AirPhones Allows iPhone to Serve as Wireless Headphones

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Wired reports on AirPhones [App Store], a new utility that allows the iPhone/iPod touch to serve as wireless headphones, accepting streaming audio content from a computer on the same local Wi-Fi network. The utility requires that a free partner server application, currently available only for Intel Macs but coming soon for PPC Macs and Windows, be installed on the computer broadcasting the audio.

    In their testing, Wired found "great, not perfect" sound quality, although they did experience occasional stuttering.

    AirPhones, which appeared in the App Store on February 19th, has seen several price changes in the few days it has been available, currently settling at $4.99.

    Article Link: AirPhones Allows iPhone to Serve as Wireless Headphones
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Now all I need is something that allows my iPhone to function as a Bluetooth headset for my phone that actually has service and I'll be in business.
  3. Vandam500 macrumors 68000


    Sep 29, 2008
    Only works on Intel Macs... that leaves ALOT of people not being able to use it.
  4. Mykbibby macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2007
    Palm Springs, CA
    That's a very specific need... kind of defeats the point of "wireless" by having to plug into something, but whatever. I'd pick it up for .99 maybe, but not 4.99... there are too many other apps that are much better for that price.
  5. rickdollar macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2007

    Maybe I'm not wide awake yet, but why not just use Simplify?
  6. DotComCTO macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2006
    I haven't installed the Mac server app yet, but from the description, it seems that this will stream more than just iTunes. I plan to test this with the SiriusXM StarPlayr app (seeing whereas the app won't be approved by Apple or SiriusXM any time soon).


  7. alexbates macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Georgia, USA
    So I guess this is basically the opposite of Remote. It looks pretty cool though.
  8. lukecro macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Could Airphones turn your iPhone into an Airport Express-like device?

    Theoretically, couldn't the Airphones app be used as a cheap way to turn an iPhone or iPod Touch into an AirPort Express-type of music-streaming device?

    If Airphones allows the user to stream music over wifi into an iPhone/Touch, then you could simply connect the iPhone/Touch's headphone-out port into an audio-in port on any stereo in your house, resulting in the music from your Mac streaming into your iPhone and out of your stereo speakers. Right?

    If so, then $4.99 is a lot more cost-effective than buying a $99 AirPort Express. I mean, sure, the AirPort Express does a lot of other things as well (it's a wifi router/extender, printer-server, etc.) -- but if you already have a wifi router in your house and you just wanted an AirPort Express to feed music from, say, your iMac in one room to your entertainment system in another room, then maybe Airphones would be a better alternative.

    To make this really convenient, I guess the next question would be whether or not you could use Airphones simultaneously with the iPhone/Touch iTunes REMOTE app, so that you could control the music on your Mac from another room while also streaming it to your stereo speakers using Airphones, all via an iPhone.

    I'm guessing that the current iPhone/Touch one-app-running-at-a-time limitation would keep this scenario from working. But with the next generation iPhone (expected around June 2009), maybe it would work.

    I've been hoping that Apple would build this type of music-streaming-coupled-with-Mac-remote functionality into a new software release. And I'm surprised that the Airfoil guys haven't built an app along these lines (so we can use Airfoil on a Mac to stream music to an iPhone/iPod Touch in the same way Airfoil works with AirPort Express). Apple and Airfoil both seem well-positioned to offer robust solutions for this type of wifi streaming and remote media control. But maybe Airphones will fit the bill instead.

    :apple: :cool:
  9. JMax1 macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2006
    Harlem, NY
    pair this with "remote tap" and running this in the background and we could essentially watch any video type on our iphone streamed from the base computer. Granted the quality won't be awesome, but proof of concept is there!
  10. kmcrawford macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2008
    This is great, but I'd love a airfoil speaker program. That was I can use my mac to broadcast music to all of my airtunes and to my iphone docked to a bose sounddock.
  11. csmitty macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2007
    I dont really see the point if all it is streaming music from your computer to iphone/ipod over a LAN. Just play it off your computer or other better speakers.

    Using it as a makeshift Aiport is pretty neat, but if you want to skip songs your SOL and have to walk over to it. And for receiving calls.

