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JBL Launches iPod-Docking AirPlay Speaker


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.