SOWA Manual
SOWA Manual

SOWA Manual

ℹ️

Before proceeding, please carefully read our:

👷🏽‍♀️Safety Notice

⚖️ Warranty

⚠️ Disclaimer

Table of Contents

Scope of this manual

This document describes the recommended use and care for SOWA and SOWA Pro loudspeakers by SOWA.

SOWA is a wireless loudspeaker system that allows setting up as many speakers as you want, playing the same audio, within a very large area.

The SOWA is for use in the home, and the SOWA Pro is for use at public events, venues and offices.

🚀 Quick start

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Get your SOWA system up and running in a matter of seconds.

One SOWA

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Power up the speaker.

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Play a tune and adjust the volume.

Many SOWA

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Power up the speakers.

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Select Host mode on one of them, using the role select (audio source) button.

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Set all other speakers to Join mode, using the Link button.

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Connect an audio source to the SOWA in Host mode, and start playing.

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Play a tune and adjust the volume.

🖤 The SOWA Product

💌

SOWA Speakers are hand made in Europe from European birchwood veneer. The loudspeaker drivers we use are high quality Danish hifi design made partially from the fibres of kapok fruit shells.

At SOWA we try to do our part in being as sustainable as possible. We do that by designing our cabinets to minimise the amount of components used, as well as designing with a long product life in mind.

Our speakers are highly modularised and easy to service, meaning that if your product ends up not working, we can easily fix it for you. If your product is out of warranty, we will gladly supply you with the components and help you need to fix a SOWA speaker by yourself. We think that consumers should have the right to repair the products they own.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy your SOWA product for many years into the future. If you have any issues, ideas, or anything in between, please reach out on info@sowasound.com

// Villads, Andreas & The rest of the SOWA Team.

🎛️ User Interface

SOWA user interface
SOWA user interface
SOWA Pro user interface
SOWA Pro user interface

Controls

Feature
SOWA
SOWA Pro
SOWA Link interface
System volume
Stereo channel selection
Microphone preset
Local offset-volume
Audio channels mute
Individual delay setting

Audio Inputs

ℹ️

Audio sources connected to the inputs of a SOWA is only playing when the speaker is set to Host or Single Speaker Mode.

Audio connection
SOWA
SOWA Pro
-10 dBv
+4 dBu

The audio inputs of the SOWA are only available during Host and Single Speakers modes. In Join mode, the SOWA will receive any audio that is coming into the connected Host speaker. In other words, any audio sources directly connected to the SOWA in Join mode will not be played. If the SOWA is switched from Join to any of the other modes, playback of analog inputs will be resumed, and Bluetooth connections reconnected.

Connecting Audio Devices

Connecting a device via Bluetooth

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To connect your SOWA to a Bluetooth device:

  1. set the SOWA Speaker to Single Speaker or Host mode.
  2. Open the Bluetooth connection settings of your Bluetooth device (smartphone for example).
  3. Press the Bluetooth pair button on the SOWA.
  4. Select the SOWA on your Bluetooth device.

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The SOWA will appear as on your smartphone or computer as SOWA- followed by a ten digit string of letters and numbers, for example: SOWA-353848F157. This name can be changed in most common devices for easier recognition, for example “SOWA-Livingroom-1”. On SOWA Pro, the Delay-display will show the first three letters of the SOWA’s Bluetooth name while advertising, for easier recognition.

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If the SOWA is not showing up in the Bluetooth settings on your device:

  1. try toggling off/on the Bluetooth advertisement on the SOWA Speaker, by pressing the Bluetoth Pair button twice.
  2. Try toggling off/on Bluetooth on the device you are trying to connect to your SOWA.
  3. Try “forgetting” or deleting the SOWA on your device.
  4. ℹ️

    If you recently updated the firmware on you SOWA speaker, or did a soft reset, the SOWA won’t connect to previously paired devices, until you have “forgotten” and re-paired the SOWA.

  5. Try the steps above individually or together. If nothing works, you can try erasing the Paired devices in the SOWA. To perform this clearing of the device-list in the SOWA, press and hold the Bluetooth Pair button until it starts flashing rapidly.
  6. ⚠️

    Caution: all devices that previously have been connected to the SOWA will be erased, and must be re-connected!

