Philips WACS7500 review

Promises much - CD player; FM radio; hard-disk music server; wireless distribution – but falls down on sonic performance Tested at £700.00

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Solves one problem ('what do I do with all these wires?'), but creates another ('how do I get a good wireless sound?')

For

  • Great looks, good materials, fine build
  • thoughtful and effective way of collating and sending music around the house without wires

Against

  • Sound is inadequate across the board

On paper, the Philips WACS7500 is the answer to every house-proud householder's dreams.

It's a central 'hub' unit, tricked out with an 80GB hard disk drive, CD player and FM radio, able wirelessly to send music to as many as five 'client' units around the home (œ700 buys the main unit and one client).

It's simple to use, too. Load a CD into the main unit, and it's quickly copied to the hard disk. Compression ratios of between 128 and 320kbps are claimed.

The disk should be good for 1500 CDs or so, and the '7500 has access to Gracenote for finding track names, album art and so on.

Turn on your client unit in a far-flung part of the house and it makes a connection to the main unit in seconds. From there, you have access to all of the music on your central hard disk drive.

So far, so great. So here's the but: neither the main unit nor the client sounds good. Both are fitted with NXT-type loudspeakers, which adds to the system's stylish cachet but does nothing for audio ability.

Looks fine, sounds poor
Low frequencies are mushy and the top end is reminiscent of someone playing tissue-paper and comb. The preset EQs make matters worse - and as for the button labelled 'incredible surround'. No it isn't...

In theory, the WACS7500 is a brilliant solution to an all-too-common problem. In practice, it solves only the wiring part of the equation - for the music-making aspect, it comes up shorter than Danny De Vito.

Specifications

View All

General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.philips.co.uk
Brand NamePhilips
Product TypeNetwork Audio Player
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Product LineStreamium
Manufacturer Part NumberWACS7500
Product NamePhilips WACS7500
Product ModelWACS7500

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • Streamium WACS7500 Network Media Player
  • Ethernet Cable
  • CD-ROM: Installation CD-ROM, WADM and Utilities Softwares
  • Remote control: 2-way 6-line Display, 1-way Remote
  • 4 x AAA Batteries
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • Warranty Card
  • FM Antenna
  • Quick Start Guide
  • User Manual

Network and Communication

Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes

Audio

Audio FormatsAAC, MP3, WMA

Management and Protocols

ProtocolsUPnP

Physical Characteristics

Width614 mm
Depth172 mm
Weight Approximate8.83 kg
Height272 mm
Dimensions272 mm (H): 614 mm (W): 172 mm (D)

Video

Video FormatsM4A

Interfaces-Ports

USBYes

Storage

Hard Drive Capacity80 GB