Philips Streamium NP2900

Stylish and sonically satisfying streaming sound system

Like the Boom the NP2900 can also access Internet radio stations directly, but since it doesn't support Real Audio streams, a fair old chunk of the BBC on-line radio network is out of bounds. Searching for stations is straightforward enough and a touch of the 'Favourite' button on the remote will add a station to the NP2900's favourites folder for future reference. The NP2900 will also function as an alarm clock, waking you up to a buzzer, Internet radio or server based music.

Philips Streamium NP2900

Beats the Boom if the price is right

The NP2900 has a RRP of £249 – £40 more than Logitech's Boom. Is it worth the extra? Frankly, no. But if you can find the NP2900 for the same money as the Boom, it’s a tougher choice. The Logitech has a few more peripheral features and is better at keeping hold of a Wi-Fi signal at a distance from the router but the Philips is fully UPnP compliant, has a much better remote control and produces a marginally better sound.

Incidentally Philips tell us that a firmware update will soon allow the NP2900 to show still images on its screen but, as that's hardly a core competency for a music streamer, we didn't hang about waiting for the update. We also suspect that, at some point in the future, the NP2900 will be able to access other on-line services like MP3tunes, something the Logitech Boom can already do. The giveaway? A currently redundant button on the remote entitled Online Services.

Verdict

The NP2900 is a nice looking and very fine sounding box of tricks. Although a little less robust in use and not as feature rich as Logitech's Squeezebox Boom, it produces a marginally better sound and comes with a far superior screen and remote control. If you can't get the NP2900 for less than £250, buy the Boom. If you can get it for the same price – and don't plan on using it too far from your wireless router – then give the Philips player some serious consideration. ®

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Philips Streamium NP2900

Philips Streamium NP2900

A fine stand alone music streamer that gives Logitech's Squeezebox Boom a good run for its money
Price: £249 RRP