Corsair sure does like to expand upon their product base. The company was founded in 1994 and produced only memory for quite a few years. The past five years have seen tremendous growth from the company in terms of SSDs, cases, power supplies, and high end cooling solutions. Corsair also dabbled in sound with a line of successful speakers (though these have not been updated in some time). Corsair is again making another move, but this time with an aime to deliver content around the entire house.
The front of the Roomplayer II is rather bland, but it should hide itself well in nearly any decor.
Simple Audio is a Scottish based company (if it isn't Scottish it's crap!) that designs and sells multimedia streaming solutions. The hardware is the Roomplayer 1 and Roomplayer II units which are high definition media players that are either amplified (forconnecting directly to speakers) or non-amplified to connect to current stereo and home theater systems. Audio is broadcast to these units from iOS enabled devices or PC and Mac computers via software provided by Simple Audio.
Corsair has acquired Simple Audio in a multi-million dollar transaction, but we do not have exact numbers due to Corsair being a privately owned company. From my understanding these products will still carry the Simple Audio name, but Corsair will be the parent company and will distribute the products throughout Asia and North America (two areas that Simple Audio currently does not support).
The back of the Roomplayer I is much more interesting as it has a 50 watt amplifier built-in so it can power speakers independently.
The Roomplayer solutions are apparently quite easy to hook up and their output is very clean (supports up to 24 bit sound natively). As the average consumer is becoming more and more comfortable with setting up a home network, this is an opportunity for both Corsair and Simple Audio to market these products in new regions where overall market penetration of networked home audio is still quite low.
Corsair is a very, very aggressive company when it comes to entering new markets. Their power supplies and cases are perfect examples of how they tend to do business. Corsair actually produces neither of those product lines, but instead relies on contract manufacturing to handle production. What Corsair certainly appears to do well is specify these components very well and handle end product quality control. There really are few overall complaints about Corsair and their products, and as a consumer I do hope that they have another good one on their hands.
The sales numbers will of course be key, and obviously Corsair feels comfortable enough with Simple Audio and their products to buy them up. We are not certain when we expect to see the Simple Audio products on store shelves, but Corsair typically does not screw around.
Now we only have to wonder, "Who is next on Corsair's radar?"