Apple’s AirPlay technology is gaining traction with the release of more devices taking advantage of the technology. When it was initially released AirPlay enabled speakers were expensive and hard to find. To help fill this void Audyssey’s latest product is designed to bring hi quality AirPlay based audio into one’s home or workspace.
Today we will be reviewing the Audyssey Audio Dock Air, which is designed to send digital audio from your computer, iPhone, iPod, or iPad wireless to this speaker system. While technically not a dock the Audyssey Audio Dock Air does include a 3.5 mm input on the back for hooking up a sound source via its headphone output jack if so desired.
Having used both the Sonos and Squeezebox setups I have become a big proponent of wireless music streaming. For this type of system to work properly you’ll need a simple setup and a user-friendly interface that Audyssey provides. The Audio Dock Air in combination with AirPlay provides a quick and simple way to provide wireless music streaming within one’s network.
The Audyssey Audio Dock Air arrives in a white cardboard package. The front of the box has an image of the Audio Dock Air, the AirPlay logo along with a description of its features in English and French. One side of the box has another picture of the Audio Dock Air being used by a young woman and on the back is another list of features, specifications and a product blurb in English and French. Finally on the other side of the package are four additional language descriptions for the product.
Opening the box we find the Audyssey Audio Dock Air wrapped in plastic and protected by two foam inserts. Also included are the power supply, 3.5 mm audio cable and quick start guide.
The Audio Dock Air is all black and measures 4.7” x 8.9” x 8.3” and weighs 5 lbs. On its sides are two separate sets of 0.75” tweeters, 3” woofers, and 4” passive bass radiators covered by black speaker covers.
In between these two speaker sets is a black plastic area that houses the Audyssey Audio Dock Air’s controls. Looking at the top we see a volume knob with two LED lights – one for Power and the other for AIrPlay connectivity.
On the front is an infrared port and 0.5 mm headphone output jack.
The back of the Audyssey Audio Dock Air has the power input connector, a 3.5 mm line input and the wireless pairing button.
Underneath the Audio Dock Air are four rubber feet and a rubber covering for a USB connector that is probably for updating the device’s firmware.
Flawless Sound Over the Air
The flexibility of wireless audio with the luxury of amazing sound. Finally. The Audyssey Audio Dock Air pairs the uncompressed streaming capability of Airplay with Audyssey’s sound technologies so you hear every musical detail: deep bass, warm mids and clear highs. We’ve tackled the acoustical problems of small speakers and left you with nothing but rich, clear and balanced sound. Because that’s what you expect from Audyssey.
Apple AirPlay Wireless Streaming
The wireless technology of the future is here. Apple AirPlay lets you stream music throughout your entire house, wirelessly. AirPlay is fully integrated into the Audio Dock Air so you can enjoy your entire iTunes library in any room, anytime. Connect your iPhone, iPod, iPad or computer to the Audio Dock Air and control the room’s audio from anywhere.
Any Music in Any and Every Room
Whether you’re listening to music from your computer, iPhone or iPad, or your favorite internet radio station like Pandora or Spotify, the Audyssey Audio Dock Air plays it with AirPlay wireless streaming. Fill your house with your favorite music on one or multiple speakers. Link up to four Audio Dock Airs for a real multi-room audio system.
Perfected by Hardware and Software Collaborations
Unlike most speaker companies, Audyssey hardware and software engineers work together closely to design distortion-free, powerful and precise speakers. The best engineers work at Audyssey developing our cutting-edge innovations. Compare the difference and hear how our technology makes better sound.
Audyssey BassXT for True Bass Lovers
Forget about massive subwoofers. Audyssey technology redefines low frequency reproduction. Passive bass radiators and Audyssey BassXT don’t employ gimmicks or tricks. They enhance the bass in your audio by actually forcing more air out of the speaker itself. The result is deeper bass than anything else its size.
