Denon is known for making mid level high end amplifiers and receivers. They were also first to announce AirPlay compatibility in the AVR Home Theater Receiver line a couple of year back.  What Denon is not known for is speakers.

It appears they are trying to change that. The last entry into the streaming world was a giant bust with the RCD-N7. It was cute but came with crappy speakers (go figure) and a dock, but did all the heavy lifting of steaming on its own. It was sort of a mini receiver with wifi.

The Denon Coocon is an AirPlay compatible speaker dock that hedges its bet by including DLNA, which we think is the way all such docks should be. This way iOS or Android, you’re good to go.

Specs, with 100 watts of power and split 25 each for 4 drivers this unit is sure to have enough power to fill most normal size room with adequate sound. It is ported and of course like anything its size, some significant DSP goings on.

Price: $500. Is it just me of is $500 just a bit much to spend on a speaker dock? I have not yet heard this unit but for casual listening, for which even Denon would not argue this is for, there are many other AirPlay compatible spekaer docks that are much less expensive which will sound either as good, or almost as good.

That said, if you’re a big Denon fan then this might make a great addition to your kitchen, bedroom or porch.

Sending Audio from Mac using OS X Mountain Lion

So you’ve downloaded the new Mac OS, Mountain Lion and cannot wait to start using AirPlay to send audio to your AirPlay compatible devices? Well this tutorial at CNet shows you how.

AirPlay only the audio from your Mac using OS X Mountain Lion | How To – CNET

Big Price Difference between AirPlay & Bluetooth Speakers

Apple dominates in most of the markets they play in. Wireless technology does not appear to be one of them. We previously looked at bluetooth vs AirPlay as technologies to share your music to wireless speakers. Depending on your goal, each channel has an advantage.

Bluetooth –
Pros – Cheap speakers, large selection, easy to use, works with more than Apple devices
Cons- Range limited to 30 or so feet from the broadcasting device

AirPlay –
Pros – Easy to use, Only need to be within WiFi range for it to work (much further than bluetooth) Works well with iTunes. works with many device types like receivers that usually charge extra for bluetooth, uses Apples free app.
Cons – Speaker usually expensive

Price is the Main Advantage of Bluetooth Speakers

Bottom line is that if you’re keeping the device playing the music within 30 feet of the speakers, bluetooth has a much broader selection of available speakers at a lower cost.

Recommended bluetooth speakers.

Jawbone Jambox, cool looking and small

Creative D100, Great price, small size, good sound

Supertooth Disco – forget the name, has great features and sound great!

Creative D3X – Create a wireless Home Theater, Add Subwoofer. Cool

Tango TRX – Includes a Dock too

Sonos Adds AirPlay

Sonos, the maker of well designed distributed music systems has announced they now are AirPlay compatible. no they did not incorporate it into the hardware like Denon, Pioneer or JBL are doing. They are suggesting you purchase an AirPort Express and do it that way. This of course will cost you $99 and is rather misleading since any receiver or other powered device or iPod dock can be AirPlay compatible by doing this. It’s simple

iTunes >>Apple Airport Express >> Plugs into anything with a jack on it.

Sonos also has a Android and iPhone app. Sonos claims on their site that this is the only true multi-room AirPlay experience. I’ve not used Denon’s Party mode but I think it comes pretty close and since you can get an AirPlay ready Denon Receiver for around $550 and hook up real speakers you might consider this an option.

Check out Deals for Sonos on Amazon

JBL Wireless AIrPlay Speaker Launches

JBL  has finally launched their AirPlay compatible speaker. In what I think is typical JBL fashion it’s weird looking. Looks aside I’d bet it sounds great. Other JBL docks we looked at produced great sound for their size and usually produce acceptable bass. Like all AirPlay compatible speakers the new JBL dock works over your wireless network to deliver your music from iTunes or your iOS4 based devices. One cool think is the speaker lets you see what’s playing via it’s on-board screen. That is actually cool. The device includes an iPod dock which will also charge the device. Not much other use for the dock if music gets there wirelessly via AirPlay.

