JBL Launches iPod-Docking AirPlay Speaker

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JBL’s first AirPlayequipped iPod/iPhone-docking speaker system became available last week 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.

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

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

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

Audio from any iPhone or iPod app, including Internet radio apps, will play through the AirPlay speaker, Metcalf added.

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


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