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Monitor AirStream 10 review

Alan Lu
21 Sep 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
221
inc VAT

Monitor's AirStream 10 is a sleek and generally well-designed network music player, but there are better-value models available.

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Monitor's AirStream 10 network music player catches the eye immediately, as it's shaped like a Tetris block.

It feels beautifully made with its wood veneer and sturdy metal construction. There's a lot inside it, too, as it also works as a DAB, FM and internet radio, media receiver and alarm clock.

A dial adjusts the volume and lets you browse through the logically organised interface on the small, bright screen. It works very well, making even long lists quick to browse. It also doubles as a button for selecting menu options. There are touch-sensitive short cut buttons for quick access to frequently used features, such as the alarm settings. No remote control is provided, however.

The AirStream can connect to a network over Ethernet or 802.11b/g WiFi and supports WPA and WPA2 security. We had no trouble accessing music stored on our UPnP media server. It instantly recognised our playlists, and we were even able to search our music collection by keyword. Unlike many other network audio players, it can also access standard Windows shared folders, plus you can save your login details for use with a password-protected PC.

You can browse the large selection of internet radio stations and podcasts by genre or country of origin, or search by keyword. Usefully, there are dedicated menu commands for quick access to BBC and other UK radio stations. You can save your favourite stations and organise them into folders or assign them to the four touch-sensitive buttons.

The selection of online content isn't quite as vast as we'd like - for example, we couldn't find our favourite Japanese country and western radio station. You can add unlisted stations through the online web interface, though. This can also be used instead of the device's interface for browsing and bookmarking radio stations.

We weren't expecting much from the built-in mono speaker, but it's surprisingly loud and clear with a decent amount of bass. It distorts badly at the highest volume setting, but you can plug in a better set of speakers using the 3.5mm jack. The alarm can use any type of radio as a source, or a simple buzzer, although this can sound jarring as it doesn't fade in gently. It has dual alarm settings, which you can set to go off daily, at weekends, on weekdays or just once.

The AirStream 10 is an impressive network audio player. Pure's similarly priced Avanti Flow has an iPod dock and a more comprehensive catalogue of online content, but it's not as compact or as well-designed as the AirStream. If you're looking for something that looks stylish, the AirStream is a great buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Media Streamer typestreaming audio receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackYes
Audio AAC playbackYes
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackNo
Audio WAV playbackNo
Audio Audible playbackNo
Other audio formatsReal Audio
Internet radio stream compatibMP3, WMA, Real Audio, AAC

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportNo
Video H.264 supportNo
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportNo
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportNo
Video WMV playbackNo
Video WMV-HD supportNo
Other video formatsnone
Internet video stream compatibnone

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportNo
Image JPEG supportNo
Image TIFF supportNo

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking supportYes
128-bit WEPNo
256-bit WEPYes
WPAYes
WPA2Yes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs0
Minijack headphone outputs1
Stereo phono outputs0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF outputs0
Total SCART sockets0
HDMI outputs0
Component outputs0
S-video output0
Composite outputs0
Other connectorsline in

Physical

Size125x330x95
Antennas1
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennaNo
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption on4W

Server Compatibility

Software includednone
UPnPYes
iTunesNo
SlimServerNo
SMBYes

Buying Information

Price£221
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.monitoraudio.co.uk

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