to your system. It will also allow you to group whatever speakers you have hooked up to the amplifier into a multiroom setup, akin to Sonos.
Enough of the smart features for now though, as we want to see what's under the surface with this amplifier. The multi.room is capable of delivering 1200 watts of Class D amplification, with Loewe stating it will deliver "natural, powerful audio" from a selection of sources. This includes CD players, turntables and digital sources over its RCA and USB inputs. There is even support for HDMI ARC, meaning you'll be able to hook this amplifier up to your TV to drive a pair of stereo speakers for home cinema audio.
As for the audio interface, the multi.room features gold-plated banana plugs for connecting passive speakers, while active speakers can be connected via the RCA preamp output, with another RCA socket available for connecting an active subwoofer. The multi.room also features pairing with wireless rear and front multi-channel speakers to expand into a full home cinema system, as well as the latest in wi-fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
As is the case with most of Loewe's product portfolio, the multi.room looks like an understated unit. With a simple wheel-style control panel on the front that invokes similarities to the iPods of yesteryears, overall the design appears to be a rounded matte black box. There does seem to be an LED indicator on the front (we assume to signify power and wireless connectivity).
The Loewe multi.room is set to hit shelves this month, carrying a retail price of £999 (around $1250 / AU$1900). This is a fair bit more than the Wiim Pro Plus amp that we covered recently, which also features a lot of streaming smarts, stereo amplification and HDMI ARC support; but at just £299 / $299 it's a lot cheaper.
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