Onkyo DS-A5 grafts AirPlay on to existing home stereos, docks older iOS gear

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Onkyo DS-A5 grafts AirPlay on to existing home stereos, docks older iOS gear

Embracing AirPlay has usually involved a wholesale switch in hardware: years of speaker investment go out the window for the sake of skipping a wire. Onkyo doesn't have a problem if you bring your own equipment to the fray. Its new DS-A5 docking station brings Apple's WiFi media streaming to many home stereos, including those of rivals, as long as there's a wired or 802.11g-capable wireless router to feed the connection. Naturally, there's perks if you do live in an Onkyo universe -- any link using its Remote Interactive cable can both wake the stereo through AirPlay as well as control the dock from a traditional remote. About the only oddities are the vintage composite video output and a 30-pin dock for charging iPads, iPhones and iPods, neither of which will be much help if you live on the cutting edge. Onkyo brings the DS-A5 to American shores in October for $199; that's a lot to pay for playing songs from the couch, but it's a sight more affordable than replacing home audio equipment costing multiple times that amount.

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