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Review: Cobblestone - streaming music with style

Cobblestone in the wild
These days I stream most of the music I listen to, which leaves me with a bit of a quandary. I can listen to music on my computer or TV soundbar with reasonable quality, or my phone or Echo speakers with so-so quality. But I have a perfectly good old hi-fi system with really rather nice Monitor Audio speakers that sits there doing very little.

I used to use an Apple Airport Express, and then a Neet Airstream, which joined my network and allowed me to play music from iTunes on my computer to the device - but the Airstream has given up the ghost, and it was always a restrictive way of operating.

Now, though, I've picked up a Cobblestone and couldn't be happier.

It's a rather elegant device, shaped and textured like a flat pebble. In principle it's very similar to the Airstream - it connects to the Aux In of my hi-fi and music gets to it via wi-fi. (There's a lot of -fi around.) However it's much clever in its support of the technology. I can play direct from within Spotify, or I can use Airplay to play from pretty much any music source on my phone, tablet or computer - I tried it with both the Apple Music app/iTunes and Primephonic and they all worked fine. It simply does the job, very neatly.

As a nice little extra, the box has track/play-pause/forward a track sensors on the front (rather faint, though they light up if you touch them) so you can do simple play control from it directly, though more often than not I imagine I would do the controlling from my phone.

It's simple, not highly expensive (around £39) for something that brings back to use a significantly more expensive piece of kit and does the job well. What's not to like?

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