Connecting audio source via AUX (Mini Jack)

The SOWA Speakers are equipped with a 1/8” TRS stereo mini jack port designed for -10 dBV consumer line level signals. This can be plugged into many computers, smartphones, and televisions.

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Since mini jack connections are single ended, to minimise noise during playback, we recommend that you use a short a cable as practically possible. This is especially the case when using the wireless connectivity of the SOWA Link, since the digital codec employed may further increase a noise floor that is too high.

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the Stereo TRS Jack is intended for use as a stereo connection for music, but you could get creative with this. SOWA Link supports several radio channels, each supporting stereo. You could use several SOWA Host speakers as basis for a multi channel system, fed by one TRS Jack per two audio channels. Effectively this allows you to create an eight channel sound system for surround or immersive experiences.

Connecting Microphones or Other Devices (SOWA Pro only)

The SOWA Pro accepts dynamic microphones, as well as line signals from most professional audio equipment.

The XLR output on the SOWA Pro does not provide Phantom power for condenser microphones.

The SOWA Pro is equipped with a balanced mono combo XLR and 1/4” Jack designed for microphone signals or up to +4 dBU pro audio line level signals.

⚠️

To avoid damage to the XLR input on your SOWA, do no exceed the max peak input levels listed below.

Some equipment, often mixing consoles, may output peaks or signals louder than the common “pro” line level definition of +4 dBu. Consult your equipments user manual to verify correct volume of the equipment you will be using with your SOWA. If your equipment has an output rated higher than the max levels below, we recommend you use a device between the SOWA and the equipment to attenuate the levels appropriately.

Max input level before clipping (single ended input)
+8,7 dBu
Max input level before clipping (balanced input)
+14,7 dBu
Max peak input level allowed (single ended input)
+10 dBu
Max peak input level allowed (balanced input)
+16 dBu

Selecting a Microphone Preset (SOWA Pro only)

When using a microphone, make sure that the Microphone Preset button is set to “Handheld”. This adds a static gain to the input, allowing dynamic microphones to be used. It also adds processing to the XLR input to make most common live-use microphones sound better. The processing used is equalisation, noise gate, compression.

To get the optimal experience using a microphone with your SOWA system, select a high quality microphone with a high sensitivity, for example a Sennheiser e935 or Shure Beta58. Choosing a high sensitivity microphone reduces the noise floor, and increases the output you can get from the microphone.

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If you want to learn more about selecting a microphone for you SOWA System, or setting up multiple microphones, read our blog post here.

Muting and Mixing Inputs (SOWA Pro only)

It is possible to mute the inputs on the SOWA Pro. The channel-on/off buttons can be found above the three input types. The buttons lights blue when the input is on. The SOWA Pro can play two inputs in parallel at the same time, mixing the two. The TRS Min Jack and the XLR inputs are exclusive, meaning you can only play through one of them at a time.

When two inputs are on, their signals are mixed directly, meaning there is no side-chaining or bias towards any of the inputs.

Bluetooth
TRS Jack (AUX)
XLR (Mic)

▶️ Playback Modes

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To toggle playback modes, press the SOWA Link Button marked with the SOWA logo.

Play as a single loudspeaker →

Host audio for other SOWA →

Host mode

Join another SOWA →

Join mode

Single Speaker Mode (default)

In Single Speaker Mode, you can use a SOWA as an ordinary Bluetooth or cabled speaker. Simply connect the audio source you want.

This is the default mode of a SOWA speaker, the first time it is turned on. Subsequently, the SOWA starts in whatever mode it was powered down in.

Single Speaker Mode can be recognised by the absence of light in the HOST and JOIN lights of the user interface.

In Single Speaker Mode, it is not possible to select the Left, Right, or Mono audio channels. The SOWA will default to playing the input as mono.

On SOWA Pro, it is also not possible to adjust the Local Volume setting. Only the System Volume knob is available.

