Multi-room Wi-Fi systems are great if you’re blessed with a bulging wallet, but for most of us, these nuggets of gadget greatness are as affordable as a platinum-encrusted PS3.
But a measly £600 will buy you this two-component starter pack from Philips, allowing you to wirelessly beam music to any room in your house.
Wireless is more
At the epicentre of the WACS700 is the base unit, dubbed the ‘Center’, which acts as a music server and a micro hi-fi. A CD player, FM tuner, 40-watt digital amplification and a 40 GB hard disk are all present, giving it the ability to store up to 750 CD’s worth of tunes.
Then there’s the ‘Station’ – essentially the ‘Center’ after a diet, shedding its CD player, hard disk and slimming down to a 20-watt amplification. You can add more of these satellites, but it’ll cost you £200 a pop.
Both units are dressed to impress, sporting slick black and silver attire. And they’re excruciatingly simple to set up and use too, with Gracenote CDDB software preloaded and ready to magically predict the artist, song and genre within seconds of start-up.
So what does it sound like? Well, the truth is that it sounds rather… average. The Center fails to deliver a knock-out punch with its wheezy, asthmatic audio, and the Station whispers sweet-nasally-nothings into your ears.
However, it’s worthy remembering that this setup will only set you back half as much as the Sonos, and so it registers relatively well on the bang for buck scale.
We’d still recommend forking out the extra £250 for the Hermstedt Hifidelio if you can, but while the WACS700 may not obliterate your eardrums, for a relatively small price you’ll bag a clever little multiroom box that’s as simple to use as peeling a banana.