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Sony Giga Juke NAS-SC55PKE Multi-Room Wireless Audio System review

Andy Vandervell

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

If multi-room audio sounds like a cool idea to you, you'd be right. It is cool: very darn cool. It isn't, however, cheap. For instance, you can get the Sonos BU150 bundle for £699. but you're still going to have to buy some speakers for one room and have an existing stereo system in the other. Meanwhile, the Logitech Squeezebox Duet will set you back £280 before you even start to think about the equipment you'll need to go with it. These, then, are best suited to discerning technophiles/audiophiles and on the more extreme end of the spectrum one could get a custom install, but this is even less of a reality for normal folk than the Sonos' and Squeezeboxes of this world.

Help is at hand, though, in the shape of all-in-one systems from likes of Philips and today's contender, Sony. We're looking at the Sony Giga Juke NAS-SC55PKE Multi-Room package and though not strictly an all-in-one - unlike the Philips Streamium WACS7500 its speakers are separate - it does include everything you need for a multi-room setup.

Indeed, if its £559 asking price may still sound like a lot of money, when you consider you are getting absolutely everything you need to enjoy music in more than one room, a fully featured stereo hi-fi with amplifier and speakers, plus what is effectively an 80GB NAS box, the value is clear for anyone to see.

Perhaps it is best we start with exactly what you get in the box, since there is lot stuff in there. At the centre of it all is the Giga Juke Music Server that houses the 80GB HDD (63GB Free), the integrated stereo amplifier and the accompanying speakers. This set can be bought separately as the Giga Juke NAS-S55HDE and would set you back around £400.

Naturally enough it comes with all the usual accessories such as a remote control (batteries included), antennas for the integrated FM, AM and DAB radio tuners, speaker ccables as well as speaker pads. In addition there's a Digital Media Port iPod dock that plugs into the back, a USB Wireless Adapter and extender cable to enable wireless networking. It's a shame this isn't integrated, as it is on the Philips Streamium WACS7500, but it's likely a symptom of the unit being sold separately as a non-wireless system as well.

In this package the Music Server is joined by the Giga Juke Wireless Player NAS-C5E. Like the Music Server it can be purchased separately, this time for around the £200 mark, to add extra rooms to your setup. You also get a remote control with batteries supplied and unlike the Music Server the wireless element is thankfully integrated.

Ed Churchward

August 15, 2008, 9:02 pm

Can you confirm that internet radio is possible through the main unit. I could only see this feature on the smaller remote units? Thanks for a great review, i have been waiting for this one a long time.

Vij

August 18, 2008, 10:34 pm

Xdock wirelessdoes mainly the same thing - streams music wirelessly but costs far less - some 㿲 if I remember well. It has no hard drive but you simply use an iPod instead.


But its beauty is you can expand the system to as many rooms as you want by getting another dongle that you hook up to any speaker set you have already and it comes with a remote, too. Strange it wasn't mentioned in the review at all.

Andy Vandervell

August 19, 2008, 8:29 pm

In answer to Ed, the Internet Radio is supported in the Wireless Players only.

Ed Churchward

August 22, 2008, 8:15 pm

Thanks for that Andy. Seems very odd, it is the only thing missing from what is the perfect bedroom stereo.

Exilm

September 6, 2008, 9:31 pm

Good review.


Is the hard-drive easily accessible? I was thinking in terms of hacking and upgrading to a much larger drive?

Mike 5

September 7, 2008, 9:03 pm

Is it possible to stream music from the server's DAB/FM radio and connected iPod to the wireless players

Birgit

September 8, 2008, 4:51 pm

Hello, I am absolutely fascinated by the idea of having ma large CD collection on one hard drive. The system sounds great but I could do without the speakers and I would love to have it a bit smaller in size with more GB as I would connect it to our Kenwood system. I need a CD ripper and some USB ports etc but not really all the


Does anyone have an idea what to choose or is there really only the Sony... (I do not like the pHillips).


Thanks for your help.

mark kent

September 16, 2008, 12:43 am

Purchased this last week - excellent in all aspects - sound quality good, connections to wi fi easy - cd ripping easy - dab quality superb - compact and elegant in looks.





I really cannot fault this except had expected to get DAB from remote unit which it doesnt - only internet radio which i dont want otherwise 10/10 and i obtained product for 𧻦 including delivery

Guv

December 28, 2008, 4:27 pm

Can anyone help me? My unit says that it,s connected to the internet and my wireless unit works fine. although i,ve not entered any codes such as the WEP security. My problem is that my unit is not giving me any album art through the grace note program. Does anyone know how to this? The only way i can do it is to put all my album art on a usb and do it sepratly but it,s now becoming a pain in the A**E

Ray Chandler

January 1, 2009, 6:40 pm

I've just bought this and two wireless players. Overall it is good ...but I've very dissapointed with the internet radio as all it gets {via firmware coding} is ShoutCast and Live365. Which is great if you do not want to listen to British radio stations such as Radio 1,2,3,4 etc and Classic FM. Contacted Sony who, I felt, were a bit offhand about it all and blamed the UK radio transmission laws. I see it as: the systen is advertised with "...Internet Radio" and it should allow one to connect to just that; not just two websites chosen by Sony Plc. Any way around this rather limiting factor? Make my New Year a treat if this could be fixed!.


