This project's funding goal was not reached on July 5, 2012.
About this project
The playGo AP1 is much more than an AirPlay receiver!
The playGo AP1 supports three important sources of audio: AirPlay, DLNA, and USB. The AP1 provides a top-notch audio design to easily enable you to connect your popular music sources to your existing stereo or powered speakers. Don't have any speakers yet? Then check out our $399 option that includes everything you need to begin enjoying audio with true Hi-Fi quality.
BREAKING NEWS! Everyone has a chance to get playGo!
See Update# 3 for important news for all our backers!
New link for the 'Mind of the Geek' podcast, featuring an extensive interview with our team leader Ekin, about all things playGo.
Engadget: “The AP1 will connect to any stereo or pair of powered speakers, pumping out lossless audio for the audiophile in all of us.”
Ubergizmo “Bicom’s playGo AP1 brings AirPlay and DLNA functionality to your sound system”
Macstories “While it’s an expensive little gadget, it’s the first relatively small receiver I’ve seen that works wirelessly with almost anything you might have in your home.”
Gadget Users “The playGo AP1 uses the same audio equipment found in devices priced $1,000 or higher.”
Check out the playGo in action, we're loving our prototype and we hope you'll support us so you can enjoy it too!
What is playGo?
The playGo AP1 is an Airplay®-enabled receiver that wirelessly streams audio from iOS devices to speaker systems through WiFi or Ethernet. The audio output circuitry used in the playGo AP1 can traditionally be found only in audio equipment that is priced at $1,000 and higher. In addition to providing true Hi-Fi quality and plug and play usability, the playGo AP1 is a fully featured audio player platform that supports audio streaming from almost all your media sources by combining DLNA support with AirPlay technology in one elegant package.
Who we are
The Connecticut-based playGo team has been designing products for other companies for over 20 years and are industry experts in digital signal processing-based designs.
Key playGo team members:
Burcu is our art director and adds color to everything we do.
Charles is our electrical and mechanical guru. He can make complex circuits fit into all sorts of small places!
Ekin is our relentless leader and systems designer.
Geraldt is our intern and is quickly becoming a pro at beta testing our products.
Tamer is the lead software engineer and makes the playGo AP1 sing.
Timur is our firmware engineer that provides the glue between the hardware and the software.
We (BICOM) have always been an engineering firm, specializing in product design for other companies. Last summer we decided to release our very own product and one WE are passionate about! That is how the playGo brand got started. The playGo brand is focused on providing extremely high audio quality in a simple and elegant form.
Story behind playGo
The playGo team's goal has always been the ability to send high quality audio, wirelessly, to your stereo with ease. The playGo brand kicked off in 2011 with the playGo USB, a high-end wireless audio product. playGo USB has been a great first product for us, garnering rave reviews, but has been very expensive to manufacture because each unit is machined out of Corian.
Due to the high demand and limited production capability of the playGo USB we want to make our next product, the playGo AP1, more attainable by all of our fans. We are excited to make the playGo AP1 significantly more affordable while maintaining the quality of the product and overall sound reproduction. To achieve this, we need to invest in higher quantities of components as well as working with alternative materials.
Where the idea came from
The product we are presenting is our next generation playGo product named the playGo AP1. Featuring Apple® AirPlay® technology, the playGo AP1 allows you to stream your music at the touch of a button. AirPlay is built into all current iOS devices (iPhone®, iPad®, etc.) and will sync up and connect automatically when you have a playGo AP1 in your home network.
No accessories or special apps are required. In fact, most of your favorite music apps such as Pandora®, Rhapsody®, and Spotify® have AirPlay support built right in.
AirPlay provides a great way to wirelessly transmit audio, but we felt it was missing two key ingredients – plug-and-play setup and true high-end audio quality. We experimented with existing AirPlay products and were frustrated and disappointed by the complex setup, limited connectivity options, and, most of all, the sound quality. Almost all third-party AirPlay products on the market are tied to speakers of questionable quality. More importantly, they do not allow you to retrofit your existing stereo or powered speakers.
With the playGo AP1, older devices aren’t left behind! The playGo AP1 has a USB port for connection to the iOS device. This allows legacy iOS devices to transmit high-quality audio to a receiver or powered speakers.
