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Demonstrating Soundbars with Bluetooth®

This soundbar display may look simple, and it is, from a customer's point of view. It's easy to choose soundbars to audition, and compare them with TV speakers using the video clips provided, but customers are also invited to pair their Bluetooth media players with the display, and listen to their own music played on each soundbar. There is more to this display than meets the eye. As with most things, something that's simple to use was complex to design. Below are some of the details we had to address to make this demo system perform so well.


Soundbar Demo Challenges

User Interface
The control panel mounted to the shelf offers three options - choose a soundbar to audition using the sound from the default media player, listen to the TV speakers for comparison, or pair a phone or other music player via Bluetooth.

The design challenge was to create a user interface with many features that is still easy to understand, and stands up to heavy use by the public. TouchSelect control panels have no moving parts, and they are ideal for colorful custom graphics. Each "button" on the panel lights up when you select a soundbar or other feature. It also uses the media player and the TV screen to instruct customers on the Bluetooth pairing process (see below for details).

Product select buttons can be installed next to each soundbar as one more way to select products, and indicate which soundbar is playing.

Customers can pair their music players using Bluetooth, but the default 4K video and audio comes from a BrightSign XD1033 media player. HD media files loaded onto an SD card play in a loop, but when the customer presses the Bluetooth button on the touch panel, the TV shows instructions for pairing their device. After a timeout period, or if the customer walks away, the BrightSign player continues to play video and audio. 

The audio signals from the player can be routed to the TV or to any of the soundbars in the display. Our 1726M-BT accepts audio signals from the media player, and it also has its own Bluetooth receiver that can play a customer's music through the soundbars. You can turn off all the speakers by deselecting the current soundbar. After a timeout period, the system plays BrightSign videos through the TV speakers at the default volume.

The Customer Experience
Just as crucial as the individual parts, the overall experience must be designed with care. What do customers see and hear as they encounter the display? Can the customer always see which soundbar is playing, or TV speakers? Is it easy to use the Bluetooth feature? What happens when a customer walks away in the middle of a demo?  Should there be a limit to the time any one customer can play their own music? We put the system through every possible scenario to refine its behavior, keeping the demo system up and running.


Compare two sound bars with 1703Custom Control for Guitar Speaker DemoSoundbar controls TouchSelect

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