Spotify is getting into the hardware game. The company is teaming up with a slew of great audio companies to bake Spotify right into Wi-Fi connected speakers. And it's not just speakers—the new system makes juggling your tunes between your phone, tablet, and computer a piece of cake, too. Here's the facile music experience you've been waiting for at a price you can actually afford.
Spotify Connect allows you to seamlessly pull music playback from one device to another. In its most basic use case, it's just a simple way to transfer your streaming music session between devices that are running Spotify. Even if these transitions are happening right in front of you, the handshake is actually happening in the cloud.
So, for example, when you get to work, you don't need to stop the playback on your phone and then start playback from your computer. Instead, you can just fire up your computer and grab the active session from your phone with a click.
Beyond devices actually running Spotify, you'll be able to transfer playback to compatible speaker products. In practice, this works like AirPlay or Bluetooth, except instead of beaming music from your phone to a speaker, the speaker actually pulls the content down directly from Spotify over your Wi-Fi Internet connection. (Your phone's battery will be very happy about this.)
From there, your phone, or tablet, or computer or whatever turns into the remote. Once you've paired a speaker with Spotify one time, you never need to pair devices again. Any device that's logged into your account is an instant remote. That's a really nice touch.
Spotify Connect is launching with a bunch of brands on board: Argon, Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Marantz, Philips, Pioneer, Revo, Teufel and Yamaha. It'll all come with the Spotify branding below, and you can expect to see hardware as early as October. Spotify says the app update should roll out across platforms before then in the order of iOS, Android, desktop, and then browser. Spotify says that old Wi-Fi hardware is upgradeable, but it's up to the manufacturers to decide what gets an update.
We had the opportunity to try Spotify Connect at the company's New York offices using a firmware upgraded version of the Pioneer AirPlay speaker we loved last year. The transitions from one device to another are so smooth that you almost can't detect a lapse in the music, although, in situations where the Internet is slow, it could take longer depending on your Internet connection.