On top of everything else, we built the playGo AP1 on a future-proof audio platform to be compatible with new technologies. Our playGo AP1 hardware is firmware-upgradeable, allowing for the easy addition of new features. Most importantly, the playGo AP1 supports DLNA audio streaming. DLNA streaming is a widely adopted standard that allows you transmit audio from other DLNA compliant products, such as your computer and network attached storage devices.
What stage is at now?
We spent the last six months designing the circuit and firmware. The playGo team have been putting the working prototype units through their paces, and enjoying every minute of it!
We are well versed with high-end audio system designs from other project design experiences and are excited to create our own branded product. Our goal is to obtain certification of the playGo AP1 and bring it to the market at an affordable price point. As soon as we can reach our pledge goal we can release our purchase order on the plastic molds and begin purchasing all the key components to make the playGo AP1. Realistically, we are about five months from shipping mass quantities.
How do we feel about it?
We absolutely love the ability to listen to a song continuously from our iPhone to our home stereo without interruption. For example, you just came in from a run, and as you take off your headphones, with the playGo AP1, you can continue listening to the same song through your stereo. We feel so passionate about this product that we are doing everything we can to make it accessible to all our family, friends and fans. AirPlay has never sounded so good!
How does playGo need YOU?
We are asking for your support of the playGo AP1 by investing in or “backing” our idea on Kickstarter. With your assistance, we can gather the capital required to be able to bring playGo AP1 to the market at an affordable price.
Your support will contribute towards producing higher quantities of playGo AP1, obtain the exhaustive certifications and approvals, and pay for manufacturing costs associated with this high quality design. The beauty of funding the playGo AP1 project is that it is a gift that will keep on giving!
After the playGo AP1 is released, we will pursue our product roadmap for the addition of numerous features that extend far beyond AirPlay technology.
playGo AP1 Technical SpecificationsWired and Wireless Network Connectivity
- 802.11b/G Wireless
- One 10/100 Ethernet port
- WPS Connect Support
- Up to 24-bit / 96kHz native audio
- Burr-Brown SRC4193 upsampling
- First company in USA to use the NEW 32-Bit Burr-Brown PCM5102 DAC
- 112dB signal to noise ratio
- 112dB A-weighted dynamic range
- 2.1VRMS output on gold plated RCA connectors
- TOSLINKTM Digital Audio Output
- Apple AirPlay Technology
- Microsoft® Play To
- USB Audio for playback of digital audio from iOS devices
- Charge iOS devices including the iPad
- UPnP & DLNA Support
- Apple Lossless
- Capacitive-touch sensitive buttons
- Fixed or variable volume adjustment
- Pulsing RGB LEDs to indicate connection and audio activity
- Built-in hidden IR Receiver for remote control
- Control4 Driver
Apple, AirPlay, iPad, iPhone, and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Pandora is a registered trademark of Pandora.
playGo is a registered trademark of BICOM, Inc.
Rhapsody is a registered trademark of Rhapsody International, Inc.
Spotify is a registered trademark of Spotify Ltd.
Microsoft, is a registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
TOSLINK is a registered trademark of Toshiba.
Like what you hear?
The opening song is by The Rhombus.The second song is by Broke for Free.
Yes, we've designed the playGo AP1 to work with a universal power supply voltage range (110 - 240V). If the project is funded, we will ask which plugs you require and ship the requested power adapter.
Why should I use the playGo AP1 for streaming audio instead of the Apple Airport Express or Apple TV?
The BICOM playGo AP1 was designed for audio enthusiasts who want the best quality audio from their digital collection. Here are some of the main features the BICOM playGo AP1 has over the Apple Airport Express and Apple TV:
•Enhanced digital audio through the use of high-end Digital to Analog Converter (Burr-Brown PCM5102 DAC) and Sample Rate Converter (Burr-Brown SRC4193). This conversion is much better than what the Airport Express has. The Apple TV has no digital to analog conversion so it must rely on the AV receiver/TV which is also very likely to be inferior to the playGo AP1.
•DLNA and UPnP support to connect to Network Attached Storage (NAS Devices) and PCs (including Microsoft “Play To”) and Android devices
•FLAC lossless support through DLNA
•Supports legacy iOS devices through USB
•Charges iOS devices including iPad
•Top panel touch-sense volume and transport controls
•Separate Analog RCA and Digital Optical Audio (Toslink) output jacks
•Built-in IR receiver for remote control
•Can be integrated into a Control4 home automation system
- (48 days)