Sony was perhaps hoping that their own HomeShare streaming solution would be a big success with the audio market, but in the last year they have come to understand that you can’t get around AirPlay technology with the market size of Apple iOS devices. Hence Sony is now rolling out AirPlay support for some of their HomeShare speakers, as well as two new AirPlay enabled speaker docks.
In fact, Sony rolled out the first AirPlay enabled HomeShare speaker a few months ago in the Sony SA-NS500, and this time around they are adding AirPlay support to two more; the SA-NS310 and the SA-NS410. Both speakers support streaming over AirPlay as well as the DLNA HomeShare solution from Sony, but the larger SA-NS410 also has a built in subwoofer for improved bass performance. Building a home audio system around these AirPlay speakers can also be done as they can be paired together.
The Sony Airplay enabled HomeShare speakers are expected out sometime this summer.
Sony has for a long time also been a dominating supplier of affordable iPod speaker docks, and this year they are bringing AirPlay to the iOS speaker dock as well with two new models featuring both AirPlay streaming and docking stations; the Sony RDP-XA900iP and Sony RDP-XA700iP.
None of these systems are exactly in the low budget range of the speaker dock market, but they do come with some interesting specifications. The top model Sony RDP-XA900iP has 200W (RMS) power output whilst the “junior” model RDP-XA700iP has 60W (RMS) power output. Both well above the average for iPod speaker docks. Both systems are what is referred to as single-box 2.1 systems, which is a two-way speaker system without integrated subwoofer. Instead they feature dual passive bass radiators, which according to Sony brings a powerful bass-filled sound stage.
Both Sony AirPlay speaker docks supports docking of all iOS devices, and is expected out in May of this year. I will be back with more information and pricing details as soon as available.