Audioengine W2 Review Hockessin DE
Audioengine W2 Review
December 17, 2009 By Geoffrey Morrison
Free your iPod
The W2 is a wireless adapter that clicks into the bottom of your iPod.
The audio is sent wirelessly to the receiver unit, which plugs into an AC outlet and your receiver, or anything with a mini-jack or RCA inputs.
Presto! Wireless iPod audio.
I have a lot of music on my iPod, and it's pretty varied. So if I've got music going (i.e., I'm awake), I listen in shuffle mode and tend to fast forward a lot. If I'm in the mood for Bon Iver, I'm probably not in the mood for the Sex Pistols.
Yes, I could create playlists, but I have way too much music for that. So if I'm listening to music while I'm doing work around the house, often I'll have to "suffer" through a song I'm not in the mood for.
With the W2, I have the iPod with me and can fast forward, choose music, whatever I want. I've been looking for a product like this for a while. You could have whole house audio, RF remotes, etc., sure, but not for the $169 of the W2.
A few negatives: It doesn't work with my iPod. I have a first-generation 30GB video, and it looks at the plugged in W2 with some sort of Lennie Small-type look on its screen.
This has less to do with the W2 and more to do with my iPod being as smart as a box of rocks. I have a third-gen nano as well and it worked fine with that. It also works with second- and fourth-gen nanos and all the current flavors of regular iPods.
Because it plugs into the jack in the bottom, you have to run off the iPod's internal battery. My iPod lasts about 20 minutes without the Kensington iPod Battery Pack (love it!) but I didn't find battery life to be noticeably worse. So the W2, of course, is drawing additional power, but unless you're planning on going wireless all day, you should be fine.
Audioengine says the W2 will work out to about 30 feet, and that's about what I was able to do with it, as long as there wasn't more than one wall between the transmitter and receiver—two or more and the signal dropped out.
From an audio standpoint, Audioengine makes a big deal about there being no additional compression, and as far as I could hear, they're not making that up. I didn't hear any difference between the W2 and plugging the iPod into the receiver directly. You can even control the volume using the iPod.
It’s a great little product.