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EOS Digital Wireless iPod Speaker Core System - EOS Wireless Speaker System
The wireless unit is similarly basic, but discrete and unobtrusive in a good way. The volume knob switches it on and controls output, there are two 1.5in neodymium drivers at the front and one bass driver pointing out of the back of the unit, and that's all you really need to worry about. Cleverly, the unit can be placed in either horizontal or vertical positions, and the power supply is neatly integrated in the unit while it's not in use. Clip on the required UK attachment, undo the clip, pull the PSU out and plug it in, and you're away.
This makes the wireless speaker feel particularly portable. Leaving your iPod in the lounge, you can happily drag the compact, lightweight speaker into the kitchen, bedroom or study as easily as you might a portable radio.
Unlike some iPod speaker docks I've seen recently, the EOS does support the first-gen and second-gen iPhones, the second-gen iPod touch and the fourth-gen nano. As is normally the case, however, the iPhone has to be in Airplane mode while on the dock, so you won't be able to take calls while it's playing or charging.
Still, the really important thing here is that wireless operation is both ridiculously easy and extremely effective. In my case, I simply plugged in the base station in one room and set some music playing before plugging in the wireless speaker in another. A few seconds later, music came out.
The antenna on the wireless speaker flashes when it's searching for the base station and glows continuously when connected, and the only reason to mess around is if you need to register your speakers to your specific bass unit. Even this is a one-button exercise, though you will need all wireless speakers within easy reach. The reason? You only have sixty seconds to switch them on after pressing the link button on the base unit, though if you fumble it's possible to add other units to the network later on.
EOS quotes a range of 50m irrespective of walls or ceilings, and within my average three-bedroom detached house - a 1950s building with fairly solid walls - I had no problem getting a signal from the base unit in every room. That's more than I can say for my WiFi signal. I did get a quiet, low-level buzz from the wireless unit in some locations, but nothing that interfered with my listening.
If you do have problems getting speakers and base station talking, EOS does have a solution. On the back of the base station there's a two-way switch marked Range Ex. This boosts wireless performance, but adds an extra 44ms to the normally imperceptible 20ms delay between sound coming out from the base station and sound coming out from the wireless speakers. Needless to say, the echo effect will only be perceptible if you can hear both the base station and the wireless speaker at the same time, in which case you probably don't really need Range Ex switched on, do you?