The Dio Node markets itself as an alternative (cheaper) version of the popular HomePod mini from Apple. Dio uses Airplay to connect to your iPhone, iPad, Mac etc to allow streaming from your device to the speaker.
What makes the Dio node different? No Microphones!
This might be a deal breaker for some or those looking for a smart speaker but the Node does without smart speaker and microphones to focus more on sound quality and usability. This means there is no need for the cloud or any internet services for the speaker to function. So long as it’s powered on it’s ready to go.
So far the campaign has been live almost 90 minutes and we’ve $5800…
As mentioned earlier the Dio Node only uses Airplay 2 and not bluetooth and speaking with Akarsh via reddit this was an intentional decision from the outset. Disclaimer, this is not a paid for article, Akarsh was good enough to spend time discussing the product and marketing of which I provided some feedback.
Dio Node’s primary focus is on the quality of sound of which Airplay soundly beats the Bluetooth method and whilst this may limit the potential numbers sold, limiting it just to the Apple line of devices, this also removes the tedious process of pairing / unpairing to bluetooth device. Alas there is no connection for hooking up audio via the traditional 3.5mm cable and no stereo pairing.
The lack of stereo pairing again might turn some people off the product however the aim seems to be having a speaker in multiple rooms like the HomePod mini, controlling via the device playing audio.
Our take – Whilst being personally burnt many a time with kickstarter and other funded projects what excites me is how open and honest the team have been whenever I’ve reached out for more information. The sharing of actual in development status and images that look legitimate go a long way to help the fundraising. It’s just a shame for now that shipping is limited to the USA.