JBL SoundFly – Airplay Enabled Wi-fi Speakers
When planning home audio solutions, the simplest thing to do is pre-wire your house in the rooms you want to play sound. If you don’t find yourself with that luxury, the JBL SoundFly can fill the void and bring music to your ears wherever you might be at home.
The selling point of the SoundFly is that all it needs to install is an electrical outlet which makes it extremely flexible on where you place it. Once plugged into power, setup is easy with it connecting to your wi-fi and then streaming music from your iOS devices or iTunes library via Airplay.
Airplay is a proprietary protocol developed by Apple for wireless streaming music and other media between devices. To enjoy the SoundFly speakers you select audio from an iPhone, iPad or OS X computer and choose the appropriate speakers to play it on. You can play it on one SoundFly or multiple at the same time.
A second version of the SoundFly is available that is bluetooth powered and will work with non-Apple devices. You are limited however by the range of bluetooth. Considering walls and obstacles, using bluetooth as your connection method will require you to be 20-25ft away from the speaker. The Airplay version will work wherever your wi-fi has coverage which is significantly farther than bluetooth.
In my particular setup at home I have four Airplay wi-fi SoundFly speakers. Instead of playing music stored on my phone, I am able to play music from my iTunes library on my main desktop computer through the use of Apple’s home sharing feature. Using either iTunes on my desktop or the Remote app on my phone, I connect to the shared library and select which speakers I want the music to come out on.
Each JBL SoundFly is $199 and is competitively priced against other comparative wireless speakers such as those offered by Sonos. The bluetooth version is significantly cheaper but with the range restrictions I can’t recommend it as an option at all. Once you compare prices to similar solutions I found the SoundFly to be very reasonably priced.
At 20 watts, the sound produced by the SoundFly is very pleasant. It handles large rooms very well and on multiple occasions while hosting a party the SoundFly’s were able to fill the house with entertainment.
With easy setup, competitive pricing and extreme flexibility in placement location, the SoundFly’s are the answer to having whole house audio.