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Albatron WIDIO Wireless Audio System Review

Albatron WIDIO Wireless Audio System Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Albatron Widio Deluxe wireless audio receiver and transmitter allows users to listen to music at distances of up to 50m (164 feet) from the audio source.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Audio / Sound Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Albatron Sep 07 2005   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Audio / Sound > Albatron Widio

FM Radio and more

Since the Albatron Widio operates on the same frequency spectrum as 802.11b wireless devices, microwaves, and things of that nature, the question of interference cropped up in our minds. During our tests however, the Widio was within a few feet of both an 802.11b network card and 802.11b access point, and exhibited no apparent issues.

The signal strength from the transmitter was strong enough to allow us to walk around the office, and a multi-story house without significant problems either. Large metal objects tend to absorb radio frequencies, so when the Widio signal did fade, all we heard were clicks, or dead silence if the signal was totally lost.

While the 2Mbps wireless connection was maintained, the Albatron Widio kept the music coming clearly. Although the specs quote a 50m (line of sight) distance, expect about half that range indoors. There is a small red LED on the side of the Widio receiver to indicate a connection, or loss there of as well.

FM Radio

The FM radio functionality built into the Albatron Widio receiver is more of an afterthought, simply for the fact that users have no direct control over station selection. Users can only press the 'scan' button on the receiver to cycle up the dial, station by station.

There is no display to indicate station frequency, which is fine for most of the time anyway, but if you skip over the station you are looking for, you have to cycle through the entire spectrum again. There is no going backwards, even one radio station. This can become a little annoying if you are moving from '102.1 the Edge' to 'Mix 99.9' all the time. Additionally, since this is a digital FM radio tuner, its usefulness may be limited to major city centers and radio stations with strong signals.

Conclusions on the Albatron Widio

After putting the Albatron Widio through a variety of subjective tests, it has held up remarkably well . Of course, that is none to surprising since the Widio wireless audio system is a pretty straightforward product. It simply transmits audio from a PC, stereo, or whatever, wirelessly at 2Mbps to its small glossy white receiver. The Widio receiver is in turn connected to a pair of headphones, and the music comes back out. It's as simple as that, and works just as reliably.

Of our time with the Albatron Widio, we found that it was able to transmit audio over respectable distances indoors; enough to cover an entire house. In open areas, it should be useful to a distance of about 50m, and its battery pack last a good four hours continuously.

Setting up the Widio was quick and painless. Everything that you'll need to hook it up is included, as are a protective carry case for the receiver, and headphones. Charging the battery just requires the user to place the receiver into the base station (transmitter); no extra wires or adaptors need to be fiddled with. A set of flaps even keep dust out of where the receiver sits in the transmitter stand once it is done recharging.

Acoustically, the Albatron Widio outputs audio at effectively the same quality as the source. Distortion isn't an issue unless the volume is cranked all the way up, and even then, the headphones are likely to be the main culprits. As we tested the Widio Deluxe version, a pair of Audio Technica ATH-EM7 clip on headphones were bundled in with it. Compared to the standard ear bud headphones traditionally given away with portable audio products, the ATH-EM7s are much more comfortable to wear, and sound pretty good for their class too.

All in all, this adds up to make the Albatron Widio wireless audio system a rather unique product, and one that delivers clear audio within range of its transmitter. Does this mean that wireless audio will do for music what 802.11b did for notebooks? It's too soon to say... but where there is a need for a pair of headphones, and the cables aren't long enough, the Widio wireless audio system will certainly find fans!

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Contents of Article: Albatron Widio
 Pg 1.  Albatron WIDIO Wireless Audio System Review
 Pg 2.  Sound Quality Maintained
 Pg 3.  — FM Radio and more

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