I have previously covered solutions to bring new life to older speaker docks following Apple switching to new Lightning connector standard on new producst, turning speaker docks wireless using Bluetooth dock adapters. C4 Electronics have however come up with their own dock adapter that will bring both AirPlay and DLNA streaming to your existing speaker docks in the Dolry HiFi Stone.
The Dolry HiFi Stone has likely gotten its name from its pebble like style with a glossy front. Small white lights at the front tells you if the HiFi Stone is set up and connected. It is roughly the same size as most 30-pin bluetooth dock adapters I have come across, and the finish is such that it will blend in nicely with most speakers docks worthy of this wireless option investment. The 30-pin connector is situated at the bottom edge of the HiFi Stone.
Getting the Dolry HiFi Stone set up and ready for use was fairly simple. Once you have it docked with your speakers and the white light at the top of the unit goes from flashing to constant, you have the option of connecting directly to the HiFi Stone using its WiFi Direct functionality (it sets up its own wireless connection), or if you are using it at home you can set it up to access your home network by downloading the Dolry app and follow some straightforward instructions. Having the WiFi Direct option is great if you plan to use it outside the reach of your home WiFi network, as it does allow for AirPlay streaming directly from your Apple device to the unit. WiFi Direct also opens up the opportunity for using the Dolry HiFi Stone for AirPlay in a car. The Dolry app is also useful for handling firmware updates, and if you understand Chinese, for Internet Radio tuning.
Should you have a mixed device household, meaning you have non-Apple devices used for audio streaming, the Dolry HiFi Stone also works with devices that support DLNA, including Samsung’s AllShare. I also tested it out with a Nexus 4 using the BubbleUPnP app, and it works like a charm.
While the streaming quality differences between AirPlay and Bluetooth might have decreased in more recent wireless speakers, offering up latest standards of near lossless Bluetooth streaming, AirPlay still has an advantage for users invested in Apple products.
Dolry HiFi Stone Review
Having had a chance to test it out over the last few weeks on a few different speaker docks and with a few different audio sources (iPad and Android smartphone), the Dolry HiFi Stone has shown both its strengths and its weaknesses.
The Dolry HiFi Stone has a good design and seem to be well built. Getting it set up and working is fairly straightforward, with both WiFi Direct and connecting it to home wireless network working like a breeze. iPad found the HiFi Stone straight away for streaming over AirPlay, and with the right program, the Nexus 4 also located the HiFi Stone for DLNA streaming easily.
Streaming quality seemed to be of expected ‘lossless’ AirPlay quality. When testing against using a Bluetooth dock adapter, the audio quality was better with the HiFi Stone using AirPlay streaming.
The abillity to use it for AirPlay streaming in a car is a big plus in my book. This does of course require that you either have a 30-pin dock in your car, or that you get a compatible cable. Worth double checking if your car will support this before buying it for use in car.
I did experience occasional interruptions in streaming, especially over AirPlay. That is something I have experienced with AirPlay speakers before, but it did seem to happen a bit more frequently than I would have liked to have seen. For some reason I did not seem to have that same issue when streaming from android device using DLNA. It also felt like there was a lag in reaction time when switching between songs etc.
The Dolry HiFi Stone definitely has some advantages over the run of the mill bluetooth dock adapter when it comes to streaming audio quality and the fact that you can stream to it using DLNA as well. That being said, unless you have a fairly high end speaker dock that requires a wireless upgrade, paying nearly €90 to upgrade for AirPlay seems a bit steep compared to the ca £20 you have to pay to get a decent bluetooth adapter. If only they could shave off €30-40 on the cost it would make it a lot more interesting.
In UK and Europe you can buy the Dolry HiFi Stone 30-pin AirPlay/DLNA dock adapter direct from www.dolry.com for €89.99. We have been able to secure a 10% discount code for our readers when buying direct from Dolry, so please use discount code ‘IPODREPUBLIC10‘ at checkout.