updated 08:50 pm EDT, Wed August 31, 2011
Wireless speaker system is expandable
The rechargeable AirPlay speaker from iHome, the iW1 will be arriving in retailers and available through iHome starting September 26th. The long-anticipated system uses Airplay and either direct-from-device or an iOS app to control multiple units throughout a space to stream music from a Mac or iOS device. A limited quantity was offered for sale on the company's website earlier today to customers who had signed up for availability notifications and were sold out in 45 minutes.
The iW1 can be used as a solo speaker or as part of a group of iW1s arranged throughout the home to pipe audio from the same or different sources. A few refinements have been made from the original design, including a USB charging option for iPhone/iPod Touch owners and Bongiovi Acoustics DPS technology and four active speakers.
The unit features capacitive touch buttons on top for physical controls or can be controlled through an iOS application, which can also deliver firmware updates. The company says the included lithium-ion batteries in the unit can last for "hours" but hasn't published a specific expectation. The USB port can also be used for direct audio input.
The iW1 will require iTunes 10.1 or later or an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 4.2 for AirPlay streaming. It will retail for $300.