Urbanears launches Connected Speakers with built-in support for Apple AirPlay

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2017
Though new AirPlay accessories are seemingly few and far between these days, Urbanears on Tuesday announced a lineup of standalone speakers that support Apple's Wi-Fi-based music streaming protocol.




The smaller Urbanears Stammen is priced at $350, while the larger Baggen runs $450. They are set to become available this Thursday, March 30, through selected retailers worldwide and direct from Urbanears.

The new lineup of "Connected Speakers" will be available in six color variations: Dirty Pink, Vinyl Black, Plant Green, Concrete Grey, Goldfish Orange, and Indigo Blue.

Beyond AirPlay, the Urbanears Connected Speakers will also support Spotify Connect and Google Chromecast. Audio connections will also be supported over Bluetooth and a 3.5-millimeter aux headphone jack.




Urbanears has also promised over-the-air updates for new features and connection possibilities.

Two or more Connected Speakers will be able to be combined for a multi-room setup. Urbanears says its system will allow a different "mood" for each room, or all of the speakers can be grouped together for synchronized listening.

The speakers lack digital displays, instead opting for physical control via two knobs on the top panel. A single push of a button can pause or play, or switch between solo and multi modes.




One dial will adjust volume, while the other can be used to select one of seven presets, including support for Spotify playlists and internet radio stations.

In addition to configuring presets and speaker groupings, the official Urbanears app will also include integrated equalizer settings, allowing users to tailor the accessory to their liking.




The speakers are wrapped in an acoustically transparent fabric. Urbanears says the Baggen is suited for larger spaces like living rooms and patios, while the Stammen is intended for small to mid-sized spaces like living rooms, bedrooms and studio apartments.

AirPlay has long been a unique part of Apple's audio ecosystem, and support is included in the company's Apple TV and diminutive AirPort Express routers. But with rumors that Apple is looking to abandon its AirPort lineup, speakers with integrated capabilities may be the last best hope for AirPlay audio aficionados.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,850member
    Don't forget that all versions of Apple TV support AirPlay. That's how I currently get music from my computer to my audio system and a couple of remote speakers around the house.
    wwchrisjdgazcaliRacerhomieXcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 12
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 349member
    Note sure why Beats is not doing something similar and at a lower cost. Should be able to beat a Sonus product in both quality and price. Whole home sound systems should be easy to do with airplay. Apple just hasn't pushed its technology.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 709member
    I'd hate to see AirPlay disappear. For me, it's easier to use, more reliable/stable than a Bluetooth connection, has a longer range due to Wi-Fi/Ethernet, and synchronizes between multiple speakers and with video better than Bluetooth.
    bill42calisflagelboltsfan17RacerhomieXroundaboutnow
  • Reply 4 of 12
    bill42bill42 Posts: 126member
    zroger73 said:
    I'd hate to see AirPlay disappear. For me, it's easier to use, more reliable/stable than a Bluetooth connection, has a longer range due to Wi-Fi/Ethernet, and synchronizes between multiple speakers and with video better than Bluetooth.
    This has been bothering me for years. Apple is the biggest company in the world. (at least half the time)
    They spend millions on R&D. The home market is huge. Why didn't Apple put out their own SONOS-destroying speakers years ago?

    On the same note why don't they have all sorts of home automation devices? Why didn't they buy NEST before Google did? Stuff like this makes me shake my head.
    cali
  • Reply 5 of 12
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,111member
    bill42 said:
    zroger73 said:
    I'd hate to see AirPlay disappear. For me, it's easier to use, more reliable/stable than a Bluetooth connection, has a longer range due to Wi-Fi/Ethernet, and synchronizes between multiple speakers and with video better than Bluetooth.
    On the same note why don't they have all sorts of home automation devices? Why didn't they buy NEST before Google did? Stuff like this makes me shake my head.
    Because that's not their business. They say No to all sorts of cool ideas. 
    lollivercornchip
  • Reply 6 of 12
    bill42 said:

    On the same note why don't they have all sorts of home automation devices? Why didn't they buy NEST before Google did? Stuff like this makes me shake my head.
    Perhaps Apple used a few million dollars to conduct various financial analyses and concluded it wasn't the correct strategy?  As you stated, "Apple is the biggest company in the world. (at least half the time)" ... they must be do something right, ya?

    You're advocating Apple do this:
    1. Say, "Hey, other companies, you should incorporate our platform / standard (e.g. HomeKit or AirPlay) into your Product XYZ!"
    2. Compete directly with Product XYZ

    ... If I was a company and heard the above, I'd likely not incorporate Apple platform / standards.


    AirPods are actually a corollary example:  In this case, Apple did want to compete with its own "Product XYZ" (AirPods) in the wireless headphone market ... so Apple self-developed the W1 Chip and made a more compelling experience.

    edited March 2017 caliRacerhomieX
  • Reply 7 of 12
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    I love both my AirPort Express 2012 because of its rock Solid AirPlay Support. and also my 2nd Gen Apple TV
  • Reply 8 of 12
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,158member
    zroger73 said:
    I'd hate to see AirPlay disappear. For me, it's easier to use, more reliable/stable than a Bluetooth connection, has a longer range due to Wi-Fi/Ethernet, and synchronizes between multiple speakers and with video better than Bluetooth.
    That would be pretty disappointing if AirPlay disappeared. I use it on a daily basis listening to music through my AirPlay compatible receiver. It does work a lot better than Bluetooth. 
    lollivercornchip
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Only a decade late. I've given up on AirPlay and moved to Sonos. I should have done it years ago. Rock solid, great sound, great UI and they don't 'accidentally' remove feature when they update things.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,021member
    I like the Idea of the Preset knob for office environments, set up a few office suitable playlists quick change as mode changes.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    jdgaz said:
    Note sure why Beats is not doing something similar and at a lower cost. Should be able to beat a Sonus product in both quality and price. Whole home sound systems should be easy to do with airplay. Apple just hasn't pushed its technology.
    Apple should have bought Harman Kardon. Would have been a nice integration with Beats, and would have put Apple directly in the dashboard, especially of higher-end cars. 

    Samsung bought them instead. 
  • Reply 12 of 12
    bill42 said:
    zroger73 said:
    I'd hate to see AirPlay disappear. For me, it's easier to use, more reliable/stable than a Bluetooth connection, has a longer range due to Wi-Fi/Ethernet, and synchronizes between multiple speakers and with video better than Bluetooth.
    On the same note why don't they have all sorts of home automation devices? Why didn't they buy NEST before Google did? Stuff like this makes me shake my head.
    Because that's not their business. They say No to all sorts of cool ideas. 
    Yeah, obviously Apple can't be everywhere and do everything, but I tend to agree with the specific examples Bill cites.

    Apple is all about the unified "experience" or what we like to call the "ecosystem." Home automation and AirPlay devices fit seamlessly with what they already do and augment the value of existing Apple products.

    To buy Beats and not make a speaker intended for more than noise on the beach strikes me as odd. Such a thing certainly fits more closely with their product direction than, oh, I dunno, say, a car...

    <*Wink!*>
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