As for the wireless streaming performance, the unit’s receiver is pleasingly robust. Apart from the odd crackle, the sound quality was consistently crisp and stable – even with the WAC3500D at the opposite end of the house to the router, and the server PC situated in a garden office about 15-20 metres away.
The audio presets work well, but activate Incredible Surround and the sound is given a whole new lease of life, with a much sharper and more open tone than before. The Dynamic Bass Boost modes 1 and 2 are also useful but stay away from setting 3, which makes the bottom end a little too rich for our tastes.
Thanks to the stereo aux inputs on the rear, we were able to channel some movie material through the system just for the hell of it, and were impressed by its ability to handle aggressive action soundtracks.
We’re mightily impressed that Philips has come up with an affordably-priced wireless audio centre without losing any of the features that made its more expensive forebears so special. It opens up this growing area of the market to a whole new audience, providing a great entrée into the world of wireless audio, and being a one-box system, it’s highly convenient and simple to setup.
There are issues with the user interface and audio file support is limited, but considering the amount of functionality you get for your money it would be churlish to complain.
Score in detail