    Now if you could do this over a larger network, then that'd be something.
  12. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    I agree 100%. I've been waiting for Airfoil to come out with something for the iPhone/iPod touch specifically to put music in my house where there isn’t a computer... but alas, I wait...
  13. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2008
    Been waiting for an app that does this.. but I don't think I'm gonna pay $4.99 for it!
  14. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
    when docked it could act as a temporary air port express. (kinda)
  15. Panzo macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2006
    My 0.02$,

    Ive been using airphones on an JB'ed phone in conjunction with the Cydia App called backgrounder in order to use both Airphones and the Apple Remote app simultaneously.

    Install Backgrounder, respring, enable Insomnia (Cydia app to keep Wifi Active), run airphones, background it, run Remote app, background it, go into settings and turn auto lock to never, dock the iphone, voila all in 1 multimedia device.

    Pros: All in one solution to replace airport express, possibilities are limitless, sound quality not that bad.

    Cons: Iphone gets pretty hot, if undocked battery life = **** (sub 30 minute), While switching songs on the remote app there is brief momentary stuttering or chopping up of the audio feed.

    Can supply video if needed.
  16. Ted13 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2003
    The perfect illustration of why Apple doesn't allow background tasks. 30 minutes of battery life? Can you imagine the screams if that could happen on a non-jailbroken phone?

    I second a question from above -- what about Simplify -- what is the advantage of Air Phones over Simplify?
  17. lftrghtparadigm macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008
    Sounds pretty worthless.

    Simplify Media?
    Dot Tunes?
    Put the music on your iPhone?

    If you have to be on the same WiFi network, what is the point??

    I'd love for one of these developers that are doing nothing but confusing people into buying what seems like a "new" product, to explain to me why I need this when on the same WiFI network?

    Same WiFi network = worthless

    Over the air on 3G or Edge = the whole ballgame

    The new standard for music streaming apps is: Of course it works on Wifi, [I[also.[/I] But its purpose is full quality over the air.
  18. lftrghtparadigm macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008

    :D Its hilarious how many people defend "Backgrounder" as if its something useful and legitimate. I used it for several months and now know precisely why Apple does not allow it. The processor, memory, and battery are not up to the task. Period.

    Next device will feature background processes (done correctly) and it will not overwork your battery, decreasing its dexterity with each use.
  19. shokk macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2008

    Why not use SimplifyMedia or... just sync the music to your device!!

    What would be cool is if my iPhone's iTunes would pick up the DAAP streaming on my WiFi right now from my Linux file server using Firefly Media Server, the way my Mac and PC iTunes do. But then again that's the same server SimplifyMedia is playing from, so it's the same thing.
  20. apu1234 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Just bought the App from App Store... Seem to be working well exept there's lot of stuttering :(
  21. Panzo macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2006
    Not to be a crusader against other apps, but you cannot bash apps without proper justification. Every app has its uses, Airphones was designed to let you use your iphone as a receiver for wireless sound.

    That being said, the advantage airphones has over simplify media has to be put in context, simplify media or dot tunes can only transmit itunes content over the air both over wifi or edge or 3g.

    Airphones can transmit any audio played by your computer system, wether it be an itunes song, a quicktime movie or a youtube video, but no other conection methods except wifi.

    They are not substitutes for one another, they are not competition. They are two apps that share 1 feature, but that each distinctively serve different purposes.

    To compare them eye to eye wouldn't be fair if you plan on streaming itunes content only.
  22. Billy Boo Bob macrumors 6502

    Billy Boo Bob

    Jun 6, 2005
    Dark Side Of The Moon
    A good solution would be if Apple would just go ahead and make the iPhone/Touch a true AirTunes target. Then you could make your iPhone a wireless headset. Granted that would be limited to iTunes content. But still... An Apple solution for all around audio being streamed over WiFi would probably work better than any 3rd party one (even if they start out short on features).
  23. harley3k macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2008

    This would be interesting if it can stream microphone input to the phone.

    Like a wireless wiretap.

    Add stream from the webcam and it's even more useful for spying on your desk ;)
  24. debatewithhate macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2009
    How has no one mentioned ORB software here yet? Allows for audio, video, picture, document, and even TV streaming. (if you have a tuner card) Works well over 3g and WiFi. It allows use as wireless headphones for your pc anywhere. It is pretty much the one app I couldn't live without.

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