What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 15 May 2008, 10:00am

Audioengine W1

Tested at £97
80100
4

The W1 is an admirably audio-friendly wireless solution, but it could be cheaper and neater

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For

  • Very little effect on audio quality
  • great range
  • can be used with a variety of other equipment

Against

  • Expensive considering the price of company'
  • s speaker range
  • looks untidy plugged into the top of the A5s

Thanks to the constant rise in popularity of digital music, most people now have a burgeoning collection stored on their PC. The question is; how do you get all those tunes from the home office/bedroom into the lounge? Why, with the Audioengine W1 wireless adaptor and a pair of the company's A5 speakers, of course.

The small box contains a sender and a receiver, plus a single mains adaptor and a couple of handy 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cables. Simply plug the sender into the USB port on your PC and plug the receiver into the USB input on the A5s, and you're away... almost.

Because the A5's USB port is only for charging, it won't receive any audio without an additional 3.5mm cable between the receiver and the speaker's audio input. Add the extra cable to the fact that the receiver flops out from the top of the speaker, and you have a solution that isn't quite as neat as you'd expect.

Still, performance is more important than neatness, and here the W1 is very impressive. Sound is very close to the cable alternative, with the A5's brilliantly big and balanced performance shining through. The wireless range is a rather impressive 30m, and even at this distance we encountered very little break-up.

Using the power adaptor you can even plug the receiver into a standard amplifier, but the A5s are clearly the speakers this was designed for. The only problem is that with the speakers costing £200, £105 for the wireless adaptors seems a little steep

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