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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Where are the Beat+Airplay speakers?

Where are the Beat+Airplay speakers?
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abbaZaba
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Oct 12, 2015, 12:43 PM
 
I noticed a product release of new Beats Pills speakers but noticed they didn't have Airplay.. It's not something I think about too often but why wouldn't Apple have married their Airplay tech into Beats speakers? Seems silly to pump out a Bluetooth only product when you have that tech at your disposal.
     
P
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Oct 12, 2015, 03:21 PM
 
Probably because it's portable speakers. For one thing those portable speakers aren't likely to sound good enough for Bluetooth compression artifacts to be heard, and for another that feature would only work if there was a wifi network around where you set them up.

Note that the Bluetooth standard allows you to send audio compressed as MP3 or AAC over the stream, and fall back to the default format if that fails - like Apt-X works. My ideal speaker product would be one that could accept the audio bitstream raw from the iPhone and handle all decompression and playback, with the iPhone only providing the interface and the storage. It would be hard for anyone not Apple to do that (although I think it could be done with a non-standard playback app), but trivial for Apple now that they own Beats. Too bad they haven't though about that.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 12, 2015, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Probably because it's portable speakers. For one thing those portable speakers aren't likely to sound good enough for Bluetooth compression artifacts to be heard, and for another that feature would only work if there was a wifi network around where you set them up.

Note that the Bluetooth standard allows you to send audio compressed as MP3 or AAC over the stream, and fall back to the default format if that fails - like Apt-X works. My ideal speaker product would be one that could accept the audio bitstream raw from the iPhone and handle all decompression and playback, with the iPhone only providing the interface and the storage. It would be hard for anyone not Apple to do that (although I think it could be done with a non-standard playback app), but trivial for Apple now that they own Beats. Too bad they haven't though about that.
So, something like Korus, just with its own protocol not requiring a dongle.

https://www.macnn.com/reviews/korus-...er-system.html

I bet they have. 2016.
     
P
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Oct 12, 2015, 05:24 PM
 
The best metaphor I have is the old optical audio out. It could send either CD audio stereo uncompressed or multichannel audio compressed (Dolby Digital or DTS). The point was that the thing that read the disk did nothing more than read that disk, separate out the audio track if it was a DVD, and send it to the receiver. That piece was irrelevant to the audio quality. Since Bluetooth optionally supports that in A2DP, and it would be the theoretically best solution.

The Korus sounds like it still recompresses the audio, though it may possibly be lossless compression. The advantage there is that the "baton" is a higher power transmitter than what might be available in a regular phone, giving better range. Which would be nice - I use a pair of UE Mini Booms as my travel speakers, and the only issue with them is that they have to stay reasonably close together, as the longest leg in the triangle (phone + 2 speakers) shouldn't be over 10m, and probably shorter than that to stay on the safe side. Other than that, I find the audio from them impressive for something so tiny.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
abbaZaba  (op)
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Oct 13, 2015, 03:36 PM
 
Audio compression/quality is not the only reason I find AirPlay so much more attractive than Bluetooth. The multi-room support already baked in is a huge feature. I understand they are portable speakers, but in reality that is a huge advantage; you have an AirPlay portable speaker you can take to the kitchen or porch to play your iTunes library with the Remote app, while still playing the same tune in the living room sound system.

This gets at my other gripe with Airplay + iOS and that you can't stream to multiple AirPlay locations from an iOS device. It seems very arbitrary to me; my first thought would they'd hamper this because of battery life, but could it be that much of a hit? Is there another reason I may be missing to limit to only one AirPlay output?

The AirPlay options are an Airport Express ($100) or an AppleTV ($69). The Airport Express seems expensive to me for adding functionality to one's existing sound system and the AppleTV has the disadvantage of no 3.5mm port.

I guess I have a puzzlement with Apple's lack of growth of AirPlay. Google's now got a Chromecast specifically for Audio that has better wifi (AC) than the Airport Express, still has 3.5mm analog/optical output, and is 1/3 of the price ($35). When multi-room support comes to Chromecast Audio, they've leap frogged AirPlay, which has been around much longer !
     
   
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