It’s hard to say what led Bob Cole to hook up his stereo to his television, making it arguably the region’s first home theater. But it did lead to a remarkably influential and productive career for the onetime psychologist, who, four decades ago, opened this first World Wide Stereo in Montgomeryville.
This month, Cole opens his second WWS location in Ardmore. The antithesis of a big-box store, the showroom-type space allows clients to fully experience products and technology. “Today’s electronics help you manage your lifestyle and hopefully make your life easier,” says Cole. “We’re not just selling—we’re teaching people how to integrate these technologies into their home.”
These days, the entire house can be automated and controlled from a smartphone. “I’m very excited by the new technology that will be available over the next few years,” Cole says. “Prices are going to be cheaper, and the quality is better.”
That’s true both indoors and out, where the right TV can now withstand the elements and high-quality audio equipment further enhances the experience. “There’s a certain technology that’s necessary to have sound in an open outdoor space,” says Cole. “And it’s now available.”
Inside the home, there’s been a recent resurgence in the demand for theater rooms. WWS has a million-dollar version on display—one that was actually created for a client.
If space is an issue, the right equipment can bring theater-quality sound and visuals to any family room. “Everyone needs to be somewhat technical these days,” says Cole. “There’s a learning curve with everything.”
And with the simplicity and convenience of much of the latest technology, the learning curve is worth it.