Using SOWA Link to Play on Multiple SOWA Speakers

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SOWA Link allows you to stream the audio connected to one of your SOWA Speakers, to as many SOWA speakers as you want within range. The range is up to about 100 meters (sometimes more).

Follow the Quick Start guide to get up and running with SOWA Link in moments.

Host Mode

In Host mode, a SOWA Speaker broadcasts the audio coming in on one if its inputs to as many Join SOWA’s as you want within limitations of range.

To set your SOWA in Host mode, press the Link button to select the role of the SOWA speaker until HOST is lit.

Join Mode

In Join mode, a SOWA Speaker listens to the audio coming from a nearby Hosting SOWA within limitations of range.

To set your SOWA in Join mode, press the Link button to select the role of the SOWA speaker until JOIN is lit.

Selecting stereo channels on a multi-speaker SOWA System

When a SOWA is taking part of a SOWA Link system, either as Host or Join speaker, it can be set to play either the left, right, or a mono sum of the two stereo channels fed either into the Bluetooth input, or the Aux input of the Hosting speaker. The XLR input is per definition mono, and will therefore always transmit equally to SOWA speakers configured as left or right.

Making Independent SOWA Systems with Different Content

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If you run two SOWA Speakers as Host on the same channel within range of each other, the audio will not play properly on the Join speakers. The number of available channels will increase via a firmware update in the near future. Follow along on our

page if you want to stay updated.

Running parallel SOWA Link systems within same area

You can run four separate stereo SOWA Systems simultaneously within range of eachother.

To create separate systems, press the Link button (this is called PAIR on early versions of SOWA Pro). The Link button and System Volume knob will start flashing to indicate channel selection. Turn the System Volume knob to select on of the four channels. Repeat this process on all speakers you want to play together.

⚡ Power

The SOWA and SOWA Pro are fully battery operated speakers, meaning you can bring them anywhere and not worry about cables for a very long time. The battery in SOWA Speakers is 97 Wh (Watt hours), meaning you can bring it onto most airplanes. Please consult your specific airline for specific or local regulations.

Conserving Battery

You SOWA should easily play music at 80% volume 20 hours in Host Mode, and can in certain conditions play even longer, or less.

By playing at lower volumes, you can extend the playtime, while playing louder shortens the playtime.

The speaker Hosting a SOWA System will consume slightly more power than the speakers Joining the SOWA system. A speaker in Single Speaker Mode is consuming the least energy of the three available playback modes.

SOWA In Host mode
maximum energy consumption (+20 hours playtime)
SOWA in Join mode
medium energy consumption
SOWA in Single Speaker mode
minimal energy consumption

The ambient temperature also affects the battery life. Colder temperatures reduce the amount of time you can play the SOWA Speaker. Avoid charging your SOWA Speaker at very low temperatures, and avoid exposure to extremely high temperatures during use.

Charging

To charge the battery in your SOWA Speaker, plug in the power supply that came with the speaker. The power adapter is 26V 2A DC, and is designed for European 230V mains voltage. Do not use other power supplies other than the one supplied by SOWA. Charging your SOWA from drained state to full battery takes about 4 hours.

Estimated charge and drain times

Playing top 100 music at 80% volume
20 to 25 hours
Charging time
up to 4 hours

📶 Optimising conditions for SOWA Link and Bluetooth

Both SOWA Link and Bluetooth are wireless technologies that depend on a number of factors to work well. Both technologies share the 2,4 GHz radio band with Wifi. Factors that may reduce the wireless range of both SOWA Link and Bluetooth are:

  • Distance.
  • Number of nearby devices operating on 2,4 GHz (smartphones, laptops, routers, access points, televisions, etc.).
  • Obstructions (e.g. walls, people).

If you are experiencing bad connections on either Bluetooth or SOWA Link, you can work with these three factors to regain a proper connection. Reduce the distance between devices, reduce obstacles between devices (ideally enabling them to get free “line of sight” between each other). For SOWA Link in particular, you can also try changing the channel which the SOWA Link system operates on.

The SOWA Speakers are a Class II Bluetooth product, meaning that the Bluetooth range is between you device and the SOWA is rated at 10 meters.

