What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 23 Apr 2009, 4:00pm

Marantz IS301

Tested at £260
40100
2

There's nothing wrong with the idea but it needs to sound better, and the wired video is fussy

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For

  • Looks good from a distance
  • easy to set-up and operate
  • wireless audio and handheld control
  • decent video performance

Against

  • Poor sound quality
  • wired video needs lots of wires
  • rather expensive

The great irony with a lot of wireless AV kit is that there are often more wires than the product's wired counterpart. The Marantz IS301 falls part way in to this trap.

For a start there's quite a lot of it. Your iPod sits in a removable, handheld dock that can recharge on the base station. Using A2DP profile Bluetooth, this dock talks to the 'extension module' unit, which connects via appropriate audio or video cables to your amp or TV.

There's a remote that's compatible with Marantz amps, too. But while audio is indeed wireless, video requires not one but two cables from the dock to the extension module, which in turn connects to your television.
 
Video content looks good
Still, sending video content from iTunes via the component output does look watchable. The dock is simple enough to use, but sadly it feels and sounds a bit lightweight. Bat For Lashes' Daniel lacks the punch and drive compared to far cheaper wired models.

We like the wireless audio functionality – if only it could have been executed a little better.

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