When the Logitech Squeezebox Boom came out last year, it set a new standard for Wi-Fi radios. Yes, it was expensive, but it offered excellent sound quality, a smart design, and tons of features in a tiny package – no competing products even came close. The Philips NP2900 is the first real competitor to the Boom’s dominance of the high-end Wi-Fi radio market and this is the Editor’s Choice for this week.
For its size, the Philips NP2900 gives you wireless access to your PC music, internet radio and Rhapsody online music service – all delivered by the immersive LivingSound and superb FullSound technologies. It is wall mountable, has a unique color 4-inch large screen that displays album art, it features Alphanumerical search for speedy access, it boasts a 4-speaker system for superb sound, it sports a stylish black exterior with a silver band, and its ready and easy to set up – right out of the box. The inclusion of a clock and alarm clock also make sense.
The Philips NP2900 lacks support for Pandora, Last.fm, or Slacker. The interface can also get sluggish with large music libraries. But the biggest problem with the Philips NP2900 is its street price, currently $330 – which is more than $50 than the Boom is selling for. It’s hard to justify that extra cost, when the Boom offers more streaming music services, has more responsive controls, and sounds just as good.
The Philips NP2900 is an excellent Wi-Fi radio, with a particularly attractive design, with a unique color display, and with solid sound quality, but its high price will limit its audience.
Equalizer settings: Classic, Jazz, Pop, Rock
Music Power: 30 W
Sound Enhancement: Equalizer, Dynamic Bass Boost
Volume Control: Volume Control up/down
Compression format: non DRM AAC (m4A), MP3, WMA, eAAC+, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis
ID3-tag support: Yes
MP3 bit rates: 8-320 kbps and VBR
PC Link playback mode: MP3 streaming via network, Wi-Fi wireless connection
WMA bit rates: up to 192kbps, CBR/VBR
Headphone: 3.5 mm
LAN wired: Ethernet (RJ 45) 1x
Other connections: Digital coaxial out
Wireless connections: Wireless LAN(802.11g), Wireless LAN(802.11b)
Wireless Universal Plug & Play: Enabled
Audio Connections: Analogue Audio In (L/R)
Encryption / security: WEP 128 bit, WEP 64 bit, WPA, WPA2
Price: $257.87 – now available at Amazon.