🔨 Taking Care of you SOWA Speaker

Firmware Updating you SOWA Speaker

SOWA and SOWA Pro speakers can be updated with the latest firmware using a Windows application. SOWA can sometimes release new firmware versions with new features or bug fixes.

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Requirements: Windows 10 or 11

💾

Firmware update procedure for SOWA or SOWA Pro

  1. On a Windows 10 or 11 computer, download the SOWA Firmware Updater App from here.
  2. Install the firmware update app on the computer.
  3. Power down the SOWA. Then hold the power button on the SOWA until it starts flashing.
  4. Wait a couple of seconds, then press the Bluetooth button (if it is not already flashing).
  5. Open the SOWA Firmware Updater App and follow the instructions.

Spare Parts or Service

If you experience issues with your SOWA product, and your product is covered by warranty, please reach out to the customer service from where you bought the product.

✉️

support@sowasound.com

If your SOWA is not covered by warranty, we will gladly do what we can to repair or refurbish your SOWAs for a fee, or supply you with the spare parts to do it yourself. Although we cannot guarantee stock of components, we will do our best to always have spare parts in stock or on short delivery.

The SOWA Speakers are modularised, and assembled by as few components as possible, making them easy to service.

⚠️

Taking apart the SOWA Speaker within the warranty period will void warranty. Repairs should be carried out by SOWA or our authorised resellers.

SOWA cannot guarantee that it is possible to refurbish a product, as this depends highly on the damage or wear to the product.

👷🏽‍♀️Safety Notice

Power

This SOWA speaker is equipped with a lithium ion battery pack – handle with care. The battery pack in SOWA Speakers is 21.6V 4.5Ah 97Wh, and can be brought onto most flights as carry on luggage. Please consult your airline for specific or local regulations. 

If the battery of your SOWA Speaker shows unexpected behaviour, never bring it on an airplane, never use it, or charge it. Put it in a fire proof space, and contact SOWA Support immediately. 

The SOWA Speaker comes with a 26 volts power supply for plugging into ordinary 210-230 volts mains AC voltage. Never use other power supplies than the one supplied by SOWA. If the power supply goes missing, you can always buy a new one, reach out to support@sowasound.com.

Hearing Safety

The SOWA speakers can play audio at a high volume, especially when paired up as a larger system. Loud audio can over time cause permanent hearing damage. Please consider the hearing safety and comfort, of yourself and your audience. You should always refer to regulations of maximum sound pressure level over time in your area. SOWA does not take responsibility for hearing damage. When in doubt, turn down the volume using the volume knob on your Hosting speaker.

For estimating sound pressure level at your event, we recommend using dedicated sound pressure level measurement systems. 

Placement and Rigging

The SOWA Speakers are designed to be mounted on commonly available 35 mm pole speaker stands.

The SOWA Speakers should never be rigged or suspended from ceilings, poles, or similar, taller than 1,8 meters, with equipment that is not supplied with, or recommended to work with, the SOWA Speaker. For rigging purposes, always make sure to attach a safety wire to the dedicated safety wire hole in the handle of the SOWA Speaker, and attach the other end of the safety wire to an independent piece of fixed, and certified, rigging hardware.

Disposal

Batteries contain substances that can be harmful to human health and damage the environment if they are not handled properly.

Speakers and integrated batteries are electrical and electronic equipment. Such equipment contains materials, components, and substances that can be harmful to human health and the environment if the waste is not handled properly.

As the final user of such equipment, it is important that you dispose of your used batteries and all electrical and electronic equipment at an established recycling service. This way, you are helping to ensure that the equipment is recycled in accordance with the law and thus treating the environment with respect.

In all municipalities you will find a recycling service that accepts all electrical and electronic equipment, or you will find that they can pick it up directly at your home. To learn more, please ask your local technical administration in your municipality.

⚖️ Warranty

The SOWA Speaker comes with a 1 year full warranty. The SOWA Speaker may only be serviced by certified SOWA Support Personnel. Warranty will be void if the SOWA Speaker is disassembled in any way by a non certified person. Please contact SOWA Support upon failure of a SOWA Speaker – we love to help!

