Lode Audio Ltd was formed in late 2012 by founding directors with considerable experience in the custom install industry. The team wanted to create a music platform that offered not just convenience and ease of install, but a high quality approach to the end product: the music!
The team at Lode identified a number of areas where they felt the offering to installers could be improved and set about creating a road map of products to fill the voids they felt were present.
With distributed audio solutions for residential installations being one of the most significant areas of revenue for the sector, combined with what the team felt was a lack of real choice, they decided it made sense for Lode to focus on this space.
Lode launched its first audio product (the LS1) in July 2013. The idea behind this product was to allow integration between the Sonos platform and home automation control systems.
In building the LS1 however, the Lode team came to the conclusion that the Sonos platform in the high-end residential space had some considerable limitations and also felt that none of the competing products were able to tick many of the boxes required by installers.
Lode then went on to build its own music server, providing a number of technical solutions to existing issues currently faced by the market focusing on quality of audio, combined with integration capabilities for building automation.
Lode says it has approached the industry from a different perspective to other manufacturers. The background of the team behind the brand is enterprise software development combined with a passion for Hi-Fi, providing a high-level of reliability, particularly on the software and the ability to enter the market for the long haul.
Lode also says it drives development based on market demand and has an innovative voting feature available on the company website for installers to vote for features and integrations that they would like to see added.
Lode uses this feedback to prioritise development and provide the market with the solutions that they need rather than assumptions made as a manufacturer.
Lode believes strongly that it understands that performance is key to the end user experience and rather than falling into the pitfall of using the same protocols for two-way control.
The manufacturer took a different approach and built its own control API, offering a light weight, high performance control mechanism for its products, delivering performance that it believes is faster than other platforms.
The company has many endorsements from some significant industry partners to back up its claims.
Pål Bråtelund, strategic partnership manager at streaming service Tidal, says: “The Lode Audio platform is one of the few multi-room audio systems that hails performance as its primary aim. It is extremely important that we work with like- minded companies and this integration in particular highlights the importance of high quality music streaming to the custom installation market.”
One of the core technologies behind Lode is LodeNet, Lode’s own audio over IP distribution protocol, designed to offer low latency high definition audio distribution over a network.
LodeNet is in fact a digital audio matrix which sits on the LAN network, enabling installers to scale up to 64 Lode zones on a network with synchronised playback for any combination of zones without the need of an external matrix.
Lode is not stopping there however, the company is expanding its product range in early 2016 to provide additional solutions such as digital outputs, a single-zone solution, digital and analogue input capabilities for LodeNet and built-in amplification.
Lode’s current four zone server the LA4, provides users with four zones of audio expandable up to 64 zones, integration with locally stored music, Internet radio and many of the top streaming services that provide the best audio experience, with more currently being integrated. Lode has also developed drivers for Crestron, AMX, Control4 and RTI and is actively looking at other platforms.