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IntelliTouch Eos Digital Wireless Multi-Room Audio System review: IntelliTouch Eos Digital Wireless Multi-Room Audio System

IntelliTouch Eos Digital Wireless Multi-Room Audio System

Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Jeff Bakalar
5 min read

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.


IntelliTouch Eos Digital Wireless Multi-Room Audio System

The Good

Easy to use and set up; streams audio from iPod and/or any line-in device; can support up to three additional wireless speakers for a total of four.

The Bad

Mediocre sound quality; remote only works with base; range issues indoors; occasional audio delays vary by speaker; no power button; short wireless speaker power cable.

The Bottom Line

The IntelliTouch EOS Digital Wireless Multi-Room Audio System is a reasonable choice for wireless iPod audio--if you can get past the system's occasionally shoddy range performance and overall mediocre sound quality.

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.

The wall-mounted electrical plugs are a nice touch, but it doesn't make for an optimal listening location.

The EOS system will support any iPod that has a standard 30-pin dock connector. Included in the packaging are various dock adapters to support your specific version of the iPod. The system will also work with the iPhone and the iPod Touch, however, the iPhone will need to enter "flight mode" in order to perform correctly. This is an automatic feature of the phone that will engage once it's placed in the base station.

Setting up the system is quite easy. After you've placed your iPod on the base station dock and powered on all your wireless speakers, the system will automatically sync with all speakers that are within range. Should an external speaker not link up, it's probably out of range. IntelliTouch claims you'll get up to a 300-foot range outdoors as opposed to a 150-foot range indoors. We found the outdoor assessment to be accurate, but as far as indoor performance is concerned, it's really going to rely on how many walls are located in between the base and speaker. There's a "Range EX" button on the rear of the base station that is supposed to extend the reach, but we barely noticed a difference when we turned it on during our testing.

Sound quality is about average compared with other iPod speaker docks we've tested (and that's a pretty low bar to begin with). The system provides a rich bass-heavy sound and takes advantage of the SRS Wow! dynamic sound technology. The system performed much better with rock tracks like Jimmy Eat World's "Clarity" CD than it did with much more bass-driven music from Head Automatica's "Decadence" record.

We should add another note on the overall performance of the EOS system. We noticed that not all of the speakers will sync up at the same time, so if you have more than one wireless speaker within listening distance from one another, you may catch a bit of a delay when listening to music. This effect may deter some consumers from using multiple speakers in the same room, which is a setup we would have liked to have been able to do.

Priced around $250, the EOS system can run you up to $640 if you're interested in maximizing all of its wireless streaming potential. That latter amount certainly isn't worth the mediocre sound performance and delay issues. That said, your options for wireless iPod audio streaming are a bit limited. The better sounding Klipsch RoomGroove ($300) can stream music, but only to another unit. A two-room setup would essentially cost you a whopping $600. Likewise, it should be noted that both Sony and Panasonic offer proprietary streaming capabilities within their respective home theater systems. Meanwhile, the Linksys Wireless Home Audio system includes iPod access from other rooms (with an accessory), and there are plenty of non-iPod digital audio streamers that can pull files directly from a networked PC. But if it's all about getting your iPod music to another room at a reasonable price, the IntelliTouch EOS Digital Wireless Multi-Room Audio System is certainly worth considering.


IntelliTouch Eos Digital Wireless Multi-Room Audio System

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 6Performance 7