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Philips Readies AirPlay Speaker Systems


Philips entered the AirPlay-enabled
speaker market with a selection of five models priced
from a suggested $229 to $799.

One product ships in July, and the others ship in
September. All are part of the Fidelio series. None
docks physically with an iPod, iPhone or iPad to play
the portable devices’ music,
but all systems feature
3.5mm aux input to connect
any brand of portable
media player or cellphone.

Separately, the company
released more details
about its plans for an
Android-based portable
media player, saying two
models will be available in
September. The company
previously acknowledged
cited model. The Wi-Fiequipped
GoGear Connect
comes in two versions,
one at a suggested $179 with 8GB of embedded
memory and a 16GB model at $219.

The Stamford, Conn., company outlined its plans
here at the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA)
Line Show, where one competing brand said it has
held off introducing its own AirPlay speakers because
Apple licensing fees and the inclusion of Wi-Fi add
about $100 to the consumer cost of the products.

In AirPlay speakers, the first product to hit the market
will be an upscale $799-suggested DS9800W
SoundSphere, shipping in July. The AC-only speaker
system consists of two separate two-way powered
speakers with black-lacquer finish, rounded design
and point-source driver configuration to time-align the
drivers. The tweeter sits on an arm that hovers over
an angled-up front-firing woofer. The two speakers
are connected via a cable. A tabletop charging stand
for an iPod or iPhone is included, as is an IR remote
to control a docked iPod/iPhone’s
menu and control volume and track
up/down. The remote lacks LCD

The SoundSphere uses 5.25-
inch woofer, 1-inch tweeter and
2×50-watt amp.

At $499, the SoundSPhere
DS6800 is a smaller, lower-powered
version of the system that
lacks a tabletop charging stand, but
it uses the SoundSphere’s pointsource
driver configuration. It features
brushed-aluminum and black

At $399, the DS8800W is a
2×15-watt one-piece system with horizontal elliptical
shape and curved back. It’s AC-only.

At $329, the grab-and-go-style AC/DC $329
DS3881W takes the shape of a round halo that incorporates
four front-firing drivers, bass port, 16-watt amplifier
and rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The halo is
held in place by magnets to a tabletop base that uses
inductive charging to charge the halo’s battery.

At $229, the one-piece AC-only AD700W features
two full-range speakers, 10-watt amp and a USB port
to charge an iPod or iPhone.