Music on the go, music at home

Thu, 10 Sep 2009, 8:29am

Just as Apple reveals a new range of iPods geared towards people on the move, French company Micromega has consulted with Apple and designed something for people who want to use iTunes as part of their hi-fi.

So while half of the What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision team were locked in a Apple press conference yesterday hearing about iPod cameras, radio, voice recording and added Nano functions for runners, the other half of the team were at Sound and Colors in Paris (above).

It's a high-end hi-fi shop and, following yesterday's announcement that Micromega are returning to the UK market, it used Sound and Colors to present something of a surprise – very different to what happened at the Apple conference, but just as important.

The AirStream is an Apple-sanctioned source which streams Lossless files from your iTunes library on your Mac or PC, and the Micromega WM-10 (left) is simply a slim box which has a single standby light.

Using wireless streaming and a dedicated DAC to removing music files from a computer "eliminates the problem of interference commonly associated with music stored on a computer," says Micromega.

Micromega owner Didier Hamdi said the project came about after his children tried to play iPod music through his hi-fi and it resulted in a poor sound, though he admits "the challenge is to bring AirStream to the market for less than 1000 Euros".

Expected around November, AirStream will be available, alongside the existing range of Micromega products currently on sale, through Absolute Sounds.

Didier also dropped hints that there will be further evolution of the AirStream technology - we'll tell you about that as soon as we hear more.

So it's good news for hi-fi fans who want want wireless and iTunes functions in the home. Just as Apple reboots iTunes to include LP functions and add information like lyrics, lost in the move to digital music formats, Micromega is doing its best to bridge the gap between iTunes and your hi-fi.

And finally, just for some more drooling, here's another view of the interior of Sound and Colors...