Sony's S-Airplay Wireless iPod Dock is basically a cheaper, less functional version of the Sonos home audio system. You plug your iPod into the central base station, plug in up to 10 wireless speakers into power outlets through the house and just like that, you have multi-room audio.
The S-Airplay has a transmitting range of 50 metres, alarm clock functions and an AM/FM tuner. Each speaker has the option of playing audio from the radio or iPod (or nothing), and each can control playback options remotely. The central dock can connect to your home theatre system, allowing another method of playback.
The S-Airplay is available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping in September. For US$400 you can get a bundle including one docking station and two wireless speakers. Additional speakers cost US$130. [Sony]
SONY UNVEILS WIRELESS MULTI-ROOM
AUDIO SYSTEM FOR IPOD PLAYERS
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 21, 2008 - Sony today took the wraps off its new wireless, multi-room audio system for listening to iPod® players.
The new S-AIRPLAY™ system features Sony's S-Air™ technology, which provides a practical, wireless multi-room solution without complicated setup requirements. Wireless audio can be transmitted from the system's main docking station in one room to various rooms throughout the home — up to nearly 164 feet—simply by plugging a separate S-Air wireless speaker into a power outlet.
"This technology makes it easy to listen to music from a compatible iPod without carrying it from room to room," said Andrew Sivori, director of marketing in the personal audio group at Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging and Audio Division. "It's an easy, inexpensive way to get multi-room audio without professional installation."
S-Air technology delivers audio wirelessly to the included speakers without interfering with other household devices. The system comes with one docking station and two S-Air wireless speakers, but it can transmit to up to 10 speakers simultaneously (additional speakers sold separately).
Equipped with an AM/FM tuner, the S-AIRPLAY system's dual source feature lets users listen to music from the iPod player or from a radio station. Listeners in one room can hear their favourite radio station, while listeners in another room can enjoy music from the iPod at the same time.
The S-Air wireless speakers include remote control capability for the iPod player's music tracks so you can advance or go back to previously played songs. The speakers also incorporate sleep timers and an alarm clock function, making them perfect for bedside placement.
To connect to an existing home theatre system or television set, the docking station includes composite A/V outputs. It also charges the iPod while it is docked.
Pricing and Availability
Pre-orders for the S-AIRPLAY audio system are now being accepted online at www.sonystyle.com. The system (model AIR-SA20PK) will be available in September for about $400 at Sony Style® retail stores and select retailers nationwide. Additional S-Air wireless speakers will also be available next month for about $130 direct from Sony.