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#382958 - 09/19/12 11:55 AM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
Amie Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 1620
This is really helpful everyone - thanks for the input! Keep it coming!

I didn't ask but should have - what are your 'weight tolerances'? How much can this weigh before you find it too big / too inconvenient?
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Amie Colquhoun
Axiom Audio

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#382959 - 09/19/12 12:00 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
vassillios Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/28/07
Posts: 597
Loc: Warrenton, VA
Originally Posted By: Amie
This is really helpful everyone - thanks for the input! Keep it coming!

I didn't ask but should have - what are your 'weight tolerances'? How much can this weigh before you find it too big / too inconvenient?


For true mobility, it shouldn't be more than 16oz (that might even be too much). For stand alone, I don't think weight is a consideration.
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#382961 - 09/19/12 12:06 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
a401classic Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1194
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Seeing some of the Gizmodo references brought back recent thoughts of what to do with my VP150 - I was thinking of pulling the middle speaker and somehow stuffing a small amp (Lepai LP-2020 guts, for instance) and an iPod docking port inside the cabinet and fabricating a power switch and volume knob that would fit in the round void up front. This would leave a set of horizontal stereo speakers on either side of the controls and dock. I know, not the best imaging, but for my kid's dorm room it's probably better than nothing.
Now, incorporating the electronics for AirPlay would eliminate the need for the dock and make for a cleaner finish.
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Scott

My HT

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#382963 - 09/19/12 12:48 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
Allan_A Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 4
Yes Amie! Yes Ian!. I really hope this comes to market - there is a huge gap that is not being filled by anything decent.

I have a house full of speakers and do use airplay for a couple of rooms (I do it using airport expresses)..

Here are my thoughts and wishes...

Two models, indoor, outdoor.

Outdoor should be single, easily hangable on a wall box, (re-chargable) battery pack, weatherproof'ish would be great.

Actually I would make them both single boxes, nicely powered.

Indoor...

The bar for this (to me) would be the JBL Soundstage 400 which I drag around outside and in the kitchen. I like it ascetically as it is not too big and is not very placement dependant, and even with that size, as far as sound quality as it is the only single box I've heard that has any type of oomph and stereo imaging.

Competition: The new Beats audio boxes are very appealing to the youth. While not sonically very accurate, they do produce an appealing (to that market) sound.

On that note, to widen the appeal into teens bedrooms, I would add a dock for the device, even if it is just a usb port so that it could be used as a charger for phones.

Again, if you wanted to widen the use you could also add in an optical port so that the it could be used as a soundbar type of device to use in smaller tv rooms, bedrooms that may not have stereo set ups - most cable/sat boxes have optical outs on them.

Finally, I think that aesthetics are important in this market category.

And that is really my thoughts for these types of speakers, thanks for listening and good luck Amie!


Edited by Allan_A (09/19/12 12:51 PM)

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#382966 - 09/19/12 01:50 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8294
Loc: Tacoma
I'm with Vassillios; two, distinct products.

First, stereo speakers based on the M3 for permanent installation. I think an external power supply is okay as long as it attaches to the wall with a regular size plug. I'm interested to know everyone's thinking on whether both speakers plug into the wall or one plugs into the wall and the other one plugs into the first one (I suspect the latter is the only feasible solution). The carrying case is a nice idea, but should be optional.

As to connectivity, I think you have to make provision for Bluetooth in addition to airplay. Maybe they are different models with different internals. A third option could be a wireless version that includes a transmitter that could be connected to any source device via analog jack so that the speakers could be used as surround speakers where wiring is problematic.

The second item would be small, portable, rechargeable and one piece. Something like a Jawbone Jambox. In our house, there is demand for something in the bathroom that can connect to iPad, iPod or Android phone. It wouldn't have to be tiny, but form factor matters.

Fun!
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#382969 - 09/19/12 02:00 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
jweisberg Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/09/12
Posts: 1
I believe there are two separate products here.

1. A single box portable solution, heir to the boombox. Think Audiobyte speakers on either end with a single woofer for bass support in the middle. Class D amp for energy efficiency. Wi-Fi, 1/8" input jack; no Bluetooth. USB charging port for portable player/phone. Maybe an iPhone/iPod dock, but would need to be with adapters for different models. A well to hold non-Apple player devices so that it isn't sitting loose on top or lying beside.
Power options: AC adapter, rechargeable battery pack, and external 12v input (e.g., for car powerpoint adapter). I like the idea of eliminating the external, plug-hugging wall-wart, but building it into the device adds weight that may be undesirable at times. A solution I haven't seen anyone use yet is to have the battery pack or AC power adapter fit into the same pocket in the device - plug in the one you need for mobile (around the yard) vs portable (around the house) use.
The unit should be as much under 10lbs / 4kgs as you can get it while still surpassing the sound quality of existing units. Weather resistant, so getting a couple of minutes of rain on it before putting it under cover isn't an issue. Limited colour choices.
The market for this unit is people who want better quality sound than current consumer offerings, and are willing to have a bit heavier unit to gain that, but who would never consider going to the extent of something like a self-built Boominator, which is designed for all weekend use.

