We first rigged up the RearStation 4 receiver to the rear speakers of our Teufel Theater 3 system, and connected the rear pre-outs on the Onkyo TX-NR807 receiver to the transmitter unit. The units locked into each other immediately and maintained a consistently robust connection.
When playing Avatar on Blu-ray, the movie’s rear channel effects sound crisp and forthright. With the receiver’s own volume turned up almost to the max, the sound rarely distorts or lapses into harshness with up-front effects like machine gun fire or screeching Pandoran creatures. During the Assault on Home Tree scene, the sound of hovering helicopters is full-bodied while the hissing gas canisters are sharp but smooth on the ear.
During quieter scenes, the RearStation 4 perfectly preserves all the rear-channel detail of the intricate DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack, allowing our rear speakers to deliver a deft, sensitive performance. During the Na’vi 'mating' scene in chapter 19, the chirping insects, whispering voices and the subtle score are clearly audible.
The only slight issue is that the 2 x 30W power output of the receiver doesn’t quite match up to the superior power of our AV receiver, causing a bit of an imbalance when you’re listening at loud volumes, but it doesn’t greatly lessen the excitement and energy of busy action scenes.
We also played some stereo music on our CD player connected to the same AV receiver, with the same speakers connected to the receiver unit, and the results are impressive. Rolling In The Deep by Adele sounds warm and full-bodied, with crisp top-end detail and a smooth reproduction of Adele’s amazing voice. It didn’t like being pushed to its maximum volume, distorting badly when we did so, but kept at a reasonable level the RearStation 4 does a good job with music.
The RearStation 4 is a terrific solution for anyone who has had enough of cables littering their living room. Its ability to beam movie surround channels and two-channel music up to 20m away without greatly compromising the sound quality is impressive, plus the gloss-black styling, built-in amplifier and easy setup allow it to slot into your home with minimum fuss.
But as well-made and reliable as it is, we think £269 (plus £179 for extra receivers) is steep – it doesn’t do anything spectacularly brilliant to justify this mammoth price tag. For this sort of money Teufel is straying into territory occupied by wireless music streaming devices from the likes of Philips, Sonos and Logitech. Similar wireless kits designed for Panasonic, Samsung and Sony’s all-in-one systems cost around £100, and although these are only intended for use with a particular system, it does give you an idea of how expensive the RearStation 4 is.