This clever dongle transforms your old stereo hifi system into AirPlay speakers

belkin soundform connect
(Image credit: Belkin)

There's lots to love about a traditional hifi system, and the best stereo speakers sound truly fantastic – but if you have an older setup, you may find yourself frustrated by their limited connectivity when it comes to streaming music from your devices. 

That's something Belkin is seeking to remedy with its new audio adapter, which joins a growing portfolio of Belkin audio devices, including true wireless earbuds and smart speakers

The Belkin SoundForm Connect can be plugged into any powered speaker or sound system via a 3.5mm or optical port to give it Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity, giving your old speakers a very modern upgrade.

Once connected, you can simply tap the AirPlay icon on your compatible Apple device to start playing music, without needing to pair to your speakers via Bluetooth or mess around with annoying cables. 

AirPlay 2 connectivity means you can also ask Siri via your iPhone to play music or podcasts throughout your home, find out what's playing in each room, and control your music playback. 

The Belkin SoundForm Connect also means your speakers will be compatible with HomeKit, so you can assign them to different rooms and create automation via the Home app.

The new adaptor is small enough to slot neatly next to your hifi system without taking up too much room, and can be hooked up to an audio receiver or amplifier, a powered speaker, a soundbar, or a home theater sound system.

Essentially, it's like an Apple-friendly version of the Google Chromecast Audio, which was discontinued back in 2019.

Is it worth the money?

Unlike the Chromecast Audio however, the Belkin SoundForm Connect comes with a hefty price tag. It's available to buy now for $99 / £89.99 (about AU$125). For comparison, the Chromecast Audio cost $35 / £30 (about AU$45). 

In fact, you can buy a wireless speaker that already comes with AirPlay 2 built-in for around the same price, like the Apple HomePod mini, for example.

Of course, if you want to take advantage of your existing speakers or bring some modern connectivity to a legacy hifi system, the SoundForm Connect could be a great solution. 

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.