Eve, the manufacturer of smart home devices that work particularly with Apple’s ecosystem and HomeKit, just unveiled a brand new device at IFA, a consumer electronics trade show. The Eve Play is a small AirPlay 2 receiver that can turn any traditional speaker into a smart, connected speaker. It will be available on November 14 for $149.95 (or €149.95).
From the outside, the Eve Play looks deceptively simple. There’s no screen, no on/off button and no remote. It’s a simple streaming box with an aluminum frame and a glossy black finish on the top of the device.
The back of the device is more interesting as it features plenty of ports. In addition to the power port, there are optical, coaxial and RCA audio outputs. This way, you can connect it to a wide variety of stereo systems.
When it comes to local network connectivity, the Eve Play is limited to Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n on 2.4 or 5 GHz networks). Fortunately, there is also an Ethernet port for reliable connectivity.
Once everything is set up, you will be able to connect to the Eve Play receiver from the audio output screen of your iPhone, iPad or Mac. The Eve Play will also appear in Apple’s Home app, which means that it could be used for home automation.
And because it supports AirPlay 2, it means that you can use it as part of a multiroom audio setup. For instance, you could have a HomePod in your kitchen, a Sonos speaker in your bedroom and an Eve Play connected to your stereo in your living room and play the same music across all your rooms.
While AirPlay 2 is supposed to automatically adjust latency between speakers, Eve will also let you manually set a latency in the Eve app. Behind the scenes, Eve uses a Texas Instruments digital-to-analog converter to turn your digital audio into an analog audio signal.
There are other audio receivers on the market from Belkin or Bose. Some of them offer more options, such as Bluetooth pairing. But if you’re looking for a clean and simple AirPlay 2 solution, the Eve Play could be an interesting option.