You know how it goes with Sony -- proprietary just seems to rule the roost. Thankfully, the outfit is at least recognizing a trend in the market by trotting out an iPod-friendly version of its S-AIR wireless audio technology. The new S-AIRPLAY system (formally known as AIR-SA20PK) comes with one iPod docking station and a pair of S-AIR wireless speakers, though there is an AM / FM tuner built in should your stored jams get stale. Sony suggests that music can be beamed some 164-feet away from the dock sans cabling, and so long as your S-AIR speaker is plugged into a power outlet (and within the aforementioned range), it'll pick up the signal and start talkin'. Look for the kit to land next month for around $400, while additional S-AIR wireless speakers will set you back $130 apiece. Full release after the break.
SONY UNVEILS WIRELESS MULTI-ROOM AUDIO SYSTEM FOR IPOD PLAYERS
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 21, 2008 – Sony today took the wraps off its new wireless, multi-room audio system for listening to iPod® players.
The new S-AIRPLAY™ system features Sony's S-Air™ technology, which provides a practical, wireless multi-room solution without complicated set-up requirements. Wireless audio can be transmitted from the system's main docking station in one room to various rooms throughout the home -- up to nearly 164 feet-simply by plugging a separate S-Air wireless speaker into a power outlet.
"This technology makes it easy to listen to music from a compatible iPod without carrying it from room to room," said Andrew Sivori, director of marketing in the personal audio group at Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging and Audio Division. "It's an easy, inexpensive way to get multi-room audio without professional installation."
S-Air technology delivers audio wirelessly to the included speakers without interfering with other household devices. The system comes with one docking station and two S-Air wireless speakers, but it can transmit to up to 10 speakers simultaneously (additional speakers sold separately).
Equipped with an AM/FM tuner, the S-AIRPLAY system's dual source feature lets users listen to music from the iPod player or from a radio station. Listeners in one room can hear their favorite radio station, while listeners in another room can enjoy music from the iPod at the same time.
The S-Air wireless speakers include remote control capability for the iPod player's music tracks so you can advance or go back to previously played songs. The speakers also incorporate sleep timers and an alarm clock function, making them perfect for bedside placement.
To connect to an existing home theater system or television set, the docking station includes composite A/V outputs. It also charges the iPod while it is docked.
Pricing and Availability
Pre-orders for the S-AIRPLAY audio system are now being accepted online at www.sonystyle.com. The system (model AIR-SA20PK) will be available in September for about $400 at Sony Style® retail stores and select retailers nationwide. Additional S-Air wireless speakers will also be available next month for about $130 direct from Sony.