I have a love/hate relationship with external speakers. Cheap speakers aren't much better than what's included with your device — computer, iPod, iPhone, etc. High end speakers are, well, they're high end which often translates as expensive and difficult to set up. And regardless of your price bracket, there always seems to be a mess of cords that tangle their way from speaker to speaker.
What I really want is a medium-priced speaker that works with my (ancient) iPod, my (newer) iPhone and doesn't try to strangle the cat. When I had the chance to test the Eos wireless speaker system it seemed like a Christmas wish come true.
Setting up the Eos speaker system is a breeze. Unpack, plug and play. Seriously. The base station has one power cord; plug it into the wall. Place your music player of choice in the slot. I didn't even have to turn a switch, the Eos base station was instantly on. The base station works with the full range of iPods and iPhones. I tested it with a 4G clickwheel iPod and a first-generation iPhone. Both worked flawlessly. There is also an audio in cord so that you can connect any none-iPod mp3 player or even your computer to the base station.
The only caveat with using an iPhone is that the device must be put in airplane mode to avoid interference. This means no phone calls while your listening to music.
Of course, the best part of the Eos system is that the extra speakers are wireless. I grabbed a speaker and headed out to test just how good this speaker system is. Setting up the wireless connection is so simple that using the term "setting up" is misleading. Just plug the speaker into the wall and turn the volume up. The speaker automatically connects to the base station and begins to play.
Twice I've tried to set up an airport express to wirelessly share music, if only it had been this simple.
I took the speaker with me from room to room and even downstairs. Each time the speaker connected and began playing music within seconds. The Eos speaker system has to be the easiest way to broadcast music throughout an entire house. It's uber portable and you can connect up to 4 wireless speakers anywhere up to 150 feet away. Perfect for entertaining or taking the music out to the patio — once the weather warms up.
I'm not a true audiophile. I enjoy music, but, for the most part, I can't tell the difference between mp3- and CD-quality tunes. However, I really like the sounds pumping out from these little speakers. The music had a warmth to it that was delightfully unexpected. I'd say the Eos system is several notches above the iHome clock radio I purchased last year.
The Eos wireless speaker starter kit regularly sells for $249 for a base station and one extra speaker. Check out their website for current prices or specials, www.eoswireless.com.