Two 3 in woofers
Two 4 in passive bass radiators
AirPlay wireless streaming
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
3.5 mm line input
3.5 mm headphone output
AirPlay Works With
Mac with iTunes
PC with iTunes
iPhone (iPhone 4, 3GS, 3G)
iPad (iPad, iPad 2)
iPod touch (2nd, 3rd and 4th generation)
(* iTunes 10.1 or later, iOS 4.2 or later)
Initial setup takes 5-10 minutes depending on the tech savvy-ness of the user. To setup the Audyssey Audio Dock Air you first need to plug the unit into a power outlet and then wait for the Power LED on top to turn solid green. Next you will need to have the latest updates for iTunes, your Wi-Fi network name (SSID) and password. Any iOS device you wish to use with AirPlay will need to be running iOS 4.2 or higher.
On the back of the device is the Pair button which when pressed will create an Ad-Hoc wireless network for setting up the speaker system. The green AirPlay LED will flash slowly on the top of the device once this network has been created. To access this network go into the network settings on your Mac, PC, iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad and select “LES_AudioDock_Air_Setup”.
Next log into your web browser of choice and enter this address – http://192.168.1.110; this will open the Audyssey Audio Dock Air configuration screen. This setup/status interface allows the customization of the Audio Dock Air’s name and home Wi-Fi network selection.
Now the Power LED will change from flashing green to solid green and the AirPlay LED will transform from slow flashing orange to solid green. Once the AirPlay LED is solid green you are ready to use the Audyssey Audio Dock Air on your Wi-Fi network. If you make an error during the setup process pressing and holding the “Pair” button will restart the process.
Using the Audyssey Audio Dock Air in conjunction with AirPlay is as simple as selecting the device after clicking on the AirPlay icon found on the lower right of most Apple devices and apps.
Since the Audyssey Audio Dock Air has speakers on each side it limits the possible placement of the unit in one’s home or workspace. To maximize the sound quality you will want to place the Audyssey Audio Dock Air in an open area. A corner or crowded bookshelf will muffle the sound playback from one side of the Audio Dock Air.
For such a small package the Audyssey Audio Dock Air produces very deep bass with crisp mids and highs. Usually all-in-one speaker systems have some sound compromise but Audyssey avoids that with the Audio Dock Air. When comparing the Audio Dock Air with the Sonos S3 it is readily apparent the Audyssey system is designed for the bass rich music lover in mind. Jack White’s Sixteen Saltines sounded raw and rich while Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know staccato tempo was punchy and crisp.
If you want to fill a room with music the Audio Dock Air can easily do so as its volume can go pretty high without distortion. For those who want a true multi-room audio system the Audyssey Audio Dock Air can be used with up to four versions of itself in tandem.
As with most wireless systems the Audyssey Audio Dock Air will lose some of its luster when you are having trouble with your wireless network. In those times you can simply connect your device via the included 3.5 mm audio cable. For those who want to listen through headphones the front position 3.5mm jack allows that ability.
Another thing to be aware of with the Audyssey Audio Dock Air is when picking it up you will want to hold it by the center plastic section. Grabbing it from the sides will push your hands through the speaker filters and probably into the speakers themselves.
Since there is no power button or sleep function the Audyssey Audio Dock Air is always on which is strange since the Audyssey’s Lower East Side Media Speaker tends to go to sleep on their own after several minutes of inactivity. For those “green” techies this may be a turn off as these speakers a bit of an energy vampire.
Audyssey is a highly regarded well-known name in the field of audio. Last year at technogog we looked at their Lower East Side Media Speakers, which we found to be quite impressive. The Audyssey Audio Dock Air is equally notable with its excellent sound stage wrapped in a portable package. AirPlay is still a relatively new Apple technology and nobody has released a must have device for it until now.
The Audyssey Audio Dock Air is the best sounding AirPlay system that I have encountered. It lists for $399 but can be found online for up to a $100 less. The Audio Dock Air is a perfect portable system that takes advantage of this wireless music technology. Using this device with a newer iOS device or PC/Mac will provide wireless audio in one’s home or work place at a touch of a button.
+Set up relatively simple
+Works with up to four Audio Dock Airs to create multi-room system
-Side speakers limits placement options
-Take care in carrying it
-No power button
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