LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 — “We feel like Airplay is going to be the next media,” Product Manager Gavin Reeg said during Klipsch’s 30 minute press event. Then it was VP of Product Development Mark Casavant’s turn (pictured above), and he made it very clear: their future is in Apple’s Airplay.
Klipsch is moving to support Airplay in many (if not all) of the Audio Systems they release in the next 9-12 months, and are also seriously considering adding support to other product lines they own, such as the Energy brand.
As an iPhone user, I like that audio companies are finally integrating Airplay support into their products. I’m carrying Spotify and my iTunes collection with me everywhere I go, and before Airplay, if I wanted to hear my music without using headphones, it meant I had to dock or tether my iPhone to something with a wire. I hate doing that. Headphones; speakers; Apple TV; Airplay is fantastic because I get to easily point where my music should be playing. Plus, I still get to keep my iPhone where it I like it: in my pocket.
Klipsh likes that ease-of-use, too. They want users to be able to plug in and get set up and streaming in “five minutes or less.” They also know people don’t want to forfeit their iPhones to a dock just to listen to music. And even though Airplay’s signal quality isn’t as good as a wired connection, they admit its sheer convenience factor is worth the small loss in fidelity.
For those with healthier wallets, the new Klipsch Stadium with Airplay support is expected to be released in the fall, costing about $1600. The larger, higher-powered Console, also Airplay ready, is expected to launch around the end of this year for about $6000.