One of the nice things about having a WiFi network in your home is the fact that you can enjoy online music anywhere in the house ... through a computer or mobile device. Now, however, you have the choice of instead placing Altec Lansing's new LIVE 5000 Wi-Fi speaker wherever you wish, and listening to that same music through it. You can also wirelessly link together a string of the speakers in different rooms, and use them to either distribute the same music throughout the house, or play different music in different rooms.

The speaker itself is a tri-amp system, incorporating two Kevlar three-inch mid-range drivers, neodymium soft-dome tweeters, a long-throw four-inch subwoofer and a passive radiator. It also features non-parallel walls that, according to the company, "prevent the cross-cancellation of sound waves and produce more natural sound."

It can be remotely controlled via the free LIVE Controller app on an iOS or Android device, or a desktop computer - multiple people in multiple rooms can even control it at the same time, if each person has a device running the app.

Users can also use the app to access music from various internet content providers, cloud storage services, or off of the library on any of the controlling devices. They can additionally organize and subsequently alter playlists, along with managing their own account data on online music services.

The LIVE 5000 is described as "the first product in an exciting new music entertainment ecosystem," so we'll be watching with interest to see what follows. The speaker requires an existing 802.11 b/g/n wireless network, and will be available in early summer (northern hemisphere) in two versions - one dedicated to Apple systems, and another that also caters for Android. Both models will sell for US$499.95, and can be purchased via the Altec Lansing website.