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Belkin's Soundform Connect adds AirPlay 2 to almost any speaker

Belkin's new $100 add-on will allow iPhone users to stream to any speaker with an aux input.

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Belkin

Forget Bluetooth dongles. The wave of the future is Wi-Fi music, and in the absence of Google's discontinued Chromecast Audio we look instead to Belkin's new Apple AirPlay 2 add-on, the $100 Soundform Connect.

Like the Chromecast Audio, the Soundform Connect is designed to connect any system with an aux or optical digital input to Wi-Fi. AirPlay 2 is a multiroom update on Apple's AirPlay protocol and lets you request songs and control music via the Siri voice assistant. 

The difference between the Belkin device and the Chromecast Audio is that AirPlay 2 is not yet compatible with Android -- apart from third-party apps like AirMusic -- so it's iOS and Mac users for now.

The Soundform Connect follows the $300 Soundform Elite smart speaker from 2020. Belkin says it will be "coming soon" on Belkin.com and at select retailers. 

Apple announced this week it would be adding lossless and spatial audio to its Music service free of charge, but it's not known whether this will work with the Connect. Belkin representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding that.