The SOWA Speaker is very serviceable. After the warranty period, the SOWA Support team will still happily service your SOWA Speakers, or supply necessary spare parts for any larger component in the SOWA Speaker. These services can be acquired upon request to the SOWA Support team.

SOWA warrants (“limited warranty”) that the SOWA product is free of defects in materials and workmanship at the time of the original purchase by the end-user (the “customer” or “you”). This limited warranty covers the functionality of the SOWA product for its normal, intended use in an environment as specified below only and does not cover malfunctions that result from improper or unreasonable use or maintenance, as well as any unauthorised repair, normal wear and tear, or external causes such as accidents, abuse, or other actions or events beyond our reasonable control.

This limited warranty is issued to the customer who buys a new SOWA product directly from SOWA. This limited warranty cannot be assigned or transferred to any subsequent purchaser or user. Any SOWA product purchased from an authorized retailer is covered by the warranty terms provided by such authorized retailer.

The limited warranty is limited to the repair or replacement of the SOWA product at SOWA’s discretion, and neither costs for transportation, removal, nor installation of a SOWA product is covered by this limited warranty. This limited warranty extends to one (1) year from the customer’s original purchase of the SOWA product. If SOWA receives, during the applicable warranty period, a valid notice of a defect of any SOWA product covered by SOWA’s warranty. SOWA will, at SOWA’s option within reasonable time after being notified of the defect:

  1. repair the defect at no charge, using new or refurbished replacement parts, or
  2. replace the product. Response time may vary from country to country and is, among other

things, subject to availability of parts, labor and transport. To obtain service, contact: support@sowasound.com

⚠️ Disclaimer

Except as provided by the Limited Warranty and to the extent permitted by law, in no event and under no circumstances can SOWA, its employees, affiliates, its board of directors, any of and/or the company owners, or its third party suppliers be held accountable for direct, indirect, special, random, or consequential damages (including but not limited to financial loss, personal damages, and loss of assets and property) whether based on contract, tort or any other legal theory, hereunder but not limited to direct, indirect, special, random, or consequential damages caused by careless, wrong and inexpedient usage of the product.

SOWA needs to, in connection with the aforementioned, draw special attention to the fact that the following actions will exempt SOWA from any responsibility:

  1. Wrongly plugging in the speaker
  2. Prolonged exposure of the SOWA product to any form of precipitation
  3. Submerging any part of the SOWA product in any form of liquid
  4. Using SOWA products for other purposes than what they are regularly used for
  5. Using other chargers than the one delivered by SOWA
  6. Using other batteries than the ones produced and installed by SOWA
  7. Unsanctioned modification, rebuilding or repurposing of any parts of any SOWA product.

⚙️ Tech Specs Overview

Frequency Response

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Sound Pressure Level
99 dB at 1 meter
Processing
Dedicated DSP and active crossover, effective protection circuits.
Stereo
Speakers can wirelessly play either left, right, or a mono sum of the stereo image.
Drivers
6” woofer (40 W) and a compact large surround (30W) Fre- quency range from ~75 Hz to 20 kHz ± 3 dB.
The SOWA speaker is tuned to perfection by skilled audio professionals at test facilities at Soundhub Denmark.
SOWA Link
Connect as many speakers as you need.
2,4 GHz proprietary wireless audio transmission – not wifi, not Bluetooth, but free ISM band in the whole world.
Extremely resilient towards wifi and bluetooth signals.
+100 m range (line of sight and optimal conditions)
Low latency (15 ms).
48 kHz 16 bit stereo stream.
4 independent SOWA Link channels.
Power & Playtime
Battery energy capacity: 97 Wh.
+20 hours of playtime (on 80% volume playing hit charts top 100 music)
External power supply AC100-240v in 50/60 Hz DC26V 2A out.
Ultra efficient, Danish designed digital amplification.
SOWA Pro Controls
Control local volumes on each speaker.
Adjust delay setting on each speaker (0 – 290 miliseconds ≈ 96 meters).
Three XLR presets: no processing (flat), handheld mic, and Headset.