Akiko & Pro

Transmitters for analog audio sources

Akiko is the most general-purpose SKAA transmitter. Akiko takes in ordinary, analog audio — the everyday stereo stuff that comes pouring out of a headphone jack or those red & white RCA jacks (also called ‘phono’ jacks) — the ones labeled “out” — which you find on the back panel of all sorts of gear. Sure, sure, Akiko was originally designed to be a transmitter for your TV, but frankly, this puppy’s got a million uses.

If you’re so inclined, you can teach your Akiko how to listen to your TV remote control — your remote will then control Volume and Mute of all SKAA speakers you’ve got bonded to your Akiko.

Akiko cares neither if there's Wi-Fi around, nor if your circumstances have blessed you with the password. You could be up a tree in the middle of Madagascar’s forest, studying the reproductive habits of meerkats, and Akiko will still do its job, flawlessly transporting your precious audio to its destinations.

So what's the deal with "Akiko Pro"?  You probably don't need it, but if you're curious, skip to the last paragraph in the section below.

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Akiko works with virtually all stereo analog audio source devices — that’s both line-level-out and headphone-out sources. It’s possible to overdrive Akiko’s input if you feed it with a really hot source — so if you hear distorted audio, turn down your source until the distortion goes away.

NO PAIRING. Yup. Fasten your seat belts — it's a brave new paradigm we like to call “ridiculously easy”. Plain and simple: we got rid of pairing because it's awkward and people don’t like it. With SKAA, the receivers (speakers / headphones) are in charge of selecting which transmitter to listen to. On the transmitter side, you do nothing. Nada. Squat.

Akiko’s power connection is its USB cable tail with a full-sized (type A) USB plug on the end. The one and only thing that cable carries is power. So feel free to plug it into just about any ‘live’ USB jack. Those little square wall adapters. A power bank. The USB port on your computer or TV … they’ll pretty much all work. Akiko requires way less power than most of these ports can provide, so no problem.

Akiko’s shape is not only beautiful — but when you plug one side into an analog audio source and the other side into USB power, Akiko ends up being just a pretty lump in the cable. Akiko is so small and light, it doesn’t mind just hanging out. By the way, one entire wall of Akiko's plastic enclosure is actually not a wall at all — it's an antenna. A killer antenna that’s responsible for Akiko’s spectacular range.

Range is 35 meters indoors. That's over 100 feet. Outdoors it can be way more.

Sends audio to up to four SKAA speakers and/or headphones at the same time (compare that with standard Bluetooth which can only send audio to one, solitary device).

Use up to five SKAA transmitters (Akiko and/or other types) in your house at the same time. That’s up to 20 speakers in your house — woot woot!

Audio quality is a honking 480 kbps (compare to iTunes Store standard 256 kbps).

Low latency. I mean our delay is darn low. Inconceivably low. So low in fact, as to be imperceivable by the average meerkat. Did you know that there are broadcast standards that publish rules about how many thousandths of a second the audio can lag the picture in a TV show or movie? You'll be happy to know that SKAA's number is way lower than the max allowed — it's about half. Boo-ya! Compare that with standard Bluetooth, which sports twice the allowed delay — how embarrassing. As a result, SKAA speakers and headphones are great for watching video and for playing games. Pretty much anything your TV can throw at it, Akiko can keep up.

Keep in mind, Akiko has no internal battery of its own — it doesn’t need one since it gets all the juice it needs from the TV or wall wart, or whatever you’ve got its cute little USB tail plugged into. Akiko is also very miserly — it cuts its power consumption way back when there’s no audio to send. So go ahead, plug in and go nuts.

Akiko that TV. Connect the line output of your TV to Akiko using an RCA to 3.5mm cable. Plug Akiko’s USB tail into a USB power source — use a USB port on your TV if you’ve got one. If your TV has an un-scaled out (analog audio output which is not adjusted by the TV’s volume level), use it — in this case be sure to teach your Akiko to do IR (see instructions below). On some models, you may need to tell your TV to output un-scaled audio by using an audio setup menu. In case you end up forced to accept volume-scaled output, then don’t teach your Akiko to do IR. Bond up some SKAA speakers (and a SKAA subwoofer if you’ve got one), fire up Independence Day on the Blu-Ray and crack open a beer. You deserve it!

Snowboard DJ. Load up your small MP3 player with as much Red Hot Chilli Peppers as will fit on that thing. Put your player, Akiko and a small power bank in as high-up a pocket as you can (or get your geek on and Velcro that stuff to the outside of your helmet, hehe). Make sure Akiko’s antenna wall (that’s the wall with the SKAA logo on it) faces away from you. This will give you the best range. You plus up to 3 of your buddies can listen to zeee Chillis on SKAA headphones (or the new SKAA Rush receiver & your favourite earbuds) — all of you shredding to tunes courtesy of Dr. DJ you. Warning: don’t try this with other sports, its strictly for snowboarding… mmmm hmmm.

Do the IR. I mean infrared remote control. Out of the box, Akiko has its audio master volume set to full up. Which is generally fine since SKAA speakers and headphones typically have volume controls on them. But what if you’d like to control volume on say 3 speakers all together—the speakers you use with your TV—with the remote control you already own… If so, you’ll need to teach Akiko how to listen to your remote control’s talk. Don’t do this with the Akiko plugged into your TV. Unplug Akiko from your TV and put it on a table — do this whole process on the table. Have a USB wall wart or a USB power bank handy. Have your remote control handy. Unplug the 3.5 mm cable from Akiko — it needs to be pulled out for Akiko to learn IR. Position Akiko so its infrared eye (that bulbous round thing) is pointed toward your remote control. Next find Akiko’s tiny pinhole (it’s a hole in one of the long walls) and make sure it’s pointing up so you can see it. Behind that pinhole is a red LED. Plug Akiko's USB cable end into a power source. Watch the pinhole — the red LED flashes twice. Click Volume Up on your remote control. See one more flash. You’re doing good. Now click Volume Down. See another flash. Awesome. Now click Mute. See a really long red flash. You’re done! Unplug Akiko from USB power and hook Akiko back up to your TV. You’ll want to position Akiko’s infrared eye so that it has a straight shot to the couch. The SKAA speakers, which you’ve got bonded to your Akiko, will now be controlled — by your command!

What's the deal with Akiko Pro?  Akiko Pro is a "SKAA Pro transmitter".  It's faster, and it sends to 2 receivers instead of 4.  That's the deal.  Almost for sure, you don't need it.  That's because SKAA is already lightning fast—fast enough to watch TV/Movies with no lip-sync issues, fast enough to play games and even to play and create your own music on Garageband etc.  But if you're the alpha DJ that scratches faster than Q-bert or finger drums faster than Buck Rodgers, if you're a pro singer, or a guitarist who can shred circles around Eddie, then you may want to take things to the next level.  Twice as fast as SKAA, SKAA Pro is for the pros.  Twice as fast as "lightning fast" is amazing, so stop complaining about it only supporting 2 receivers.  BONUS:  all SKAA speakers (and headphones, all receivers, really) released from mid 2019 onward are already SKAA Pro enabled! They AUTO SWITCH between SKAA and SKAA Pro operation, simply based on what class of transmitter they're bonded to.  If you're wondering whether your speaker or headphone is pre-pimped out with SKAA Pro compatibility, just send us a quick note on the TLC page and we'll confirm that for you.