Zona Home Audio Link (HAL) System
Aperion Audio just hit a grand slam home run to win the home theatre and wireless audio world series. The Zona Home Audio Link (HAL) System is so good that I hope the company never tries to improve upon it.
Here is how it works. Connect the SEND unit to your audio source via the USB or audio cable. When using an audio cable, connect and plug in the power adapter. All cables and plug are included. Then connect the RECEIVE unit to the amplifier that powers your speaker system. Activate Zona’s proprietary wireless connection by pressing a center button on each of HAL’s small, round, black units. Almost instantly both units light up and your audio stream is live, with highest quality sound traveling wirelessly up to 100 feet from SEND to RECEIVE.
One SEND can handle multiple RECEIVE signals, including pair(s) of Aperion’s high value $500 Zona Wireless Speakers. Additional RECEIVE units can be purchased for $70 each for multi-zone environments, including a sub-woofer.
Free shipping is available, as is free lifetime tech support. Aperion products have a one-year warranty, with a 30-day risk free home audition policy. This is a top tier home theatre and premium audio company
Answers to two of your questions. HAL and Aperion have a wireless network protocol that works independently of WiFi or AirPort, without any interference. No user-installed software is required. You will need to configure your computer’s Sound Output preference to use HAL and not the internal speakers or headphone jack.
In practical use, there is no difference in performance using HAL between computer-powered USB and AC-powered mini stereo cable operation. I’m using a SEND unit to transmit Pandora and MOG Internet music streams from an iPod touch to both a Zona Wireless Speaker System and a RECEIVE unit that is connected to my home stereo system.
Don’t look for HAL or Zona at your local shopping mall. Aperion controls every facet of distribution by shipping directly from manufacturer to consumer. The company is very easy to work with, and has good customer service and support. You won’t need much of the latter.
This HAL is actually HAL.v.2, or HAL2, or HAL-II. It improves on an earlier similar product released previously, but Aperion now refers to the new version simply as Zona HAL.
One month ago, Aperion Audio’s product development manager wrote to me, saying:
“I was thinking that in your home you could use your existing Cambridge speaker system as a second zone, that way you wouldn’t need to split up the Zona speakers between you and your wife. Now with HAL II each of you can have your own system and share your music.”
It gets better:
“The HAL II is a bit different than our previous version in that you can connect many more RECEIVE units to one SEND unit. Actually, the SEND unit broadcasts the audio channel, so technically you can connect unlimited RECEIVE units (or Zona speakers) within broadcast range of the SEND unit.
“The SEND unit has a three color LED: Blue, Green, and Red. Each color represents a different broadcast channel and each channel will not interfere with the other two. The beauty of the three broadcast channels is that you can have three different sources streaming at the same time in the same room without interference.
“For example, one SEND unit transmitting to a pair of Zona speakers on the Red LED channel, a separate HAL II Send unit transmitting Pandora radio from another PC to two other HAL II RECEIVE units on the Blue LED channel, and finally another HAL II being used in the home theater room transmitting to a powered subwoofer on the Green LED channel.
“There are really so many options with HAL II versus our old HAL unit that could only transmit to three RECEIVE units with only one source at a time.”
He is correct. During a month of daily use of Aperion’s new HAL, Zona speakers, and my existing stereo system, both Barbara and I have experienced flawless, superb audio from our Pandora and MOG streams. Our house and patio sound as good as the best concert hall.
My wife is a “techno-terror” (her words), because “everything I touch goes wrong, John. Tell that to your readers and to the great people who sent the wireless thingamabobs.” If Barbara can use and appreciate HAL and Zona, so will you. Get it, set it, and forget it!
We award Aperion Audio’s HAL SEND/RECEIVE combo our highest score, a perfect 10 our of 10 rating.
Here is our original MyMac rave review of Aperion Audio’s Zona Wireless Speaker System.
Here is HAL’s specifications and FAQ page.