Launched on the JBL site today for $349, a discount of $50 off the list price of $399.

AirPlay Apps

AirPlay is more than audio now. It is also video. So besides sending audio to speakers, receivers and Apple TV it can also send video to Apple TV from a video compatible app. For instance CNN offers a new iPad app that lets you send your CNN videos from your iPad to your flat screen TV via Apple TV. Note I said VIA the Apple TV. Hopefully soon as has been rumored we’ll start seeing TV’s wit AirPlay build in so you won’t need Apple TV.

The End of Apple TV?
So this begs the question, once Apple starts licensing AirPlay to TV and Blu-ray manufacturers will anyone want to purchase an Apple TV?  BTW…you can download CNN for iPad version 1.0.2 from here for free
Here are some additional AirPlay Compatible Apps to check out.

  • iMove, Apple’s movie editing app
  • Martha Stewart Makes Cookies Huh?
  • FitnessClass a fitness class for your iPad you stream to your TV
  • Yoga with Deepak Chopra for iPad – you get the idea
  • IMDB -Internet Movie Database is now AirPlay compatible. Now this makes sense!
  • Guitar World Lick of the day. Being a Guitar player I like this one.

Got a AirPlay compatible app you like. Tell us.

Apple TV’s?

The rumors of Apple developing a TV show up every so often like clockwork. With rumblings that Apple may be licensing AirPlay to Television companies the internet is all a twitter. (excuse the pun). More likely than not this is just an industry looking to write about something Apple-ish in between announcements. New iMac’s are on the way but no one is really that interested. Even if Apple were to let AirPlay stream video it would hardly be the death nel to other devices as claimed by CrunchGear. Roku, Boxee and Apple TV would still have a happy home for those TV’s without built in connectivity.

Competitors Welcome
And given that Apple does not own any content it would benefit the studios to keep as wide a distribution of content to companies like Blockbuster, Netflix and others so Apple does not control their future.

Apple making a TV? Nope. I’ll give you two reasons.

1. Margins stink in the TV business and Apple is all about margins
2. TV’s are already slim, square and with a black bezel. Not much left to minimize.

What Apple SHOULD build
On the other hand Apple could conquer the remote control or AV Receiver market and it would be a welcome change from the stogy old companies that turn out black boxes with awful interfaces that no one can figure out how to use. Come on Apple. Just build us a nice Easy To Use Home Theater Receiver and leave the TV’s to Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Panasonic.

iHome AirPlay Compatible Speakers

Studio SeriesMulti-room audioThere is not a lot written about the iHome AirPlay speakers but from the looks of it they seem to be going after Sonos.

  • Small portable design
  • High end DPS
  • Multi room capabilities
  • Wireless technology
  • Rechargeable battery
  • iHome App enhanced
  • AirPlay compatible

There is of course not launch date as of yet but it looks like it might be a winner. Distributed audio is the new key in home audio, the ability to have music throughout the home without lots of wires, big amplifiers and complicated switches. Looks like AirPlay and iPhone/touch apps have made this a space that should have lots of competitors soon. See iHomes iA5 App-Enhanced Alarm Clock Speaker System iPhone & iPod
Look out Sonos. See the Sonos Wireless Music System.



Photo sharing comes to the iPd courtesy of FlickStackr. You can Brose and Upload photos and post Metadata.  Some are calling it the best Flickr app ever. It’s AirPlay compatible via its ability to support, including iPad2 camera and AirPlay for Flickr Videos.

SiriusXM AirPlay Compatible iPad/iPhone app

SiriusXM has release a ne app for the iPd that give you access to 120 channels of programing. It supports both iPhone and iPad devices which means it will also work with the iPod touch. And yes, we’re talking about this on AirPlay because they made it work with AirPlay. This means you’ll be able to stream your SiriusXM from your Apple wireless device to your AirPlay Compatible Speakers and AirPlay Compatible receivers so you can get the best quality possible. The application is free to download but of course you will need a Sirius plan to make it work.