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Monitor AirStream 10 review

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.

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 type streaming audio receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback Yes
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback No
Audio WAV playback No
Audio Audible playback No
Other audio formats Real Audio
Internet radio stream compatib MP3, WMA, Real Audio, AAC

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playback No
Video MPEG-2 playback No
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback No
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback No
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback No
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support No
Video H.264 support No
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio support No
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio support No
Video WMV playback No
Video WMV-HD support No
Other video formats none
Internet video stream compatib none

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support No
Image JPEG support No
Image TIFF support No

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support Yes
128-bit WEP No
256-bit WEP Yes
WPA Yes
WPA2 Yes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 0
Minijack headphone outputs 1
Stereo phono outputs 0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 0
Total SCART sockets 0
HDMI outputs 0
Component outputs 0
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 0
Other connectors line in

Physical

Size 125x330x95
Antennas 1
Internal/external antennas external
Upgradeable antenna No
Power consumption standby 2W
Power consumption on 4W

Server Compatibility

Software included none
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No
SMB Yes

Buying Information

Price £221
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.amazon.co.uk
Details www.monitoraudio.co.uk

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