R

David Bartle

January 2, 2009, 9:25 pm

WARNING!





In many ways a nice product which does what it says on the tin BUT





When I purchased it I asked if it could be conected to my computor and was told YES





BUT the conectivity is very limited you can download from your PC, or a CD, or MP3 tracks on a stick, or IPOD.





UNFORTUNATLY YOU CANNOT UPLOAD FROM THE GIGAJUKE TO ANY DEVICE or ACCESS ANYTHING ON YOUR GIGAJUKE BY ANY OTHER DEVICE.





Sorry about the shouting but I was so ****ed off by discovering that an expensive bit of 'modern' kit was so user unfriendly.





Be especially carefull since it is being sold in stores as 'Networking with your PC' it dosn't! I also think you could achieve most of its features for about 1/4 of the price using your own PC.





db

Ray Chandler

January 4, 2009, 2:06 pm

David- have a feeling that you can backup data from the Giga Juke to a Pc. In fact the book recommends that you do this periodically. Requires an old fashioned FAT 32 format, too! I'm going to take my issues on internet radio further. I'm not happy with this aspect of the kit; especially from a manufacturer of the calibre of Sony.


R

philbourton

February 6, 2009, 7:08 pm

What the specifications should tell you...





Main unit has no internet radio.


Internet radio on remote unit is locked to Live365 and ShoutCast.


Remote unit has no DAB radio.


Display on remote unit is tiny making navigation difficult.


Remote controls feel like they are from the 80's.





Be very sure of what you aim to achieve with this product and check carefully that it will fulfill this. I had a customer that had bought the Gigajuke and wanted it set up. After a few questions on what exactly she wanted from it, I realised that she had been ill advised on the purchase. She wanted to listen to, her itunes collection, internet radio stations saved in itunes, DAB and CDs in two rooms. She returned the Sony and I set her up with a multiroom system using apple airport express units and her existing hi-fi equipment for a fraction of the cost.





Don't just presume it is a good product because it is Sony, they can make mistakes aswell!



Mark L

February 24, 2009, 1:54 am




Is it possible to stream and play music from my laptop to the main Giga Juke unit?

Cyviper

March 4, 2009, 4:18 am

I bought this product over 6-months ago, primarily because I already own several Sony products and thought this would be compatible with my other electronics gadgets. However, as others have discovered, all is not as it seems with this product.





First, the good points:


• The xDJ function is fantastic, it categorises your music and means you don not have to muck around with playlists.


• The party mode is also very good and is great for when you have guests.





The bad points:


• Very poor, fiddly, slow and user-unfriendly interface.


• Inability to connect to a PC via WiFi and the system keeps asking for password in order to connect. Sony staff does not know this password - If anyone has managed to crack this, I will appreciate an idea of the password.


• Inability to connect to an external amplifier i.e. audio out connector.


• Proprietary connectors on the speakers? Why? This means I am stuck with the speakers and cannot change to better quality speakers.


• It is a shame that the ‘party mode’ will not work with other sony products – especially the PS3. Surely this should only be a minor software mod.


• Very tatty and poor remote control – one with a screen ala SONOS will work much better.


• Although the client speakers are less than 15m way from the Jukebox, sometimes the connection is temporarily lost and the clients ‘freeze’.


. Can't stream from my iPoD or the DAB radio.





In short disapointing - I wish I'd bought the SONOS …:(

EborRich

June 9, 2009, 8:52 pm

HI. I bought this system a few weeks ago and I am merrily adding my CD collection to it. No real issues so far in that respect. A question for everyone though who has or uses the wireless network station. I have mine in the bedroom and have been using it as an alarm clock - waking to my favorite tunes. Until recently! The unit switches on at the correct time, selects the correct source for music, but then enters the 'pause' mode. Which is abviously uselss as an alarm!!! Anyone any ideas on the cause or better the solution? Is it a setting somewhere? I have tried to rest to factory settings and rebooted both units - but no luck so far. Every source of music I have tried starts up in the paused play mode.





Other than that I have been reasonably satisfied with the system. Bought on-line for less than £500

Paul Valentine

July 30, 2009, 5:20 am

I bought this system for £299.00 at Power - very glad I did not pay any more than that. You cannot stream radio from room to room. You get FM/AM and DAB on the main unit, but only Live365 or Shoutcast internet radio on the remote unit - no BBC stations available at all. Operation and setting up of both units is over complex and awkward. The main unit is slow to react to the remote commands when swapping functions, I thought I was getting something to stream stored music AND radio around the house, but that's not the case. I thought buying Sony would ensure I got a quality product, but I'm very dissappointed.

Geoff Mansfield

August 11, 2009, 3:48 pm

I have just bought a Sony Gigajuke NAS-SC55PKE, and expect to receive it tomorrow. (11th Aug). Most of my music collection is on my PC in mp3 format. Some web pages say it is possible to upload from PC to the NAS-SC55PKE, but the manual I have downloaded does not mention this. I have some questions:-





1. Is it possible to transfer mp3's from my PC to my NAS-SC55PKE?


2. Is it possible to transfer mp3's from a USB to my NAS-SC55PKE?


3. Is it possible to transfer mp3's from a data CD to my NAS-SC55PKE?





Is yes to any of these questions, further information on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in anticipation.


Geoff.

maryam

August 19, 2013, 7:54 pm

how can i buy it online ?

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