Network audio players are quickly becoming commodities, but Sony is hoping to add something new to the mix with the CPF-IX001. The tiny tabletop player handles the basics--it streams digital audio files from a networked PC so you can enjoy your music in a different room of the house. But unlike many competitors, it includes built-in speakers--including a mini subwoofer--so you don't need to attach it to a speaker system or an amplifier. Moreover, in addition to interfacing with any wired (Ethernet) or wireless (802.11b/g) home network, the Sony CPF-IX001 can connect to power-line-based networks as well--potentially a nice advantage for anyone who's intimidated by the vagaries of wireless-networking configurations.
The Sony CPF-IX001 is scheduled to become available in August for $300. (To our knowledge, it's just Sony's second network-audio product, after the larger Sony NAS-CZ1.) We'll have a full review of the CPF-IX001 soon--with an eye on how it stacks up against category leaders such as the and the Slim Devices Squeezebox.
Photo credit: salonav.com