After a CNET reader asked us to figure out a solution to get laptop audio streamed wirelessly to a receiver, we came across the Sound Blaster Wireless System for iTunes and Receiver. While the system worked well, we were disappointed to see that the included remote control was only fully functional with PCs. Just like with most devices, the 2.4GHz-dependent system also occasionally interfered with our Wi-Fi router.
To even the playing field, we're now taking a look at the Eos Converge line of products, a group of devices that aim to accomplish the same basic function as the Sound Blaster system. The Converge is easier to set up, has a better range, but is much bulkier than the Creative offering.
Even though this is the review for the Wireless Transmitter, we'll be discussing other components that must be present in order for the system to work. Eos offers four separate devices as a part of the Converge line, each one available for purchase by itself.
The Wireless Transmitter and the Wireless Receiver both retail for $100. You'll need a minimum of these two products in order for your system to work, so it's safe to say you'll be spending a minimum of $200 on your Converge setup. Also available are the Amplified Receiver (for $150) and a set of bookshelf speakers (for use with the Amplified Receiver) for $100. The Eos Converge line can be mixed and matched according to your personal preference.
The Eos Converge Wireless Transmitter is about the size of two iPod docks stacked on top of one another. The device is also wider than an iPod dock and has a power and source toggle button on top. Two blue LEDs indicate source, as you can switch between USB and auxiliary mode for streaming.
The device feels solid and sturdy and has a rubber pad on the bottom to ensure that it stays put. A 2.5-inch antenna rests atop the transmitter, which will glow blue when connected with the receiver.
Setting up the Wireless Transmitter is simple. Using the included USB cable, you attach the device to an open port on your PC or Mac, desktop or laptop. The transmitter uses power from the USB port so there's no separate power connection required. Also included with the Wireless Transmitter is a 1/8-inch patch audio cable to make use of the "audio out" port on the device.