New Spotify Connect wireless streaming standard to rival Apple Airplay

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spotify-connect-banner.pngApple’s iTunes is backed by Airplay wireless music streaming, and now Spotify will have their own wire-free way of beaming your tunes to a speaker. The music streaming giants have today revealed Spotify Connect, teaming up with a whole bunch of audio hardware manufacturers to pop Spotify right into new sets of Wi-Fi speakers.

At a basic level, Spotify Connect will add a button to the app that allows for a single button press to beam tunes to the more capable dedicated speakers, alĂ„ Airplay. But that’s not all – Spotify Connect will also allow for Sonos-style seamless transfer of a playback session from one device to another. And, rather than using your phone’s Wi-Fi connection (or whatever device you’re playing through), the speakers will actually pull the streaming track down directly from the cloud, saving on battery life.

Argon, Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Marantz, Philips, Pioneer, Revo, Teufel and Yamaha will all be manufacturing Spotify Connect devices, with the standard forever remembering when a device has been paired once before, turning any active Spotify device into a remote for the speakers. Older Wi-Fi speaker devices will be upgradeable too, should the manufacturers choose to update their firmware.

“Today, listening to music at home can be a frustrating experience – dropouts, below-par audio quality, signal range and phone restrictions, battery drainage, it’s basically a hassle,” says Sten Garmark, VP Product Management at Spotify.

“Spotify Connect solves this by giving you effortless control of your music across your phone, tablet and now speakers with millions of songs built right in.”

There’s the potential here for this to be an affordable Sonos rival, something that music lovers have been waiting for for years. Expect to see co-branded Spotify Connect speakers from the above manufacturers in stores by Christmas.

Gerald Lynch