Canadian speaker maker PSB launches new powered Alpha iQ model


Classic Canadian speaker maker PSB just celebrated its 50e Anniversary and now it’s looking to the future with a brand new pair of powered streaming speakers, the Alpha iQ. The new speakers work with BluOS to create an all-in-one audio system for a modern, clutter-free, audiophile-grade solution.

Comprised of two bookshelf speakers with built-in amplifiers and a network streamer based on the award-winning BluOS multi-room music platform, the Alpha iQ lets listeners experience PSB’s “True to Nature” sound with over 20 streaming services and hundreds of Internet Radio Stations. Alpha iQ speakers feature a wide range of inputs, so users can connect sources such as a turntable, TV, CD player, or even a game console. Listeners can share music on a home network with up to 63 other BluOS compatible components.

Setting up and using the Alpha iQ is simple. Simply plug the speakers into a power outlet, then connect the Alpha iQ to a home network using the BluOS Controller app on a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. Once done, the speakers are ready to play music from over 20 BluOS-supported streaming services, including several that offer Hi-Res audio, such as Amazon Music Ultra HD, Deezer, Qobuz and Tidal. BluOS also offers access to hundreds of internet radio stations covering all musical genres.

The Alpha iQ has built-in two-way Bluetooth, supporting the high-quality aptX-HD codec for wireless streaming from a mobile device. Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility allows users to stream music in CD resolution from any iPhone, iPad or Mac app. Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect are also supported, so listeners can select music from apps for those services and then transfer playback to the Alpha iQ.

The left and right speakers communicate wirelessly instead of a passive wired connection, and the system can cover most rooms in an average-sized home so the music stays in sync and clear, no matter what. where the speakers are placed.

Available in Satin White and Satin Black finishes, Alpha iQ speakers include a 4″ polypropylene woofer with steel basket and rubber surround, and a 0.75″ aluminum dome tweeter with neodymium magnet and ferrofluid damping.

Each woofer has its own 60W Class-D amplifier, while each tweeter has its own 30W Class-D amp, giving a total system power of 180W. tuned and a DSP-compatible low-frequency extension, PSB’s Alpha iQ speakers can deliver much more bass output than their physical size would indicate.

The Alpha iQ uses an active DSP-based crossover. As with many PSB designs, the tweeter is positioned below the woofer for greater flexibility in listener position, as the mix between woofer and tweeter remains consistent whether the listener is seated or standing.

Alpha iQ’s audiophile-grade DAC supports resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz and features full MQA decoding and rendering capability for high-res streaming from Tidal. BluOS also allows listeners to enjoy four stations with high resolution MQA encoded music from Radio Paradise.

The Alpha iQ has a wide range of inputs and outputs. The main speaker has a built-in MM phono preamp, RCA jacks and a ground terminal, so vinyl fans can hook up a turntable. An HDMI ARC port allows users to enjoy sound with TV and movies. There’s also an optical input for connecting a record player or game console, as well as a 3.5mm auxiliary input for connecting analog sources. Listeners can also use the BluOS app to play music files stored on an external drive connected to the Alpha iQ’s USB port.

For nighttime listening, listeners can connect a pair of headphones to the optical/headphone combo jack or via two-way Bluetooth. For enhanced bass there is a subwoofer output. When a subwoofer is connected, BluOS engages a low pass filter for the sub and a high pass filter for the mains, which saves the Alpha iQ from having to produce deep bass sounds.

Listeners can manage the operation of Alpha iQ using the BluOS Controller app, available for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. Touch controls sit on top of the main speaker for making quick settings without using the app to change volume and pause and resume playback. Using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri, voice control is also possible.

Like all BluOS-enabled components, PSB’s Alpha iQ BluOS powered speakers can be integrated into popular smart home systems including Control4, Crestron, ELAN, RTI and URC. IR command learning is available for listeners who use harmonized remote controls to operate multiple A/V devices.

Price and availability: The PSB Alpha iQ can be pre-ordered from today and costs $1,499 / £1,299 / €1,499. Retail availability will begin in late November 2022.

More information:

Technical specifications:

  • 4″ polypropylene midrange woofer with steel basket and rubber surround.
  • 0.75″ aluminum dome tweeter with neodymium magnet and ferrofluid cooling.
  • Fully active design, with DSP filter and dedicated amplifiers for each speaker: 60W for each woofer and 30W for each tweeter.
  • Tuned port and DSP-enabled bass extension for excellent LF performance.
  • Low-latency wireless connection between primary and secondary speakers for tangle-free setup.
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Built-in network streamer based on the award-winning BluOS multi-room music platform.
  • Built-in support for over 20 streaming services, many of which offer lossless, high-resolution audio.
  • Music can be played through up to 63 additional BluOS compatible components.
  • Audiophile-grade DAC with a maximum resolution of 24-bit/192kHz.
  • MQA decoding and rendering capability for high resolution streaming from Tidal.
  • Apple AirPlay 2 support for streaming from iPhone, iPad and Mac.
  • Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect.
  • MM phono, HDMI eARC, optical and auxiliary inputs.
  • USB port for connecting an external player containing music files.
  • Subwoofer output with DSP-compatible low-pass and high-pass filters.
  • Support for Control4, Crestron, ELAN, RTI and URC home control systems.
  • Support for Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice control.
  • IR learning capability to operate the Alpha iQ with matched remotes.

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