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Philips Streamium NP3700 review

Tom Morgan
15 Apr 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
171
inc VAT

Possibly the best dedicated audio streamer around for less than £200, but it isn’t perfect

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Philips has impressed us with its iPod docks in the past, so we were hoping that the Streamium NP3700 would follow suit and do the same. It’s a compact unit that should easily fit on a nightstand or coffee table and look fantastic thanks to its piano black glossy plastic and metal speaker grilles.

Philips Streamium NP3700

It’s also dominated by a resistive 3.5in touchscreen display that takes pride of place in the centre of the unit. It’s positioned at an angle, so you should be able to see it clearly from the sofa or in bed, but it can’t be adjusted. It’s fairly responsive for a resistive display, but the interface can be a little slow to respond at times.

Thankfully, it has a sensible layout with large icon-based tiles that clearly indicate what each function does. The only exception is MP3Link, which is a convoluted way of describing an auxiliary input. For the most part, it’s easy to read from across a room, but it isn’t exactly suited to long lists. Navigating through internet radio stations is a real chore.

Philips Streamium NP3700

Luckily, there’s a comprehensive remote control that’s much better for controlling the unit. It has all the buttons you might need, plus several more that are designed to work with other Philips audio equipment. You can also use the Philips MyRemote App for iOS and Android if you prefer.

The Streamium NP3700’s back-panel connectivity is rather sparse, having only an Ethernet port, 3.5mm jacks and a proprietary docking connector. The NP3700 doesn’t have an integrated iPod dock, but you can buy one separately if your MP3 player is the main home for your music. You’ll have to factor an extra £40 into the cost of the system, however, and it’d be much cheaper to use a 3.5mm audio cable instead. There’s no USB port, so you’ll have to put your music onto your PC or a UPnP media share in order to play it.

Philips Streamium NP3700

As well as local media and internet radio streaming, the NP3700 also includes Napster integration, so if you’re a member you’ll be able to log in and start playing straight away. There’s a voucher in the box for a free 30-day trial if you don’t already have membership, which means you can give the service a spin and see if it’s right for you.

Despite only having two 5W speakers, we were rather impressed with the NP3700’s sound quality and it produced clear mid-range and a fair amount of bass, as long as we didn’t push the volume up too high. The high end was a little too crisp for our taste, but because it was one of the only streaming players we’ve seen to include adjustable bass and treble you should be able to tweak the sound to your personal taste. Philips also included the Incredible Sound and Full Sound presets, which are designed to add more bass and create a more even sound respectively. They work well, but they still can’t compete with a full speaker system.

The NP3700 isn’t perfect. The omission of a USB port and limited internet audio services could be enough to put some people off, and its sound quality isn’t perfect, but it’s a real improvement over similarly priced streaming systems.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Media Streamer typeaudio streaming device

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackNo
Audio AAC playbackYes
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackYes
Audio Audible playbackNo
Other audio formatsFLAC

Video Compatibility

Other video formatsnone

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportNo
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportNo

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking supportYes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs1
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 connectorsnone

Physical

Size291x148x152mm
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption on6W

Server Compatibility

Software includednone
UPnPYes
iTunesNo
SlimServerNo
SMBNo

Buying Information

Price£171
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.philips.co.uk

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