Eos Converge Multi-room Wireless Audio System – Review

We live in a rather unusual house architecturally speaking. Built using post-and-beam construction, it may not look like a barn but it is built in the same manner. This means there are no joists or other type of space between one level and the next. The ceiling of the downstairs rooms is the floor of the upstairs rooms. Between one floor and another are just 6 inch thick boards. And every 8 feet there is a solid beam spanning the depth of the house.

We love the house and its unusual look and feel. But during renovation it has posed numerous challenges. You see, you cannot drill through the beams lest you undermine the very structure of the house. And there is no crawlspace between the floors for running wires and pipes. As a result, when we wanted to redo the master bathroom and move the shower to a different side of the room there was nowhere to run the pipes. (If the house were built using standard practices the pipes would simply be run in a crawl space between the floors but that isn’t an option.) The result was that we created a false floor to the bathroom that raise the floor up to 6 inches and allowed us to run the necessary piping.

The unusual architecture of the house also poses a problem with regard to wiring music from one room to the next. Like pipes we are unable to run the wiring from one side of a beam to another because we do not want to drill through the very structure that holds up the house. That was why I was excited to try out Eos’ new Converge sound system. It lets you take music from one room and easily stream it to any other room in the house simply by using receivers that are part of the same overall system.

Let’s take a look.

It is difficult or impossible to wire a house for sound when you can't drill through the beams...

From EOS-

With the new Converge wireless audio system… you can broadcast your music up to 150 feet away , inside or out. All digital means no static, no interference . With an Eos whole-home audio system you can put your music in absolutely any room you want — the bedroom, the backyard, the kitchen, the bathroom…wherever you are. Best of all you can use the Eos multi-room wireless audio system with all the audio equipment you already have… your home audio system, home theater system, iPod, satellite radio and more.

All Eos products feature our legendary GigaWave wireless technology giving you the ability to broadcast Wi-Fi friendly, interference-free music over 150ft — through walls floors ceiling and doors, inside or out. Best of all Eos does not require a WiFi network or a mind-bending complex set up — you just plug and the Eos system plays.

The multiroom wireless audio system is designed to make it easy to bring music to every room in your house. It consists of a number of different elements that all seamlessly work together. So long as you stay within the same system you can pick and choose those elements that work best for the design and function you are looking to achieve.

Better yet, you can begin it with just two or three elements of the system, for example a trasmitter and a receiver or two, and then at a later date if you want to expand the system you can simply buy additional elements. If you do, adding them into an existing system is as simple as plugging it in and turning it in.

Here is a look at each of the elements from which you can choose

Element 1- Eos Converge Transmitter (MSRP $99.95)

From Eos-

The Eos Converge Transmitter is extremely versatile…it lets you play all your music, all over your house from virtually any audio source imaginable. Connect the Eos Converge Receiver to the USB port of your computer and stream music from iTunes or other music media player, even internet radio stations like Pandora, Rhapsody, Last FM and more — or connect to your home stereo theater receiver or stereo system…even your iPod. With the Eos Converge Transmitter you can have your music from almost any audio device anywhere in your house, inside, outside, upstairs or down. With Eos Auto-Link, just turn the Eos Converge Amplified Receivers on and they’re instantly part of your Eos Wireless System.
With the Eos Converge transmitter connected on a computer (with iTunes or other media player) you can control functions like play/pause and track forward and back from any Eos Converge Receiver — or control your system remotely using an iPhone or iPod Touch and Apple’s free Remote application.

The transmitter is the one piece of equipment that the system requires in order to begin working. As the information from the company notes, it’s simple to connect it using either a USB port or a 3.5 mm jack. I tried both, and found that it works beautifully for both. Check it to my iMac and was able to stream my iTunes throughout my house. I connected it to my iPhone directly and was able to do the same.

Better still, following the company’s lead I used Apple’s remote application on my iPhone and was able to change the music from anywhere in the house. it’s pretty slick.

Element 2- Eos Converge Receiver (MSRP $129.95)

From Eos-

The Eos Converge Receiver gives you uncompromised audiophile sound quality that is as good a wired solutions.

With the Eos Converge Transmitter connected on a computer (with iTunes or other software based media player) the Eos Converge Receiver allows you to play/pause skip tracks forward or back — or control your system remotely using an iPhone or iPod Touch and Apple’s free Remote application.

The basic receiver looks similar to the transmitter butt it has three buttons on the top. These have the music start stop and increase and decrease the volume. To use the device you simply plug in the power source, plug in the left and right audio, and turn it on. That’s really all it takes.

