Published on June 28th, 2013 | by Greg0
Dolry HiFi Stone: Easily Add Airplay To Your Old Dock
If you’re like us, you have several old iPod and iPhone-compatible docks lying around. Left largely in a closet for a couple of years, they only come out when someone with an older smartphone or MP3 player wants to charge their device and maybe play some tunes. Now that Apple has updated the iPhone 5 and newer iPads with the Lightning connector, there are a lot of semi-obsolete docking speaker systems out there. You don’t need to throw it away though- instead, you can upgrade it with Airplay instantly, thanks to today’s interesting gadget.
The Dolry HiFi Stone is a cute little device, as sleek as you could desire. Simply pop it onto the old 30-pin connector, and your aging speaker dock becomes a visible Airplay device. That’s pretty much all there is to it- there aren’t a lot of other features, nor could we imagine what else might be needed or required.
Of course, it was important to test how it compares to similar dongles for adding Bluetooth connectivity. These are generally fairly inexpensive and might use an auxiliary input rather than the dock. The Dolry does over up the dock completely- there is no pass-through, so if you wanted to charge your device at the same time, you’d be out of luck. Airplay does offer some benefits of course, namely the multi-room capabilities. In our tests, though, the Dolry seemed to be a bit out of sync with other Airplay devices. It wasn’t a lot, but enough to notice. On their website, the manufacturer shows the Dolry being used on an old Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin, which would be a perfect use case, a great and fairly expensive speaker dock that would be silly to replace completely. Of course, you could also just get a Zeppelin Air though.
Music quality is as good as with any other Airplay system, and with the better range and lossless audio that make it superior compared with Bluetooth. An existing wireless network is required of course and Airplay functionality is limited to Apple’s ecosystem. The Dolry does allow DLNA connections, which we didn’t test thoroughly, but would allow the use of other devices such as Android phones and tablets as well, plus limited internet radio support.
A cute solution to a wide problem, our only major complaint is the price- at $80 or so online, the Dolry HiFi Stone feels a bit too expensive.