Group Test: Wireless music streamers
Sends songs to your hi-fi with these four systems
We looked at Sonos' Bundle 150 package, which comprises a ZonePlayer 90 and ZonePlayer 120 and a whizz-bang remote. They look like, well, like Sonos units. Take a look at the picture, it's faster than us trying to describe it all to you. What we have is a slightly tweaked and more “affordable” version of Sonos' established hardware that we've reviewed in the past. The ZP120 sports a built-in 2 x 55W amplifier, so all you need are speakers. The ZP90 is designed simply to feed a hi-fi.
Philips' Streamium NP1100: the biggest screen of the lot
The Squeezebox consists of a pretty cheap looking black plastic receiver, but as you'll be tucking that away from sight, who cares? It's partnerd with a sleek black remote that's the only the bit of system your friends will see at dinner parties.
Though the Philips device has by far the larger screen, the display renders text in a strange pseudo-LCD style that makes some text sizes look very blocky. It also lags rather badly with the result that you often skip past the function you want, thinking the player hasn't acknowledged the command. The Roku's two-line screen is far simpler but also works faster and more fluidly making for a happier experience. The one advantage the Philips system does have is that you can read the Now Playing... screen from across a room with no need to squint.
Sonos' Bundle 150: two room units and a whizz-bang remote
The Roku makes a decent clock when on standby showing the day, date and time as a bright clear one-line display.
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