iHome Airplay iW1 Wireless Speakers Release date, Price and Availablity
When Apple first announced Airplay, iHome iW1 was the first Airplay Speaker announced in the lineup and we have been anxiously waiting for this announcement. The newest dock to crash onto the stage is this AirPlay-equipped, sleek-looking monolith from iHome, the iW1 ($300).
With AirPlay, the one-piece amplified speaker system uses Wi-Fi 802.11b/g to wirelessly stream music from a PC’s iTunes application, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. From a PC, music can be streamed to multiple AirPlay-equipped speakers at a time throughout the house. The product had originally been scheduled for release early in the year.
The iHome iW1 will be available on September 26, 2011, with a suggested retail price of $299 USD. At this time we are unable to receive this item for review, but stay tuned. We will do our best to get our hands on one soon.
By comparison, Sonos streams audio from the Internet or home computer and you’d use your smartphone as a remote (if you so choose) – including Android-based handsets. In my household, this means that my wife and I can both control the Sonos experience from any phone or computer while the AirPlay experience is more a 1:1 relationship. Of course Sonos also provides a whole-home solution as you add more wirelessly connected speakers. But, as compelling as Sonos is, the charging dock of the iW1 appeals.
Playback of PC music can be controlled from a portable Apple device loaded with a free Apple remote-control app, which will also display the metadata and album art of PC-stored songs. Also from the portable Apple portable, users would be able to view the album art and song metadata of the PC-stored music.
The speaker’s display doesn’t album art and metadata, as a spokesman previously said. From the speaker’s touchpanel controls and from an included IR remote, users can control the play/pause, next track, and previous track functions of a PC’s iTunes application and Apple portable devices. It’s also compatible with no less than four iOS apps that do everything from setup assistance to streaming Internet radio and providing alarm functions.