Speaker docks for the iPod are nothing new, but we're starting to see more ambitious attempts at improving the experience. While something like an Airport Express can stream audio wirelessly from your iTunes, the IntelliTouch EOS Digital Wireless Multi-Room Audio System can stream music from your iPod to up to four wireless speakers. The system provides a painless, easy-to-use audio streaming experience that is occasionally limited by range. While the system does work as advertised when in range, you may be a bit disappointed with the sound quality and performance of the speakers, as well as the functional limitations.
The EOS system comes with a main base station and one extra wireless speaker, and it's available in either black or white (though IntelliTouch is planning on discontinuing the white version). You can purchase up to three extra speakers (for $130 each) that will extend the entire system to four maximum wireless speakers: the EOS100RB (black) and the EOS100R (white--presumably also slated for being discontinued).
The base itself is covered in a shiny plastic. Two midrange drivers flank the dock on either side while a bottom-mounted subwoofer is hidden behind a circular plastic grille. The main unit is sturdy and won't slide away thanks to its four rubber feet. Two blue LEDs up front signify your two source selection and four blue LEDs will illuminate to let you know how many of the four possible wireless speakers are connected. You also have the option of using any non-iPod device as your source using the 3.5mm line-in port on the rear of the base station.
All of the control buttons are found on the front of the base except for track controls. That functionality can only be found on the included remote. You cannot navigate your iPod via the remote; that can only be done manually. We didn't care much for the remote itself, either--overall it feels a bit flimsy and cheap, and there's almost no tactile feedback when its buttons are depressed. Also, the remote will only work with the base station. This means if you're enjoying streaming music in a room outside of the one with the dock in it, you'll have to get up and change your iPod manually.
Interestingly enough, there's no power button on the EOS base station. While each individual wireless speaker can be turned off manually, there's no such option to do so with the base. It will remain powered unless you physically remove the plug.
The wireless speaker's design is exactly what you'd expect the base station to look like without the space needed for the iPod dock. The two speakers are closer together and the subwoofer is instead rear-mounted (instead of the base's bottom-mounted configuration). A volume/power knob rests at the top of the speaker located directly next to the device's antenna. The blue LED light on the antenna will blink while searching for a signal from the main base and stay static when connected.
Each wireless speaker comes ready to plug right into a wall outlet. While we thought this sort of electrical outlet-mounting design was interesting, we can't imagine anyone wanting the location of a speaker far below a desirable listening height. Thankfully, you can detach the prong from the speaker, although it will only give you around 3 feet of slack. Also, we had a lot of difficulty trying to tuck the wire back into the speaker and reattaching the power adapter.