AirPlay speaker systems are finally hitting the market in droves, but most of the ones we’ve come across cost more than a new iPad. As much as I love lusting over the devilishly good looks of higher end speaker systems, I don’t like forking over a ton of cash for a speakers even if they do come with AirPlay support. iHome’s iW1 sets out to become the wireless airplay system for the average consumer. It looks good. Plays pretty tunes. And at $300 it’s fairly cheap, but should you buy it?
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This year we’ve seen a slew of absolutely amazing accessories for Apple devices come to the market for both the iMac, MacBooks, iPhones, iPad and AppleTV. Many of them have been remarkable but we’re having a hard time distinguishing which Apple Accessories should be considered the absolute best of 2011, so we’re turning to our readers to help us out.
We think this is pretty cool — the iHome iDM15 ($99) is a set of Bluetooth-equipped stereo speakers that include a microphone so they can be used as a speakerphone.
Presumably for those without an iPhone and its wealth of app-based fitness options, iHome has partnered with New Balance to offer a set of earphones packed with workout features, including a pedometer and a heart-rate monitor.
Everyone seems to want some AirPlay action. The newest dock to crash onto the stage is this AirPlay-equipped, sleek-looking monolith from iHome, the iW1 ($300).
The full import of the announcement didn’t exactly sink in at the time, but when Steve Jobs announced last Wednesday that AirTunes was becoming AirPlay, he was really announcing that media-streaming on Apple devices was getting a lot more open. Not only would AirTunes be extended to hardware beyond AirPort Expresses, making every AirPlay-compatible peripheral capable of sucking up tunes across the room, and not only was he opening AirTunes to an expanded gamut of media types including video and photos, but he was also opening the door for iOS devices to stream media directly to other devices, with no iTunes intermediary required.
I have to admit that as someone with three AirPort Expresses, I’m embarrassed that I didn’t realize immediately how cool this was. Thankfully, third-party accessory makers were quicker on the uptake than I was, and iHome has already announced their first AirPlay compatible wireless speaker system. Scant details so far (except for a rechargeable battery) and obviously — since this is just a speaker — it’s humble beginnings. But just you wait. An AirPlay compatible television is coming, mark my words.
- Via TUAW