Neet Airstream - Review

For some time I've been using an Apple Airport Express to relay music from my computer to another room to plug into an old fashioned sound system that hasn't heard of Wifi. The setup works well, but it's overkill as the Aiport is a fairly expensive piece of kit that can do far more.

I needed to redeploy the Airport Express for a more heavy duty use, so I looked for a good, low priced alternative to do the job - and settled on the Neet Airstream. It's a little black puck, squarish with rounded corners. It feels fairly lightweight, but seems reasonably well made. The setup process was not brilliantly described in the manual, but is reasonably straightforward, and once it was up and running it simply appeared as an AirPlay device available to computers or phones via the Wifi. The sound seems fine - I'm very happy.

There are a couple of small niggles. The biggest one is that it doesn't come with a power supply. It assumes that there is either a USB outlet on your sound system (there isn't on mine) or that you provide your own power supply. Luckily, most people have the odd spare phone power supply with a USB socket and an old Apple one worked fine.

The second issue was that setup. First you sign a phone or computer into the device's own Wifi, then connect the Airstream into your Wifi network. This can be done either by downloading an app to your phone, or (as I did) by simply typing in the device's address to a browser, after which a click of the appropriate button allows you to log it into your Wifi. It reboots and job done. The only reason it seems more difficult than it is, is because the manual describes this process as 'bridging to the internet', which feels like it's trying to do something completely different. If it had said 'add to your Wifi network' or similar, there would be no confusion.

Overall, though, does the job nicely at a good price.

Neet Airstream is available from amazon.co.uk.

Comments

  1. How did you find the audio quality of the Neet compares to your AirPort express?

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    1. There was no obvious difference - though I only tend to use it to relay background music into the dining room, so I haven't tested its hifi credentials.

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  2. I have this unit connected to my 1990s Linn amp and the sound quality is good. I do have one small(ish) problem. I can load iTunes up on my laptop and then use my iPhone to play the music wirelessly to the AirStream from my laptop. That's great. HOWEVER, if I want to stream directly to the AirStream from my iPhone , I'm finding I have to go into the phone settings and connect to the AirStream wifi; and then I can stream directly but I can't access the internet anymore.
    I've been through all the settings on the AirStream setup but cannot get it to simultaneously act as a wifi access point as well as stream music - it's as if it can only receive and not transmit.
    Am I doing something wrong or is this just how it works?
    If it's behaving as it should then could I, as an alternative, hard wire the Airstream to a dedicated WAP and would that give me the access to the router (internet) at the same time as streaming?
    It's more a frustration than anything but any help will be very much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

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    1. I have to admit I've now abandoned the AirStream and replaced it with a Cobblestone, which works with AirPlay, so is trivial to stream to from an iPhone - see http://brianclegg.blogspot.com/2019/06/review-cobblestone-streaming-music-with.html

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  3. Brian, thanks for your prompt response - at just shy of £40 I might just follow your lead and give this cobblestone a go. Reviews are quite promising in the main. Shame that I can't achieve what I need (want?) from the AirStream as it's otherwise a pretty good bit of kit but needs must... Thanks again.

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    1. You're welcome! I know what you mean about the Airstream, but it was getting increasingly difficult to get to work with my technology, and having Airplay does make things so much easier. I've certainly been pleased with the Cobblestone.

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