What a tease, I was just looking at Airplay speakers yesterday, we want something for the living room... now I have to wait for Axiom to come up with their version... ahhh!!! I'm a big fan of Airplay. From my phone in my pocket I can send and/or control the same music to my outdoor Algonquin's, and to any other airplay systems in the house- so the music is the same as you move from room to room and inside to outside- a very nice/clean effect to have several rooms playing the same thing and controlling it from your phone. Bluetooth is okay, but your source has to be in the same room. There are other non-Apple wifi solutions out there, but I'm not familiar with them. I'm (kinda) sure someone could come up with an Android app to stream music to airplay speakers. Itunes is cross platform and free at least for PC users. Bluetooth would be a more universal 'backup' interface for non iOS users. I know, just include a free iPod with purchase!
The perfect unit would be super small and unobtrusive, easy to put anywhere, with perfect, crisp clean sound and tight solid punchy bass. Since that's not possible you (the buyer) need to figure out how much of a compromise you're willing to make in one area to improve the other. When I was looking for some iPod speakers for our kitchen, the problem was finding good speakers at a reasonable price- at some point you cross over into the receiver + in wall speaker price range. Plus we didn't want huge speakers in the kitchen. We settled on a Klipsch unit at the time, a good small size for the kitchen counter, but with decent sound and decent bass when placed in a corner. It's used mostly for background music while we're in the kitchen though. Not the overpriced/over bassed (just made that up) Bose unit.
I agree the M2-M3 range for sound quality would be a good place to start. For a living room system I would be willing to up the size (from our current small Klipsch dock) for better sound. An optional wireless sub would be really cool for those willing to spend a bit more, but still optional for those of us who realize our true music listening will be with our full Axiom setup in whatever room we have it in.
I think a good starting place would be similar to your computer speaker setup- decent speakers (I assume, I haven't hear them) with an optional sub. I actually looked into those when we bought the dock. Personally, I'd pay at most ~$350-400 for this kind of airplay setup, which may price me out of an 'audiophile' Axiom option, but again, I would be using the unit primarily for background/convenient listening- when it's time to rock out I'm headed downstairs to the media room. I think stereo would be a must, but I don't know. Two speakers inches apart from each other may not really separate sound well. I'd take one good speaker over two crappy ones. Maybe a modular one speaker system would let people use two units, further apart, for better separation. But then you'd need some kind of hub/controller to interface with iTunes and decide which speaker gets which channel. Might make it more affordable for someone to buy one at a time and add on as they want.
Not too interested in a battery pack built in- maybe an external one like suggested above. I've never been impressed by battery powered speakers. Esp if that battery is trying to run wifi as well. I'm guessing you're going to be close to your wifi network which means you'll be close to a plug...
I would be more than happy to volunteer my time as a beta tester for the new units
I use airplay almost every day to some degree.
Sorry for the long post, but it's something I'd be interested in. Can't wait to see if you guys come up with something.