November 22, 2009 by Bill
Audioengine W2 Premium Wireless Adapter for iPod
Reviewed by: Bill Henderson
Audioengine – Upgrade your music
When I first got the Audioengine W2, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I am familiar with wireless as my house has wifi and bluetooth for headsets paired with phones. Beyond that, I’m pretty clueless. I don’t live the ‘wireless life’. Most of my stuff plugs in somewhere whether it be an outlet or a dock. So I was curious when Audioengine sent me the W2, something they are very proud of.
All I could figure out was that if this little wireless gizmo even approaches the quality of their A5 speakers, then I was going to be impressed. And I was… and still am.
Its not so much what the W2 is as much as the problem it solves. What it allows you to do is plug a little ‘Sender’ into your iPod or iPhone and then plug the ‘Receiver’ into a sound source, whether it be an iPod boombox or the back of a stereo receiver. Then you and be almost anywhere in the house and play your iPod or IPhone wirelessly. It can be in your pocket or sitting many feet away and still deliver as good sound quality as if it were hard-wired to your speakers.
I know this can also be done with bluetooth or an Apple Airport Express. First, lets talk bluetooth. Does anyone really seriously like bluetooth? I don’t even like talking over it much less trying to get quality sound out of it. It’s a flawed technology that usually sounds crappy. And as far as the Airport Express goes, I have never and do not currently own one, so I can’t speak on whether its a viable alternative or not. You will have to be the judge on that.
But I can tell you about how the W2 works for me. After plugging in the two items I mentioned before, I just had to plug the adapter on the receiver end into an outlet and turn on my iPod. That’s it. No software, no ‘drivers’, no batteries, no nothing. This is true ‘plug and play’ technology. The W2 uses a WiFi band and while I was listening to various songs and videos, I experienced no interference from any outside sources. The only time it dropped out was when I walked too far away, but when I returned, it picked right up again. I didn’t have to restart anything. Note that if you have a large house, you can buy extra receivers and then piggyback them off one another which will extend your range.
I should also mention that the W2 is a perfect companion to the Audioengine A5 or A2 speakers. You can plug the receiver piece right into the back of the speakers and you are good to go. It’s about the simplest setup you can have.
It was strange watching video on my iPhone and hearing the sound through my Onkyo receiver into my Boston Acoustic speakers. It made me wish I could wirelessly transmit video with the W2. I will say though, that a small screen seems much bigger when the audio is big.
I don’t think the W2 is a product that will satisfy everyone. If you have a bunch of docks already hard-wired to your speakers and such, you will probably want to keep it that way. But if you are itching to go wireless , but don’t want to compromise on sound quality in the least, then the Audioengine W2 will be like a miracle worker.
- Audioengine A5 iPhone / iPod accessory review
- EOS Wireless Bundle : iPhone/iPod Accessory Review
- Sleek Audio SA6 + Wireless Unit: iPhone/iPod Accessory Review
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