Belkin’s new SoundForm Join Audio is a $99 dongle that allows you to flip any pair of audio system with both a 3.5mm or optical port into an AirPlay 2-compatible setup. In different phrases, it’s successfully an Apple model of the (now-defunct) Chromecast Audio.
As somebody who really likes AirPlay 2, it’s a really fascinating idea, particularly you probably have older audio system or an audio setup that you just’d wish to get wired into the remainder of an AirPlay system.
Setup is easy: simply plug within the SoundForm Join Audio to energy (over USB-C, fortunately), after which plug in a 3.5mm headphone jack or optical cable out of your speaker system’s enter port.
However the SoundForm Join Audio prices $99 simply so as to add a speaker to an AirPlay 2 setup. That’s between two to 3 instances as a lot, or as a lot as Ikea’s entry-level Symfonisk bookshelf speaker (which additionally provides AirPlay 2 assist).
Nonetheless, provided that there hasn’t actually been an answer for this sort of setup since Apple discontinued the AirPort Specific (which supplied comparable performance for the unique AirPlay normal), the SoundForm Join Audio is best than nothing. However the comparatively excessive worth means it’ll doubtless solely be helpful for house owners of costlier speaker setups.