Wireless music is where it’s at for hi-fi. Just as football fans are prattling on about ‘zonal marking’, audio nuts are ushering musical multi-zones into their homes at the expense of traditional hi-fi kit.
That’s why Sony has created the Gigajuke range – this two-zone bundle designed to square up to the all-conquering Sonos. Sadly, despite its many advantages, it doesn’t even come close.
Two amps are better than one
But first, those advantages. Where a £700 Sonos kit gets you two zones (only one of which is amplified), a remote, and no speakers, just £50 more to the nice folk at Sony gives you two amplified zones and speakers, a remote for each, an iPod dock and a wireless bridge.
On paper it's already a strong contender and sure enough it packs in enough features to ruffle a few feathers in rival camps. There's a CD slot for playing or ripping to the 80GB hard drive, and you can hook the Gigajuke up to external sources and record. Considerately, the unit even adds artist and track info so you don't have to.
Light of bass, harsh of treble
With so much going for it, it’s a crime that the sonic delivery is so unbalanced. The main unit produces a sound that’s light of bass, harsh of treble and recessed of mids. The clock radio-like second zone is better, but still sounds bright.
Even if the musical delivery were perfect, though, we would still have questions: why does the small unit have internet radio, while the main has DAB? Why is it so cumbersome to get both zones playing the same music? Why isn’t it compatible with standard NAS devices? Why can the satellite unit play formats the main unit can’t?
Sony’s done lots right, from the price, to the specs and styling; it’s just overlooked the important things.