CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW: CNET editors cover the Next Big Thing
SoniqCast Aireo 2: the world's
only Wi-Fi MP3 player gets better
January 6, 2005; 12:10 p.m.
SoniqCast Aireo 2
The product:The original Aireo wowed everyone with its innovative wireless approach to portable audio. A bit larger than the iPod, the Aireo was the first MP3 player with Wi-Fi built in, allowing a user to automatically transmit and receive MP3s and other audio files--wirelessly. Easy to use and boasting FM transmission, the Aireo's key downside was its paltry 1.5GB drive. But the Aireo 2, redesigned with an attractive white body that is 25 percent smaller than its predecessor, comes equipped with 20GB and USB 2.0. Key features and specs include:
The prospects: The original Aireo was innovative but had some PC software issues and was overall a bulky 1.5GB device. The new version has trimmed down and is easier to use, and most importantly, it can store 20GB of audio data, which will appeal to consumers in a big way. Much has been learned from the first Aireo's usability issues, and if consumers recognize Wi-Fi's benefits, such as automatic and invisible refreshing of content, SoniqCast might have an underdog hit. The future is bright for Wi-Fi-enabled portable audio players.
By Brian Bennett, staff editor, CNET Reviews
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