Philips Streamium NP2900
Stylish and sonically satisfying streaming sound system
The NP2900 didn't prove quite as capable at holding on to a Wi-Fi signal as the Boom, despite its antenna. When set up on the same floor as our wireless router, everything was fine and dandy but when we moved it onto the second floor, drop out became quite an issue. The signal strength indicator would run up from zero to three bars – out of five – and back again with alarming regularity.
Stream of consciousness: reception quirks were cured by repositioning
To make sure we hadn't stumbled across some previously unnoticed Wi-Fi black spot, we fired up the office Acer Aspire One and put it next to the NP2900 – the AA1 registered a full five bars of signal strength. A slight relocation solved the problem but it really shouldn't have been an issue for the NP2900 in the first place.
When it comes to sound quality there really isn't much to choose between the NP2900 and the Boom, yet despite its diminutive size, the Philips is certainly the louder of the two. If we were put up against a wall and threatened with physical violence to come down come down in favour of one or the other, we'd give the nod to the Philips.
To start with it comes with two bits of sound modification firmware called Living Sound and Full Sound. The former is supposed to make the NP2900 sound like a proper stereo with separate speakers, a trick accomplished partly by boosting the volume output of the side facing speakers, while the latter is designed to put the life back into your lossy compressed digital music files.
Marketing guff aside both systems work rather well. Secondly the volume on the Philips can really be cranked up without the sound falling apart, giving it the potential to really fill a room with sound.
Sonically, the Streamium delivers without distortion
As well as the two sound modification applications, the NP2900 also comes with four EQ settings – Rock, Pop, Jazz and Classical – and a bass boost. Fiddle with all these settings long enough and it becomes possible to get a sound that is not only rich and detailed, but possessed of a decent amount of bass and a real feeling of spaciousness. After a couple of days listening to a wide variety of music, we have to confess to being rather impressed by the cut of the NP2900's sonic jib.