On paper this seems close to multi-zone perfection, but it’s awkward and underperforming
More features for the money than most of the competition
inexplicable useability shortcomings
More people are buying wireless music systems where they would once have bought traditional hi-fi kit, and manufacturers are well aware of it.
That's why Sony created the Gigajuke range – this two-zone bundle is designed to beat the all-conquering Sonos. Sadly, despite its many advantages, it doesn't get close.
But first, those advantages. Where £700 to Sonos gets you two zones (only one of which is amplified), a remote, and no speakers, just £50 more to Sony gives two amplified zones and speakers, a remote for each, an iPod dock and a wireless bridge.
Feature-wise it excels, with a CD slot for playing or ripping to the 80GB HDD. You can also record from external sources, and the unit even adds artist and track info.
Light of bass, harsh of treble It's a shame, then, that the sonic delivery is so unbalanced. The main unit produces a sound that's light of bass, harsh of treble and recessed of mids. The clock radio-like second zone is better, but still sounds bright.
More after the break
Even if the musical delivery were perfect, though, we would still have questions: why does the small unit have internet radio, while the main has DAB? Why is it so cumbersome to get both zones playing the same music? Why isn't it compatible with standard NAS devices? Why can the satellite unit play formats the main unit can't?
Sony's done lots right, from the price, to the specs and styling; it's just overlooked more crucial aspects.