Sony on Thursday announced the S-Airplay AIR-SA20PK, a multi-room wireless audio system for listening to iPod (including iPhone, Touch, Nano, Mini, and all versions of Classic).
Once you have your iPod connected to the system's main docking station, you can listen to audio from your iPod up to 164 feet away. This is accomplished through S-Air's wireless speakers that plug into power outlets.
According to Sony, the S-Air technology delivers audio wirelessly to the two included speakers without interfering with other household devices. However, the company did not make it clear how exactly it would achieve this. The system comes with one docking station and two S-Air wireless speakers, but it can transmit to up to 10 speakers simultaneously with additional speakers sold separately).
The most impressive feature for me--other than the whole wireless thing, of course--is that the S-Airplay also includes an AM/FM tuner that allows you listen to radio and music from your iPod simultaneously. You can be in one room getting your '90s Oasis fix from downloaded music (sorry I've been craving Oasis music this week for some reason), while your sig other listens to NPR on the radio or something boring like that in another room.
If all that wasn't enough, the wireless speakers include remote control capability for the iPod player's music tracks. The speakers also incorporate sleep timers and an alarm clock function.
One more notch in the "here, please Sony take my money" column is that you can connect the station to an existing home theater system or television set, as it includes composite A/V outputs. Also, it charges the iPod while it's docked! I know I'm excited, but I just love when gadgets seem well thought out and practical like this.
As far as the whole giving Sony money thing goes, well as cool as this thing is, $400 is much more than I'm willing to spend on something like this. The AIR-SA20PK will be available in September from Sony Style both online and at retail, as well as at other select retailers. Additional wireless speakers will also be on sale then for $130 direct from Sony.