After a CNET reader asked us to figure out how 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 fully functional only 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 Amplified Receiver, 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 both retail for $100. You'll need at least 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 set up. 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 Amplified Receiver is the bulkiest of all the product line's receivers, measuring 3 inches high by 3.5 inches wide by 3 inches deep.
The device feels solid and sturdy and has a rubber pad at the bottom to ensure it stays put. A 2.5-inch antenna rests atop the transmitter and will glow blue when connected with the transmitter.
Setting up the wireless system 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.