If you’ve listened to the countdown so far, you’ve heard about a product that I’m going to be giving away as one of the available prizes. It’s an EOS Wireless system, and (full disclosure here) the wonderful folks at EOS have given me a system to try out, as well as a system to give away in exchange for my thoughts about the product.
Half of the core system is an iPod-based docking station similar to other iPod docks, where the iPod sits vertically, surrounded on either side by vertical speakers. Below the iPod, on the front of the unit, are the controls for the volume, a mute button, a source button (there’s an auxiliary 1/8″ input in the back for plugging in an alternate source, like a computer, a video game system, or a different portable music player, for example).
But the similarities to other iPod docks end there, and this is where the system really shines. The base station is also a wireless broadcast unit. And the other half of the core unit is a wireless speaker that plugs into the wall, and automatically plays whatever you’re listening to on the base unit. This technology, and it’s ease-of-use, are fantastic. It truly is plug-and-play. My grandmother could easily set this up.
And it’s expandable. While the core system comes with one satellite unit, you can add up to three more, giving you sound in up to five locations in your house. There’s no lag on the satellite speakers, so if you put them in the same room for a pseudo-surround effect, it sounds terrific.
Now, let’s talk a little more about the sound. It’s a little bit thin on the smaller satellite speakers. The bass is present, but it’s not strong. And the only adjustment you can make on the satellite units is the volume, so you can’t boost the bass. This an expected flaw due to the smaller, portable size of the unit. And that said, the absence of the bass isn’t horrible, and the higher frequencies are beautifully presented. I tested several different songs of different types, as well as spoken-word podcasts. And with the latter, there’s no noticeable loss of bass.
The unit comes with a remote control, cables, and inserts for the iPod dock to fit just about any iPod. And it works well with all the models I tried it with: the iPhone 3G, the 1st Gen iPod Nano, the iPod Video and the newer iPod Classic. The remote control could be a bit more tactile – it uses the blister-style buttons that give you that not-sure-I-pushed-it feel, and if the amount of music on your iPod makes it slow to respond, you might push buttons on the remote impatiently wanting to make things happen. Also, it would have been a nice touch if the remote worked with the satellite speakers, at least for pause/play, and back and next track functions. Hopefully this is something they can address in the next model.
All in all, these speakers sound great, and they excel at their primary feature: wireless, multi-room sound. Particular audiophiles won’t be happy with the bass levels, but the average user won’t notice, or won’t mind. If you’re looking for just an an iPod dock, this isn’t the product for you. The price is high when compared to other iPod docks, but the wireless functionality is the reason to buy this unit, and I don’t know of any other product that is this easy to use, right out of the box.
Coverville review score: 4 out of 5 stars