Audioengine AW1 Wireless Adapter.

Gadgets, Music, Useful Things by Richard

Our friends at AudioEngine recently released their newest product, a pair of devices that work seamlessly to let you stream music from one room to another. They’ve dubbed them the AW1. In my testing, they work brilliantly, and couldn’t be simpler to set up and use.

Nearly identical in size and design (the receiver has a planet icon on it, and the transmitter has a rocket icon, get it?), the receiver and transmitter are both tiny (the exact measurements are 100 x 30 x 10mm, and if you know how big a USB plug is, you can probably figure out their size from the picture) and contain one USB plug and one 1/8 inch audio jack. This simple combination allows for all sorts of audio streaming possibilities, a number of which are pictured here, and I’ve tried a few: for example, plugging the USB from the transmitter into my PC and plugging a set of speakers into the 1/8 inch audio output of the streamer, and plugging the 1/8 audio output from my PC into the transmitter, the transmitter’s USB port into an AC adapter, the receiver’s USB port into another AC adapter and the 1/8 inch audio output into the AUX input of the Altec Lansing SoundBlade, which I’ll be covering here soon. Each time I tested a new configuration, the AW1s connected to each other instantly and I was able to enjoy what seemed like CD quality sound throughout FreshArrival Labs (they have a 100 ft range).

One thing I noticed was that only one AC adapter is included. I guess Audioengine is banking on the most likely scenario (you’re either streaming to a computer or iPod dock/speakers of some kind, and you’ve got a USB port somewhere on that device)… but even if you aren’t streaming to or from something that isn’t USB enabled, you can always just use an iPod or iPhone USB charger for power. Still, I think that the system would be a bit more flexible if it came with dual AC adapters.

The AudioEngine AW1 is priced at $149, and if you’d like to stream music wirelessly through your house, office or similar place without the need for full control of what’s playing (like with the Sonos system, for example) the AW1s let your music roam wherever you do, for a reasonable price.


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