Soundcast's iCast system ($299) transmits audio wirelessly from an iPod to a receiver up to 150 feet away. The attractive two-piece system is designed for dock-connector iPods, though you can connect other audio devices. While both transmitter and receiver need AC power, the audio signal strength and quality were excellent in our tests. Our only question is, would you spend this kind of money for something you didn't really need?
The iCast system is easy to set up and use. The plastic white transmitter dock has a contemporary curved shape and can accommodate any dock connector with the help of modular inserts. The backside includes a power port, audio line-out/line-in, and a 3-channel switch; the dock charges the iPod. The transmitter searches for up to two receivers (the system ships with one; an additional one costs $129) on a single channel. After our transmitter located the receiver, which was hooked up to our Specktones audio system, within a few seconds, we were streaming audio (including DRM AAC tracks) across the room, and it sounded nice and bright with zero dropouts.
The receiver has a similar design, with a black top, and includes a power input; an RCA audio output; a channel selector; and play/pause, forward, and reverse buttons that control the iPod. Not surprisingly, the iCast uses the crowded 2.4GHz band but is able to frequency-hop to find an open channel (Soundcast calls this FHSS technology). Our tests were static-free, even at 100 feet away and through a thin wall. The advantage of this receiver is that you can control the iPod remotely (without a screen, of course). The receiver comes bundled with a power adapter, one set of RCA cables, a mini-to-RCA cable, a mini-to-mini cable, and a mini gender adapter. The transmitter also ships with a different AC adapter, mini-to-mini and mini-to-RCA cables, and iPod inserts.