Gramofon has launched a streaming device which it claims will let you turn your existing audio gear into a multi-room, music-streaming system for a fraction of the cost of Sonos. Simply stream music over the cloud to any audio system you own, from portables to hi-fi separates.
So how does it work? First of all you need to plug the box into your hi-fi system via the supplied stereo phono cable, connect it to the Wi-Fi network in your home and get streaming from any Wi-Fi-enabled device, such as smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. Gramofon is made by Fon: creator of the world’s largest Wi-Fi network, with more than 14 million hotspots.
First revealed in 2014 as a Kickstarter project, Gramofon has since integrated with Spotify Connect while a major software update has brought Qualcomm’s AllPlay platform onboard too. In addition to Spotify Premium, Gramofon now supports all the other music-streaming services on the AllPlay platform, including Napster, Rhapsody, TuneIn and Aupeo. Nor is AllPlay just about streaming music via cloud-based services – it also enables you to play music stored locally on your smartphone, tablet and computer too.
It also adds multi-room functionality – if you have several audio systems around your home, simply connect a Gramofon to each one, and add them to your Wi-Fi network. Using the AllPlay app, you can choose to play music in either just one room, or different music in several rooms, or synchronise your Gramofons so they all play the same thing – perfect for house parties!
In addition to its music streaming capabilities, Gramofon serves as a Wi-Fi extender. It costs €59 (around £43 at the current rate of exchange) with free shipping, via www.gramofon.com