Stuff WACS lyrical over new Philips streamer

The bods at Philips have once again taken pity on those of us who can’t bear to be parted from our music as we journey from kitchen, to living room, t

The bods at Philips have once again taken pity on those of us who can’t bear to be parted from our music as we journey from kitchen, to living room, to compulsory toilet-stop. Their solution: the WACS5 Wireless Audio Center.

Unlike last year’s storming WACS700 – currently sitting at number one in our Home MP3 Top 10 - this new multi-room system sensibly assumes you already have a bunch of hi-fis scattered across your house.

Here’s how it works. First you load up the hub, above left, filling its 80GB hard drive (double the WACS700) with around 1,500 MP3s or WMA songs ripped from CD. Once done, you can wirelessly stream music to up to five of the ‘clients’ (above right) which you plug into the aux-in sockets on your existing stereos.

You can subject everyone in your house to the same music in every room or, alternatively, give them the second remote control and let them access and listen to their own choice of music at the same time. Compromise? Never heard of the word.

The 2-way remote control allows you to navigate through your mass of audio treats, displaying six lines of info listed and divided usefully by playlist, album, artist, genre and track.

Philips has told us that it’ll have info on pricing and a release date tomorrow morning, so look out for an update. Until then, go to its UK site for more info.

23/03/06 update: the word from Philips HQ is that the WACS5 will cost £600 when it goes on sale this summer.