Reviews

AirPlay 2 Audio Adapter – Belkin SoundForm Connect

Help to make your hi-fi or smart speaker AirPlay 2 suitable, with the Belkin SoundForm Connect Audio Adapter.

AirPlay 2 for any kind of AUX
The SoundForm Connect Audio Adapter with AirPlay 2 allows you wirelessly connect your iPhone, iPod or Mac to any hi-fi system or smart speaker with an AUX input. It’s that simple. Technically superior to standard Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 delivers CD-quality sample rates of 16 bit/44.1 kHz audio.
Work with all your Apple devices
AirPlay 2 is ordinary on newer Apple devices and provides very best quality, wireless streaming and multi-room audio. Compatible with Apple iOS 11.4 and later on, the adapter is perfect for use with iPhones, iPads, Macs, Macbooks, Apple TV, HomePod and various other AirPlay 2-enabled devices.
Belkin’s brand-new SoundForm Connect Audio is a $99 dongle that lets you turn any pair of speakers with either a 3.5mm or optical port into an AirPlay 2-compatible setup. In other words, it’s successfully an Apple version of the (currently defunct) Chromecast Audio.
As someone who really likes AirPlay 2, it’s a very exciting concept, specifically if you have older speakers or an audio setup that you’d like to get wired into the rest of an AirPlay system.Belkin SoundForm Connect Audio AdapterSet up is easy: simply plug in the SoundForm Connect Audio to power (over USB-C), and then plug in a 3.5mm headphone jack or optical cable from your speaker system’s input port.
Output through digital or analogue
With a option of digital optical and 3.5mm analogue, you can output the signal to a wide spectrum of systems. Use the 3.5mm output to connect to your hi-fi or non-AirPlay 2 smart speaker’s AUX input. The optical digital output is ideal for AV receivers and stereo amplifiers with a digital input.
Create a multi-room system
The SoundForm Connect Audio Adapter features a very good way to build or add to an AirPlay 2 multi-room system. Simply use your Apple device to control a range of AirPlay 2 devices around your home. Play the same music all through, or different tracks in different rooms – the decision is yours.
Add AirPlay 2 flexibility to your system, using the Belkin SoundForm Connect.
Regrettably, the SoundForm Connect Audio does come with a relatively higher than average price tag for what it does. The Chromecast Audio used to cost $35, which made it a quite fine option for connecting up an old speaker to your multi-room audio setup. An Echo Dot (which is also a full-fledged smart speaker) can be simply hooked up to anything with a headphone jack to use with Alexa and costs $40 to $50 – not including Amazon’s regular sale.
But the SoundForm Connect Audio costs $99 only to add a speaker to an AirPlay 2 setup. That is between 2 to 3 times as much, or as much as Ikea’s entry-level Symfonisk bookshelf speaker (which as well offers AirPlay 2 support).  Photo:BelkinBelkin SoundForm Connect Audio Adapter
Nevertheless, given that there has not really been a alternative for this type of setup since Apple discontinued the AirPort Express (which offered similar functionality for the unique AirPlay standard), the SoundForm Connect Audio Adapter is better rather than practically nothing. But the fairly higher price means it’ll likely only be valuable for users of more costly speaker setups.

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