Belkin’s new SoundForm Link Audio is a $99 dongle that lets you flip any pair of speakers with either a 3.5mm or optical port into an AirPlay 2-appropriate set up. In other text, it is efficiently an Apple version of the (now-defunct) Chromecast Audio.
As somebody who in fact likes AirPlay 2, it’s a extremely interesting principle, primarily if you have older speakers or an audio setup that you’d like to get wired into the rest of an AirPlay technique.
Set up is very simple: just plug in the SoundForm Join Audio to electrical power (more than USB-C, luckily), and then plug in a 3.5mm headphone jack or optical cable from your speaker system’s enter port.
Sadly, the SoundForm Join Audio does appear with a quite hefty cost tag for what it does. The Chromecast Audio used to charge $35, which produced it a really wonderful option for hooking up an previous speaker to your multiroom audio setup. An Echo Dot (which is also a whole-fledged good speaker) can be hooked up to anything with a headphone jack to use with Alexa and prices $40 to $50 — not counting Amazon’s repeated sale.
But the SoundForm Join Audio fees $99 just to add a speaker to an AirPlay 2 setup. That’s among two to a few situations as considerably, or as a lot as Ikea’s entry-stage Symfonisk bookshelf speaker (which also delivers AirPlay 2 help).
Continue to, given that there has not actually been a remedy for this kind of setup considering the fact that Apple discontinued the AirPort Categorical (which supplied comparable features for the first AirPlay conventional), the SoundForm Join Audio is superior than nothing. But the rather high cost suggests it’ll probably only be useful for homeowners of much more high-priced speaker setups.
The SoundForm Join Audio is out there to preorder now from Belkin’s website, with orders shipping later in June.