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JBL Launches iPod-Docking AirPlay Speaker

4/11/2011 09:22:35 AM Eastern
Northridge, Calif. - JBL's first AirPlay-equipped iPod/iPhone-docking speaker system becomes available today in the retail and online stores of Best Buy and Apple at a suggested $349, JBL announced.

Using Apple's AirPlay technology and embedded Wi-Fi, the halo-shaped On Air Wireless Speaker System wirelessly selects and streams unprotected and Apple-protected music directly from a PC's iTunes library and from the song library stored on an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone.

The speaker will also stream Internet radio stations through a computer's iTunes application.

The system features color LCD screen to display album art, RDS-equipped FM tuner with 10 station presets, and dual alarms, enabling two people to wake at different times to a buzzer tone, FM radio, or music on a docked iPod or iPhone.

The system uses three drivers, proprietary digital signal processing (DSP), and horizontal acoustic level optimization (Halo) technology to improve sound quality and deliver a precise stereo imaging, the company said.

A USB port allows for firmware upgrades.

To control the selection of songs in the iTunes library, the speaker includes play/pause and skip forward/back buttons. An included IR remote duplicates those functions. Stored songs can also be selected remotely via Wi-Fi from a hand-held iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone.

The speaker's buttons also pause an iTunes-delivered Internet radio stream but won't change Internet radio stations, said Richard Metcalfe, Harman Consumer's global product manager for multimedia products.

Audio from any iPhone or iPod app, including Internet radio apps, will also play through the AirPlay speaker, Metcalfe said.

The AirPlay feature requires iTunes 10.1 or later on a computer and the iOS 4.2 or later on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

With AirPlay, consumers can stream a song from a networked PC to multiple AirPlay speakers simultaneously to create a wireless multiroom-audio system with separate volume levels for each room. When music is streamed from an iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, however, only one AirPlay-equipped speaker at a time is able to play back the song.
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