Wireless Bluetooth speakers like the four from Brookstone, Jambox and Logitech we looked at as part of our iPad accessory survival guide last year most certainly make it somewhat easy to stream music from your phone or tablet to a better sounding device but even still, there are plenty of drawbacks.
For one, there’s the hassle of having to pair your device with the speaker system each time you want to use it. And once paired, sound quality still isn’t all that great. Plus, there’s the cost of the wireless speaker itself which can be rather expensive, especially if you already own a decent sound system at home.
The team over at Rocki was equally frustrated with these same problems which is why they came up with the idea to develop an alternative. It’s called the Rocki Wifi Music System and instead of building yet another speaker system, they created a dongle that’s perhaps best described as a Chromecast for music.
The Rocki dongle connects to your sound system using either a 3.5mm connector or RCA connectors and instead of using Bluetooth, it relies on Wi-Fi technology for improved range and quality. The free Rocki smartphone app lets users stream music from their phone to the dongle which then plays through the connected audio equipment. It’s that easy.
Best of all, Rocki is affordable at just $45 a pop for early backers. At this price, you can purchase multiple dongles to deck out several rooms in your house for less than it might cost for a single higher-end wireless Bluetooth speaker.
Rocki expects to ship the first wave of dongles next month with a broader rollout in January 2014 if they meet their funding goal of $50,000. As of writing, the campaign has raised just over $18,000 from more than 260 backers with 24 days to go.