Hands on: Griffin Twenty review

Griffin Twenty
We love a good prototype

If you want Apple's AirPlay but don't want to spend hundreds replacing the speakers you've already spent hundreds on, Griffin has a treat for you.

On Sunday evening, Griffin announced the Griffin Twenty, an audio amplifier that will turn any good ol' speakers into AirPlay-enabled speakers (with a little help from an AirPort Express).

We got our hands on the sleek device - and it was impressive. The glossy white finishes looks almost Apple-esque, and makes it almost hard to differentiate the AirPort from the base station.

We also found the Twenty was surprisingly light in the hands.

Griffin twenty

The minimalist style fits well with the Apple aesthetic many enthusiasts have come to expect from their Apple-brand accessories (whether third-party or otherwise), and the Twenty will look right at home in Cupertino connouisseurs' homes.

"The Griffin Twenty is the easiest, best-sounding solution for consumers who have speakers that are not AirPlay-enabled but still want to stream high-fidelity audio wirelessly," said Mark Rowan, President of Griffin Technology.

AirPlay, everywhere

An ever-increasing list of iOS apps are taking advantage of Apple's AirPlay technology, and users will be able to stream those apps directly from their iOS apps, as well as their computers' iTunes libraries.

Griffin twenty

Of course the the AirPort Express can already turn any amp into an AirPlay-enabled device, but it requires a bit of configuration, an outlet, and an audio cable that needs to run from two devices that aren't necessarily even close to each other.

A better option?

The Griffin Twenty presents streamlines the entire process in a low-profile digital amplifier.

The Twenty allows you to plug the AirPort Express (which is sold separately) directly into the amp and run a small unseen TOSLINK cable between the two.

If looks are any indication, the whole package might just be elegant enough to warrant many our dough.

Griffin twenty

That aesthetic still might change a bit as the Twenty is still a prototype. That also means it might just caught you a pretty penny - there's still no price or release date, but we'll keep you posted.

Online Editor

Nic is a former Online Editor at TechRadar in San Francisco. He started as a games journalist before becoming an editor at Mac|Life magazine. He holds a degree in English Literature and English Writing from Whitworth University.