A number of popular online applications accessed on home PCs—such as instant messaging (IM), Webinars, streaming video, and online movies—can benefit from a new class of audio peripherals that deliver high quality and intuitive experience to the end user.

To transition between activities, a user may need to change the audio setting in software and physically switch between different peripherals. For example, a pair of external PC speakers or an LCD monitor sound-bar is a good option for listening to music, but to make or pick up an IM voice call, the user often must switch to headphones and a microphone. Although different peripherals offer unique benefits for specific tasks, the abundance of choices creates huge confusion for consumers and a cluttered desktop of seldom-used devices.

This paper describes a new class of digital, all-in-one sound systems that combine the functionality of PC speakers, the convenience of a hands-free speakerphone, and the connectivity to other portable media players or smartphones.