IFA 2006: Philips' second generation wireless hi-fi – the WACS7000

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Being a sad old music lover with a  huge pile of CDs I was naturally the core target market for Philips WACS700 wireless music center which debuted last year. Although I thought it worked well, I had a few reservations, specifically about its rather limited connectivity.

Philips appears to have listened the pleas from me, and a host of other reviewers, and have addressed many of my concerns with the second generation wireless music player the WACS7000.

It still has the core facilities-  decent B&O style design, streaming from the main unit to other slave units which can be dotted round the house and the very clever facility which means you can set the system up so that music follows you round the home. But Philips has also added support for iPods and a USB slot for memory key devices and upped the hard disk to 80Gigabytes.

The iPod functionality comes via an optional dock which connects the player to the unit and also recharges it. You can listen to tracks on the Apple player through the system and control the iPod (in its most basic functions) via the remote control. The dock also supports and has additional functionality with Philips GoGear music players.

The USB slot means that users can listen to tracks stored on flash memory devices as well as load up the device with tracks from the WACS7000.

Other tweaks include more choice in compression rates, improved Gracenote functionality and faster transfers for tracks to the hard drive.

Philips has also introduced an alarm clock for the system in the guise of the WAK3300. Designed to sit by your bed it can be programed to wake you up each day with a different track that is ether streamed from the main unit or stored on the device.

The system will go on sale in the UK later this year, while,the WAK3300 should be in the stores in October.

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