Let's face it – speaker docks have the potential to be duller than a beige paint-lovers' convention. But add a little AirPlay functionality and it gives them that certain je ne sais quoi that some speaker docks seriously lack. This has already been proven with Philips' SoundSphere. Now its new line of AirPlay-enabled speaker docks have been announced, and they're just as attractive.
The SoundRing may look like it belongs to the Dyson AirBlade family, but its donut-like appearance has been engineered to completely fill a room with its audio goodness. Philips tells us it's able to do this thanks to its central bass unit, four high-definition drivers – two front and two side facing – which send the sound in all directions. And with its rechargeable battery and charging cradle you'll be able to enjoy up to five hours of your music anywhere before it needs a battery boost. It also helps that it looks good from just about every angle.
Then there's the SoundCurve, which looks pretty bog-standard next to its circular brethren. Philips tells us it will throw up natural and immersive audio, with tight bass reproduction, while pumping out 30W of sound.
Their biggest draw is their ability to stream music over Wi-Fi from iTunes on your Mac, PC or iThing. And with the announcement of Bowers and Wilkins' AirPlay app, you'll be able to combine forces with your pals to create one definitive playlist, allowing you to get even more use out of your audio equipment. Like most docks, you'll also be able to power up your device while you crank out the tunes.
We're yet to hear price details or a release date, but there have been mutterings of a pre-Christmas arrival, so keep your eyes peeled.
CES 2015: We go ears-on with Philips' noise-cancelling Lightning-compatible headphones