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Philips NP2900 review

It's got a couple of flaws and missing features, but we can't help but like this new Streamium Tested at £219.00

Our Verdict

It's got a couple of flaws and missing features, but we can't help but like this new Streamium

For

  • Compact, stylish, wall-mountable and very solidly built
  • great remote
  • bright screen
  • surprisingly big sound

Against

  • Treble could be better controlled
  • lack of format and music service compatibility

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It's got a couple of flaws and missing features, but we can't help but like this new Streamium

Pros

  • + Compact, stylish, wall-mountable and very solidly built
  • + great remote
  • + bright screen
  • + surprisingly big sound

Cons

  • - Treble could be better controlled
  • - lack of format and music service compatibility

This addition to the Philips Streamium range is the Keira Knightley of network media players: pretty, petite and classy. Unlike Ms Knightley (probably), it's also wall-mountable and has a lovely full-colour screen.

Wireless link to your network
Turn it on and it will quickly connect to your network via its wireless antenna or Ethernet port. If you use Windows Media Player on your PC, the Streamium will immediately be able to play all your shared music; if not, the excellent TwonkyMedia software is bundled and once installed will handle all the server functions.

When we said the NP2900 will play all your music, we should have added the caveat, 'as long as your music's in the right format'.

Compressed formats like WMA, AAC and MP3 are covered, but the only lossless codec that'll work is FLAC, which neither iTunes nor WMP will rip into. We reckon WAV should be covered at the very least.

It's also worth noting that the only online music service the NP2900 can access is standard internet radio, while rivals like the Squeezebox Boom are compatible with Last.fm and Napster.

Small unit, large sound
Play some tunes and the Philips is very decent, though. In standard mode you get a direct but narrow delivery, while LivingSound mode adds two rear-firing drivers to create a big soundstage for such a small unit.

There's good weight and vocal clarity, and though there's some hardness in the treble, it's not enough to put us off this stylish little player.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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