Audiocast M5 WiFi Multiroom Streaming Music Receiver Review

Audiocast M5 WiFi Multiroom Streaming Music Receiver Review

Buy it at Amazon: Audiocast M5 WiFi Multiroom Streaming Music Receiver [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: A few bumps during setup but easy to use once connected to WiFi, perfect sync w/multiple units.

The Audiocast receiver comes with a gold-plated 3.5mm audio cable, microUSB charging cable, power adapter, and an instruction manual. The Audiocast's design looks a lot like the Chromecast Audio, only a little thicker. It's a round puck made of plastic with a rubber foot on the bottom and textured grooves on the top that resemble a tiny record. The Audiocast has the audio jack in the front, microUSB power port on the back, and WPS button on the right-hand side. Setup for me was quick as I used the WPS button on the device and my WiFi router. The only hiccup I had was that the app told me the first device failed to connect to the network but when I re-launched the app I found that it had been added successfully. This did not happen with the second unit that I paired immediately afterward.

I don't have a Hi-Fi system, but I've used the Audiocast with multiple Bluetooth speakers and they worked great. The unit doesn't have an internal battery so it needs to be plugged in during operation, but you can use an external battery pack to make it mobile. Then you connect the Audiocast with any speaker or sound system using an auxiliary port and set it up using the Audiocast app. The app looks a lot like other multi-room speaker apps that I've used previously (iLive, GGMM, etc.) In fact those other apps were also able to pickup the Audiocast as a compatible device, so I was able to group other speakers with the Audiocasts, which was unexpected but really convenient. When the app recognizes multiple devices you can group and sync them together to play the same music simultaneously. The feature works very nicely and there's no lag or delay between the units even when placed in different areas of the house. You can even define which speaker plays the left and right audio channel for true stereo playback.

The Audiocast can stream music that's stored locally on your phone, so it doesn't require an internet connection unlike the Chromecast Audio. It also supports DLNA and Airplay for iOS users. It also has a decent list of compatible streaming radio services that includes TuneIn, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify. Note that in order to stream Spotify you will have to subscribe to their premium paid service. Once you find a station you like, setting it as a favorite is easy, just tap the "speaker" icon on the right side of the bar for that station and choose a preset slot. The only confusing part of the app is that the stations don't show up in the "favorites" section of the main menu, this is reserved for individual tracks stored locally on your phone that you've favorited. Instead, the presets are found by tapping the gear icon for the Audiocast in the device list and then going into 'Preset Content.' It's not very intuitive, but I'm familiar with the process because I've seen it in other apps for other multi-room speaker devices.

Overall, the streaming ability of the Audiocast is pretty good, and so far I haven't had any connectivity issues. It's able to stream a broad range of internet streaming radio services, though is by no means exhaustive. I like that it is compatible with any speaker with an Aux-in jack and DLNA, Android, and Apple devices. Since these work with devices you probably already own (and like) syncing the audio throughout your home with a bunch of these would be far less expensive than buying a complete set of multiroom speakers.

Buy it at Amazon: Audiocast M5 WiFi Multiroom Streaming Music Receiver [Affiliate Link]

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