Element 3- Eos Portable Stereo Wireless Speaker/Receiver (MSRP $129.95)

From Eos-

Wireless multi-room audio has never been easier. Just plug an Eos Portable Stereo Wireless Speaker/Receiver into any wall outlet, inside or out and turn up the volume…that’s all. Everything — receiver, amplifier and speakers all there…in one simple compact design. Want to move your music to another place? Easy, just unplug it and plug it in somewhere else, it’s that easy. The Eos Portable Stereo Wireless Speaker/Receiver features a removable integrated power supply, so you can hang the speaker from any ordinary wall power outlet or remove the power supply for counter top or bookshelf use.
The Eos Portable Stereo Wireless Speaker/Receivers feature 2 neodymium tweeters & a ported backfiring subwoofer, for great sound in a very compact package. The wireless stereo speakers’ compact design are perfect for patios, garages, basements, hallways and bathrooms…anywhere you want your music.

The speaker can be used one minute in the bedroom...

Another option is the integrated speaker/receiver device. This component is even simpler than the other options available. Because this includes both speakers and the receiver you simply plug it into a wall outlet and turn it on. It quickly finds the signal from the transmitter and begins to stream your music.

... and the next in the kitchen. And it sounds GREAT!

But convenience would were be worth very little if the sound were awful. Surprisingly, the sound that comes from this little unit is excellent. It sounds great and it actually has a “big” sound to it despite the diminutive size of the speaker itself. What I really love about this aspect of the system is if you want to move it from one room to another it’s as simple as unplugging it moving it to the new room and plugging it back in. That means that in seconds you can have music in any room of your house.

Element 4/5- Eos Converge Amplified Receiver (MSRP $149.95)/ Eos Loudspeakers ($99)

The Eos Converge Amplified Receiver let’s you play all your music, all over your house and all you have to do connect your choice of speakers — or choose the great sounding acoustically matched Eos Loudspeakers for a complete solution.
The Eos Converge Amplified Receiver features a premium-quality Class D amplifier that gives you uncompromised audiophile sound quality that’s a perfect fit for every room environment. The Eos Converge Amplified Receiver is at home in any room of your house, or the perfect solution for powering outdoors speakers. There is even an auxiliary audio jack so you can connect an audio device like an iPod directly to the amp. Best of all, there is no complex mind bending set up, and no wireless Internet connection required.

The Eos Loudspeakers are acoustically matched to complement to the Eos Converge Amplified Receiver. These audiophile quality bookshelf speakers are designed to give you great sound in any room environment. The Eos Loudspeakers feature 5” woofers and 1” silk tweeters in a Bass Reflex enclosure design for incredible deep sounding bass, rich midrange and crystal clear highs. The loudspeakers are finished in rich looking black ash with removable a black fabric grill. The loudspeakers feature binding posts for easy connection to the pair of included 10’ (3m) of 18-gauge cable

If you want a “bigger sound” you can use these next two elements. The first is the amplified receiver. The second are the speakers that the company has put out that work with the system as a whole. (Conceivably you could use any speaker system but there is something nice about using speakers that were specifically designed for this system itself.)

The speakers look nice and sound good although, to be honest, I would be more inclined to use the regular transmitter and powered speakers or one of the all-in-one units instead. If you do plan to put a permanent sound solution in any given room, however, this is a good way to go as part of a larger system.

So I think about this system overall? I’m really impressed. I’m impressed with both the sound and the convenience of the system. I’m impressed with the ability to expand the system to meet your needs going forward. And I’m impressed with the way in which, once I set up the system in my house, it filled the rooms with sound — all of which was coming from my iMac in my downstairs study.

I love being able to control the tracks from the receivers themselves or using my iPhone or iPod touch as a remote. It works beautifully.

If I have one criticism of the system it’s that building the kind of setup that I would want can get rather pricey rather quickly. Then again, if I put individual sound systems in each of the rooms where I want sound I imagined that it would cost as much if not far more than the system would.

I should also note that if you buy 3, 4 or 5 components at any given time the company will give you a discount. (10% on three, 15% for four, and 20% if you buy five or more components at one time.)

The company is also so confident that you’ll love their products that they offer free shipping and a 30 day money back guarantee. Having used the review unit for the last two weeks I have to say they’re pretty safe in making such an offer. I’m not particularly happy to be boxing up the review units and sending them back.

The system is available directly from Eos. The MSRP varies depending upon which components are buying and how many of them you’re purchasing. Upper fantasies see the site for details.)

What I like —

Sounds fantastic, incredibly convenient and easy to setup and use, easily expanded so you can bring new rooms into the sound system possibly purchasing another piece of the system, music can be controlled from the receivers or via an iPhone or iPod touch. Cool! Did I mention that sounds great?

What needs improvement —

An overall system can get rather expensive rather quickly but this is a quality product and it works exactly as promised

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