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Best Powerline Adapters 2014 Round-Up

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Netgear Powerline Music Extender XAUB2511

Originally reviewed by 10 June 2014

Best Powerline Adapter for Network Music and Storage

Key Features
  • USB port support music players and USB devices
  • Apple AirPlay support
  • AV 200 standard
One of the most innovative Powerline products on the market, the Netgear Powerline Music Extender’s standout feature is the inclusion of a USB socket for connecting up USB audio devices for playing music across your network.

This socket can also be used to connect a printer, creating an instant network printer, or a USB storage device for creating a primitive NAS solution.

If you don’t have a USB music adapter already Netgear also has you covered as it includes one in the box. It’s not the finest quality example, but is fine for non-Hi-Fi duties. Adapters can be bought for £20 and upwards, while there are also plenty of USB speakers too.

Music playback uses Apple’s AirPlay standard, so works with any compatible Apple device. Once connected up, just select the adapter from the AirPlay playback devices and away you go. Obviously for phones and tablets you’ll need to have a Wi-Fi router somewhere on your network too.

It’s also possible to connect Android devices through AirPlay compatible apps but our experience of this has proved very unreliable. For PCs, you can download Netgear’s USB Media Extender utility, which you can then use to setup the adapter as a general audio device, porting all your PCs audio to it.

The process is the same for connecting printers and accessing USB storage.

It’s a very clever set of features though it is rather let down by the fact you can only do one thing at a time – there’s only one USB socket.

Also, it only uses the AV200 standard so in our performance tests it only delivered 6.2MB/s – still plenty for HD streaming and speedy file transfers, but it’s less than half the fastest kits.

Price also works against this kit. Other AV200 pass-through kits cost well under £50 whereas the Music Extender costs around £90. Still, if you want a reliable network music solution it’s one of the very few solutions out there.

Price: £90

Our Score

7/10
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