OK, here goes, be easy on me!
I had decided to volunteer to review the Audioengine AW1 Wireless Adapter for switchingtomac.com forums. Therefore, this review encompasses using a Mac with this product, and PC was not tested. In short, this device is meant as a means to wirelessly transfer your music from your PC or nearly any device, such as iPod and Game Consoles, to speakers or a Stereo receiver (through RCA inputs).
First, I must admit, I am not a huge audio guy with stereo surround sound or even a really nice stereo system. I do have a Sony 5 CD changer, but could not get the wireless devices to work with that Sony unit and speakers. I don’t believe this device is exactly meant to work with these types of “bookshelf” components, but I tried. It works mainly with stereo receivers, subwoofers, and powered speakers. However, I was able to get the wireless devices to work with my GE speakers that were connected to my PC. I disconnected the speakers from the PC and set them up next to a power source and connected the wireless receiver device to the speakers and connected the sender device to my Apple MacBook.
Once I was able to successfully connect all the devices to speakers, the rest was incredibly easy. For Mac OS X Leopard, you will need to change the sounds settings found in System Preferences > Sound and change from Internal Speakers (for MacBook) to Audioengine AW1 for output source. In my case, I was roughly 20-25 feet away from the wireless receiver device to give you an indication of space from MacBook to wireless receiver.
Now that I got the unit working with a “compatible” set of speakers, I opened up iTunes and started playing music, almost expecting no music, after all, this can’t be this easy. To my surprise, I heard Audioslave’s Cochise starting to play, 20-25 feet away from me! It was that easy! Unfortunately, I do not have a set of Audioengine speakers to use for this review, but these GE PC speakers were working quite well.
The audio quality was as I would expect from an MP3 playing to a wired set of speakers. I could not detect any distortion or lag from the audio actually being sent wirelessly and no skipping due to any interference between the two wireless devices. I thought there may be lag time between songs if I were to switch tracks. So I go from Audioslave’s Cochise to Foo Fighters’ The Pretender and again, no lag or distortion. I switched quickly between other songs listed in iTunes and it was as if the speakers were directly wired into my MacBook. Not one time did it lag, distort, or skip while running iTunes audio wirelessly with Audioengine’s AW1 Wireless Adapters. I was very impressed at this as I was expecting there to be some distortion of some kind.
In my opinion, this is a very cool device to be able to play music in other rooms from a device such as a computer. Some ideas that come to mind for this unit is moving speakers away from a computer to another location and using this device when speaker wires will not reach or would be great for background music at parties without having to worry about CD’s or other limiting devices. With the addition that there is not ONE single piece of software to download to make the wireless devices to work in a major plus, you just need an open USB port on your computer (for example) to use this device. The rest is history.
Put simply, for $149 US, you get a very simple wireless solution for your audio wireless needs without sacrificing audio quality.http://audioengineusa.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=82