Audio Pro WF100 wireless streamer
Dongle up your hi-fi
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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