2. Two separate powered speakers for use indoors. Fills a niche between the Audiobytes (connected to computer) and something like M2s with a receiver, for bedroom and den type systems, or primary systems for those who don't want a full-size set-up.
Power supply built-in, 1/8" input for non-Airplay use, USB charging port for portable devices. No bigger than M2s. Optional powered sub-woofer. Available in all Axiom's finishes.
Market for this is people who want a compact, convenient, good-sounding and stylish unit for secondary rooms, or a main system if they aren't into home theatre and dedicated music listening (or want a smaller system because they expect to move a lot or live in a smaller residence). So needs to be more convenient and attractive than an Airport Express/Apple TV plus separate powered speakers, and better quality but not dramatically more expensive than big-box Airplay solutions. I think Axiom's range of finishes is a big competitive edge for this product.

Why no Bluetooth? Limited range and bandwidth, most wireless music playing devices support Wi-fi anyway.
Why not focus on Apple devices? Because Apple may be dominant, but they still have less than 50% of the market in areas such as smart-phones. And there are way more competitors doing Apple only audio devices.

Two other technology thoughts, possible inclusions depending on cost. One is DLNA support, which makes possible use with systems other than Airplay. The other is for the second product - audio input from a HDTV, DVD player, or laptop/tablet. Seems a lot of people have secondary TVs, and don't want a full surround system, but do want better sound than the TV speakers or laptop/tablet provide. Their obvious option right now is a HTIB or cheap receiver + soundbar, neither of which would sound or look as good, or be as well integrated, as a powered Axiom solution.

Good luck with the product development!

John

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#382972 - 09/19/12 02:34 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17791
Loc: NoVA
DLNA, of course. I'd prefer to have Airplay over DLNA, but having both would be ideal.
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#382974 - 09/19/12 02:51 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6865
Loc: PEI, Canada
Lots of good stuff said already so I'll just add my votes.

--Airplay.
--Bluetooth
--Stereo
--2 way minimum, we need that tweeter.
--AC vs. battery?? as long as it's not battery only. Question... How long can a decent speaker last on a set of batteries anyways?

--No wallworts!!!!!

--Left and rights are separate units. I have never understood stereo when the two speakers are mashed close together in a single unit. Two channels give better sonic reproduction I'm sure but certainly no stereophonic effect.

--DLNA would be useful, but I think this would overcomplicate your product. You are not trying to build the smarts into the speaker, you just want to make it an audio slave (no reference to the band intended) to other smart devices, correct?

For me personally, if I was buying 'outdoor' speakers, I'd go with permanent outdoor speakers. For this model, an indoor set that I can occasionally drag outdoors would be fine. I'll pull em back in if it rains.

--Don't shoot me folks but if you go with an outdoors model, they may need a bit of a bass bump to overcome the tinney outdoor sound some speakers get without reflection points, but hey, I'm delving into design here, which is your bag and I know nothing.....notttinggggg.

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With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#382981 - 09/19/12 03:38 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4517
Loc: Marion, IA
If there isn't something more than Airplay and a good wireless method to stream, then I am out. Then again, if you advertise it with the right marketing, you will make a killing in the Apple market. Some of those folks will buy anything no matter the cost. laugh

Seriously though, I can't complain because the original question was about creating an Airplay speaker. You could keep it simple and just have that.

Power without batteries or wallwarts would mean that the conversion from wall power to what the speakers would use just moves from the wallwart to inside the speaker. It has to be put somewhere. Make it sexy. Include Airplay (obviously). Offer it in white only. Charge a small fortune. Market it like crazy. Make a lot of money.
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M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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#382984 - 09/19/12 04:41 PM Re: Designing The Axiom Airplay Speaker [Re: Amie]
INANE Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 1669
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Timing is everything I guess. Enter Miracast.

Miracast appears to be making a stab at becoming an Airplay-like industry standard. I like what I'm reading about it. The iSheep will prob continue to use Airplay (why would they not) but this could become a possible/probable replacement for DLNA, widi and the like.
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HT v2.0 !
HT v1.0

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