Logitech has announced the UE Air AirPlay speaker, a high-end wireless dock for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. It costs £300 and its release date is in April.
First the audio market flooded with iPod docks, which gradually became thought of as iPhone docks, then they started rising in price and growing in size. The next stage of the dock's evolution is wireless. The Logitech UE wireless AirPlay speaker is the fanciest iOS dock the company has produced, and gets close in price to the market's big-hitters, such as the Arcam rCube and Philips Fidelio DS9000. It's the first to sport the Ultimate Ears branding, best-known as one of the top high-end headphone ranges.
Unlike most iPhone docks, though, the Logitech UE Air relies primarily on AirPlay rather than a dock connector to get its tunes. This is Apple's wireless streaming standard, using Wi-Fi to transmit music to the dock. As Logitech senior vice president Rory Dooley says, it's aimed at a "new breed of music fans whose iPad and iPhone devices are at the centre of their listening activities." The Logitech UE Air also sports a standard 30-pin dock connector, to charge your iOS device.
This dock connector pops-out from the front of the Logitech UE Air, keeping out of view when not needed, and can be used to play music when your Wi-Fi conks out. It's a much better-looking dock than the previous, highly-regarded, Logitech S715i, with a presence that's clearly meant to be lounge-friendly. We'll be back with impressions on how it sounds in our full review.
The Logitech UE Air is available from April and will cost £299.