Wires are a pain aren't they? Until builders fit speaker cable along side your electrics in the home, we've got to live with a plethora of cables under the carpets, or on show and basically clogging up our rooms. AQ's response to this is two speakers, a transmitter and a car boot's worth of batteries. We check them out.
In the box of the AQ Wireless Speakers are two 233 x 175 x 75mm (HxWxD) speakers and a base station that wirelessly connects to said speakers.
The base station, which is the size of a hard back book, can be connected to a host of different audio sources like MP3 or CD players either via the included 3.5mm headphone jack or via a phono out socket to an amp or home cinema system.
Once connected, it is simply a case of providing power to the two silver and wood speakers. If you want to be truly "wireless" you can opt to power the speakers via six (count them) AA batteries in each unit, although luckily you do get AC power adapters for both speakers in the box as well.
Once the speakers are connected music starts to steam automatically and in our tests the range of the speakers from the base unit was superb. AQ state in an open space you can get up to 100 metres away. In our tests, it was so good we ran out of space in the building before we ran out of signal.
AQ also says that there isn't a limit as to how many speakers you can connect to the system (we only tested it with two) but it does strike us as a simple and cheap way of getting sound around your house without the cabling to match. Of course you can't control the source unit via the system, but you can control the volume of each speaker via its own individual volume control.
As for sound quality, in our tests we did find the sound muffled when playing tracks from an iPod through the system. Adjustment of the sound volumes on both the speakers and the iPod did help, however it is clear that these aren't designed to replace your Hi-Fi.
And at £64.95 we wouldn't expect them to, however performance compared to specific wired docking stations or wired portable speakers is on par with, rather than better than.
For ease of use the AQ wireless speakers are a good option, the lack of cables makes is easy to use and the fact that you can hide the base station out of sight is great for those looking for the minimalist look.
However, the payoff to a wireless world is the reduction in sound quality. Not enough to affect the performance for what these are designed for - i.e. in the kitchen or garden or maybe even as rear speakers as part of a home cinema setup, but enough so the pure audiophiles will no doubt be disappointed.
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