updated 07:55 am EDT, Thu September 13, 2012
Bose pushes out new wireless speakers for iOS, Android
Bose has pushed out its latest wireless speakers aimed for iOS and Android devices. The SoundLink Air is aimed exclusively at iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users and is the first portable Bose speakers to support AirPlay. The second of the two new speakers is the SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II, which supports both iOS and Android devices over a Bluetooth connection.
The SoundLink Air uses Apple's proprietary AirPlay technology to wirelessly stream music over a Wi-Fi connection, which overs higher quality sound than Bluetooth-enabled equivalents - Bluetooth has a relatively narrow bandwidth compared to AirPlay, resulting in a somewhat lower-fidelity sound. The SoundLink Air can be linked to multiple SoundLink Air systems for house-wide audio streaming. Users can also use the optional auxilliary port to connect other devices with a 3.5mm plug.
The SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile II speaker is designed with portability in mind. The device is said to be light enough to carry in one hand or easily fit in a backpack or travel bag. A unique bi-fold function helps to keep the speakers extra compact when on the go. The device does not need a remote control as playback functions can be handled remotely by the connected Bluetooth device - range, like all Bluetooth-enabled devices is around 10 meters. It includes a choice of colored covers including burgundy or tan leather, or red or purple nylon.
The SoundLink Air is retailing for $350 and has the option of a rechargeable battery, which is available for an extra $90. The SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile II retails for $300 fitted with a nylon cover, or $350 with the leather option.