Corsair buys up Scottish audio firm

Looks like launching its own speakers and headphones was only the beginning. In a low-key announcement yesterday, Corsair revealed that it has acquired Simple Audio, a Scottish purveyor of networked audio devices, in a "multi-million dollar deal."

Never heard of Simple Audio? Neither had we. The firm's first product came out just last year, and it's currently available only in the United Kingdom. Dubbed the Roomplayer, the device lets you stream music from PCs, Macs, and iOS devices to a home-theater sound system via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or power-line networking. It's kind of like an Apple TV for audio—and it even looks the part:

The deal won't see the Roomplayer rolled into Corsair's product line, strangely enough. Corsair says it wants Simple Audio to "achieve further brand recognition and respect with music lovers around the world." Along those lines, Simple Audio will continue to "develop and market [its] range of music streaming products" from its headquarters in Glasgow. The investment from Corsair should, however, help the firm broaden its reach. Simple Audio founder and CEO Peter Murphy talks of plans to bring his company's products to the U.S. and Asia later this year.

This all seems a bit out of tune with Corsair's usual MO. Then again, I guess Simple Audio's Roomplayer devices do look pretty swanky. They support 24-bit audio in a variety of formats (including FLAC), are available either with or without a built-in amplifier, and can be paired with dedicated software for Windows, OS X, and iOS. Simple Audio even offers a power-line networking adapter stamped with its logo. I'm not as excited about the £499 price tag on the Roomplayer 2, though—that works out to around $781 in Yank money, which is enough to buy a whole HTPC.

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