SInce a Wi-Fi connection must be set up on the Minx Air 100 for AirPlay, setup instructions are included for both a wired (Ethernet) and wireless setup. I chose wireless and followed the simple directions, which involve logging onto the Minx's Wi-Fi network, pulling up a particular IP address in a web browser (I used Safari on an iPad mini), selecting my home Wi-Fi network, and then entering the password. Once the small LED on the back of the device stopped blinking, I knew it was on the home network and ready for AirPlay.
And that's where the fun began! The Minx Air 100 produces incredibly good sound regardless of what you're playing. I usually run a range of music from Daft Punk to Debussy on my devices so I can hear what different genres sound like. Remember that "handle" I talked about earlier? It's also a bass port, so the bass really thumps when you want it to. But the beauty of Cambridge Audio's design is that the top end is crisp and clear, not drowned out by the bass.
Of course, you can also use Bluetooth to stream music to your Minx Air 100. The device also has 5 preset buttons on the front of the unit for Internet radio stations; you can use the free and optional Minx Air App to set up your Internet radio channels if you don't like the ones that are preset. That same app also controls the volume, bass, and EQ settings of the Minx Air, and can also adjust the auto-shutdown time. The Minx Air is set to shut off after four hours of use, but if you plan on listening to tunes all day at work you might want to adjust that to eight hours or more.
You don't need to use your favorite iOS device to control the Minx Air 100, as it also comes with a small remote control. But if you're using your iPhone or iPad to send a playlist to the speaker, why not use it as a remote as well?
The looks of the Minx Air 100 are pretty impressive as well. It's like a big brother to the Minx Go, and also comes in either black or white to match your decor. My only minor complaint? The polycarbonate case tends to pick up fingerprints, which are quite noticeable on the black model. That same silicone anti-vibration pad covers the bottom of the speaker, and that's a good thing. When this thing is blasting out tunes at full volume, there's not a speck of distortion or buzzing to be heard.
As one of the other TUAW bloggers said, "we all have that one review product we hate to ship back." For me, that's the case with the Minx Air 100. Cambridge Audio has created a solid example of speaker design and manufacturing that really has no competition in the AirPlay speaker market.