Thin Air

Storing and accessing music on a computer has become commonplace, even for audiophiles, but getting that music to your audio system without sacrificing sound quality has always been a challenge. At CES, French high-end audio company Micromega introduced a unique solution to this problem—the WM-10 AirStream, the world's first wireless DAC (digital-to-analog converter).

The AirStream uses 802.11n WiFi to access audio files on a computer up to 300 feet away, and multiple AirStreams can be used to access those files from anywhere in the home. It's designed to work seamlessly with iTunes, which streams audio data to the AirStream using Apple's Airtunes transmission protocol and lossless compression. The datastream is reclocked to minimize jitter, after which a 192kHz/24-bit DAC converts it to analog for output via two single-ended RCA jacks. The only other connection on the rear panel (other than AC power) is a coax S/PDIF output.

Don't have iTunes? You can download Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil for $25 or Sonic Studio's Amarra Mini for $295 (full-blown Amarra costs $995), any of which will send audio files to the AirStream.

Designed to be dead simple to use while providing high-quality, noise-free audio, the AirStream is distributed in North America by Audio Plus Services and retails for $1595. That may seem like a lot, but perhaps not when you consider the source.