updated 06:30 pm EST, Wed November 10, 2010
iHome iW1 AirPlay speaker gets hard details
iHome today explained some of the workings of its upcoming AirPlay speaker. Now called the iW1, the audio system will primarily stream from an iTunes computer to the speaker and should mostly use an iOS 4.2 device as a remote, although the feature should theoretically allow direct-from-device streaming. The hardware will allow a Sonos-like multi-room audio system with the option of piping audio to every iW1 on the local network or just individual units.
Most other details are refinements of what was teased after the iW1 was first shown in September. Audio quality should be a focus with both class-D amplifiers as well as Bongiovi Acoustics tuning for the pairs of tweeters and woofers. A row of capacitive touch buttons on top will provide basic physical controls, and iPhone or iPod owners will have the option of charging directly from a USB port on the back.
iHome hasn't yet given an estimated battery life for the lithium-ion pack in the iW1 other than "hours," but it did mention that the speaker will support the native iOS app for setting up and delivering firmware updates.
Release dates, prices and other launch details still aren't known for the wireless audio system, though its release hinges on iOS 4.2's posting, which could come by Friday.