While everyone likes the idea of streaming music wirelessly around their home, in reality it can be less-than-enjoyable because of difficult configurations and network dropouts. Trying to address this common complaint, Sony has introduced its new S-AIR technology, which Sony says can get wireless audio up and running without "IP addresses, WEP keys and pin codes." S-AIR will be featured in several of Sony's home-theater-in-a-box systems, and owners can listen to their music wirelessly in additional rooms by purchasing additional AIR Air Stations ($120, available in March).
Proprietary wireless audio solutions aren't exactly new. Klipsch offers the RoomGroove iPod speaker system and forthcoming CS-700 HTIB, both of which use the so-called KlipschCast method to stream music from room to room. Panasonic has the SH-FX85 wireless audio speaker, which can be added to certain home theater systems. Also, Sonos has essentially built a company around its rock-solid, proprietary wireless audio streaming solution. So while S-AIR might not be breaking any new ground, it will offer prospective Sony home theater system buyers a way to easily add some wireless audio to their homes.