MusicCast rival goes on sale

In the past, if you wanted hi-fi-quality kit for beaming the Arctic Monkeys around the house you'd go to one of two names: Yamaha and Cyrus.There's no

In the past, if you wanted hi-fi-quality kit for beaming the Arctic Monkeys around the house you'd go to one of two names: Yamaha and Cyrus.

There's now a new contender on the beardy audiophile block and it goes by the tongue-twisting name of the Hifidelio Pro. This multiroom confection consists of a 160GB host player (above left) that can rip, store and play music in addition to streaming to a little receiver with built-in speakers called the ST-64 (above right).

The pair talk to each other via Wi-Fi or Ethernet and you can run up to four of the receiver jobbies around the house - which comfortably covers off the bedroom, kitchen, study and the toilet.

Features are good, albeit fairly standard. Format-wise, it rips CDs direct to MP3s and the hi-fi junky's favourite lossless format, FLAC; it'll also play back AAC, WMA and Ogg tunes, making it fairly comprehensive. CD albums and artist info automatically gets picked up from the database on the hard drive. Oddly, it uses FreeDB instead of GraceNote, the choice of most music servers.

The clincher that makes it worthy of a demo is the price. At £850 for the main unit and £500 for each receiver, it sounds expensive but it compares well to its rivals - the Yamaha MusicCast still costs a steep £1800.

That's a tried-and-tested Stuff favourite, though, so we'll have to see how the Hifidelio Pro stands up after we've taken it for a spin.

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