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Audio Streaming Buyer's Guide

Audio StreamingAudio Streaming

Welcome to the future... Forget about wires, and carrying CDs from room to room and parties with Kings of Leon in one room and Leon Jackson in the other - Digital Media Streaming technology does away with all of that.

These cutting-edge boxes basically allow you to listen to the music thatís stored on your computer or network device anywhere in the house.

With a huge range of models and technologies available, the only real constraint is your budget.

Some models are streamers only, designed to be plugged into existing stereo systems or used with headphones, while others are standalone units that can be set up in multiple rooms or just carried with you when you move into a different room.

So what manufacturers should you look at, well Sonos are a big player in audio streaming, with their range of Play 3, Play 5, Connect and Amp models. Also look at Cambridge Audio and Bose.

You will also find that a lot of the newer home cinema AV receivers also have Ethernet, so you can connect to your home network and play all of your music files through them, some AV receivers also include Apple AirPlay so that you can connect to your Apple computer, iPhone or iPad and play music from them, most standalone audio streaming devices will also allow this.

Most of the audio streaming devices like the Sonos have apps that will work on PCs, Android or Apple iOS. These apps allow you to control multiple streaming devices around your house wirelessly.

You donít need your streaming device to be hard wired via an Ethernet cable, as most are also wireless so can work and connect to your home wireless network, all you need is to power them.

The audio streaming device will allow you to access music services like Spotify and Napster. They will also allow you to access your music, even if it is on a laptop, desktop PC, NAS (Network Attached Storage) device or on a tablet etc. They can also access and play thousands of radio stations from around the world.

Look for known brands of audio streaming devices that have produced apps to work with the device. Once you have chosen a product also make sure that you can easily add more units around your house and expand your audio system easily, something Sonos excel at.

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