Even allowing for obstructions like walls and ceilings, its range is ample for typical homes. I used it all around my house without signal dropouts, though a repeater is available if it needs boosting.
Looks can be deceiving: the diminutive WF100 packs high grade audio components
The system syncs almost immediately (a blue LED on both dongles tells you when they’re ready). Unlike Apple AirPlay and its lag of about two seconds, the WF100 is virtually instant, with just a few milliseconds of latency, making it suitable for TV and movie soundtracks too. It can also work with AirPlay by attaching to Airport Express routers but one of the Audio Pro’s advantages is that it works with anything else.
Its only main drawback is that it doesn’t give you control over the source at the receiver end. Products with built-in wireless networking (and lots now include the likes of Last.fm, Spotify and internet radio) let you skip tracks and change playlists or radio stations. You can’t do this with the WF100 unless your source player has an RF remote or you can find mobile phone apps to remotely control things such as iTunes or Spotify. These have limitations but if you are a Spotify Premium subscriber or an iDevice owner then you’ll find this process easier.
The audio performance is exemplary – benefitting from high grade electronics – its integrated sample rate converter allows for more accurate clocking and reduced jitter; a high performance A-D converter sits on a separate chip, while the receiver employs a specialised Burr-Brown DAC.
There may be cheaper gadgets from suppliers such as Maplin and Sitecom that do something similar but they lack the audiophile quality, flexibility and scalable multiroom features offered by the WF100. If you want a single sender/receiver package (without expandability), the Audioengine W1 looks like a reasonable alternative.
Being able to conveniently retrofit existing music systems with impressive wireless tech means that you don’t have to replace your favourite and perhaps quite expensive legacy kit by splashing out even more on – for example – Squeezebox, Sonos or Naim hardware. While its price does affect the overall rating, it does the job and all things considered, is a worthy purchase. ®
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Audio Pro WF100 wireless streamer
As anyone working with audio on computers would have noticed, adding a new audio device to the mix does not mean that it automatically picks up everything.
As an example, designating your onboard audio device for communication (win7) means that any blurbs created by skype et al. do NOT go to your Hi-Fi setup over the air at all.
What's more - if your favorite music app packs any grit, it will let you select the audio device you want it to use, instead of going for default.
If you were interested in connecting to your hi-fi, you should have turned off any and all system sounds anyway.
Why does the author say it sounds better then the £39 Maplin job ? Did El Reg do a double bind test, or could it be something to do with the £150 price tag ?
Makes squeezebox look good
Brilliant, this makes the squeezebox touch I've just bought look even better value for money. Squeezebox plugs straight into my aged amp, and it also works with HD music rather than just 44.1kHz. Hate the idea that this will also pick up every other sound a computer makes.
Does it have optical out?
Sounds useful. But given that a lot of modern equipment has optical in, it would seem a bit daft to be restricted to analogue only.
The optical out on an Airport Express is really handy for feeding in to a "proper" DAC (mostly because the onboard DAC one is pretty poor).
Also (probably not of major importance), is the audio stream encrypted at all or is it broadcast in the clear? I hope they're using something a bit more robust than the "wireless webcam" 2.4GHz which lets you snoop on your neighbours with ease...
if they supported DLNA, I'd buy one
DLNA setup really is not complex, give me a break...
These are expensive, they only stream audio in one direction, so they are useless for a headset with mic for musicians, and they can't even inter operate with smartphones and other DLNA devices?
They're basically like a $150 one-way cable that needs 5V power on both ends.
I wonder what their range is, did I miss that in the review..?