Welcome another AirPlay speaker to the fold as Audyssey has officially launched its cubist Lower East Side Audio Dock Air. Alas, like all speakers that feature support for Apple's wireless-streaming platform, this one doesn't come cheap: it'll list for $399 when it hits stores in November.
In case you've never heard of AirPlay, it's built into Apple's iOS for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, and it allows you to stream audio to an AirPlay-enabled device such as Apple TV and a host of speakers and AV receivers that are trickling out onto the market. AirPlay uses your Wi-Fi network to stream audio and it offers higher fidelity than Bluetooth. AirPlay also enables wireless video streaming but right now Apple TV is the only device that supports it.
We got any early look at the LES Audio Dock Air, and clearly its most distinct feature is its shape. Weighing in at 5 pounds, it's not a particularly larger speaker, measuring 8.3 by 4.8 by 8.9 inches (HWD). Audyssey is touting its bass prowess that's delivered via two passive 4-inch subwoofers and enhanced with some fancy digital processing. Also stuffed into that little box are two 2-inch midrange woofers, and two 1-inch tweeters. There's an analog line input and headphone jack but no optical input like the one found on the company's $199 LES media speakers.
Truth be told, we're getting a little tired of seeing overpriced AirPlay-enabled products and were hoping this one would come in closer to $300. We just don't know if the feature's worth the premium you have to pay for it right now (AirPlay speakers should come down in price next year), but we'll reserve final judgment on the Lower East Side Audio Dock Air until after we have a long listen to it.
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