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
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.
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
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
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
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