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Mass Fidelity Launches the raD, a Rugged Wireless Hi-Fi Speaker

Mass Fidelity is a crowdfunding success story with a few products under their belt in their Core speaker system, which uses acoustic tricks to expand its soundstage. In other words, they’re good at getting a surround sound effect from a single speaker — so good that they got enough money to make more speakers. Today, they’re launching an Indiegogo campaign for the raD, a similar speaker that can take some outdoors punishment.

Like their Core speaker, Mass Fidelity’s raD packs five speakers into a pretty small unit — four 1.5″ drivers and a 3″ bass driver. Mass Fidelity has managed to shrink down the case around those speakers, making raD pretty tiny at 5″ x 4.75″ x 3″. Each driver is powered by its own amp, but the frequency response is only between 75 Hz and 20kHz, so fans of that sub-bass might want to look elsewhere — or not, because Mass Fidelity just so happens to sell a pretty good external subwoofer, too. All in all, the raD’s smaller size means it’s not quite as powerful as their original Core speaker.

The hook is the company’s radial dispersion technology, which makes sound waves from the individual drivers bounce off each other in a way that makes those intersection points virtual speakers. Sounds weird, but it helps expand the sound and make individual instruments sound clearer. New to the raD specifically is an IPX5 rating, which makes the speaker resistant to splashes and rain (and unrated for dust and particles, so it might not be suitable for the beach).

The raD speaker, like the company’s Core speakers, can be connected wirelessly to other units. Up to eight units, including the raD, the Core, and the Sub, can be connected using a private 5 GHz Wi-Fi network — that limits range, so they’ll likely only be useful for a single-room setup. The speakers connect to phones using a Bluetooth or wired 3.5 mm connection, and aptX and AAC help ensure streaming over Bluetooth doesn’t hurt the sound quality too much. There’s also a USB port on the back to charge phones. According to the company, the raD has an eight-hour battery life and takes two hours to recharge.

The raD is available for preorder on Indiegogo now. The first 100 units cost $150, the next 250 will cost $170, and the rest of the preorders will be $190. After the Indiegogo campaign, raD will retail for $300. Mass Fidelity expects raD to ship in April of next year.

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  1. “Up to eight units, including the raD, the Core, and the Sub, can be connected using a private 5 GHz Wi-Fi network — that limits range, so they’ll likely only be useful for a single-room setup.” — 100 meters from transmitter to receiver, to be exact.

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