playGO USB Wireless Speaker System
There are more than a myriad of options when it comes to wirelessly streaming music to a set of speakers in your home. For instance, there is Audioengine. They provide a simple solution that consists of a USB dongle that plugs into your computer and sends tunes to an accompanying receiver unit. They’ve also got a iPhone/iPod compatible transmitter dongle, though it will put a significant drain on your device’s battery. Alternatively, there is Airport Express, which is compatible with Apple’s Airplay tech and integrates nicely with Apple products. Lastly, there is the more expensive, yet scalable Sonos system. Sonos is available at a variety of levels depending on the home owner’s needs, ranging from stand alone speaker systems, to a fully integrated speaker and receiver system that can be mounted into ceilings and walls.
Entering the fray is a company called playGO. At the end of the day their offering is effectively the same. A transmitters plugs into the computer’s USB port, while a receiver unit can attach to a set of speakers or compatible stereo equipment thanks to your choice of optical or RCA connectivity.
The units themselves are made of a material Corian, which is used in the manufacturing of countertops – in other words these things should be able to take a licking. A set of LED lights indicate activity and the receiver unit features play and volume controls, though were not sure on their level of compatiblity barring a software driver for your computer. The max wireless range is up to 75-feet and the transmitter is compatible with up to 4 receiver units simultaneously. Much like Audioengine’s offering, the receiver unit will require power, as in an AC adapter.
So we give them high marks for a trendy look and durability. However, the catch is the price, which is $449.99. Audioengine’s W1 USB system, which is extremely comparable in feature set (minus the controls) is just $99, as is Apple’s Airport Express.