Awesome wireless capabilities with amazing range.
Inadequate bass response.
Only the best-sounding speakers ever earn our highest praise. Griffin’s Evolve wireless iPod quite speakers don’t reach that height, but their wireless capabilities are almost remarkable enough to overcome their middle-of-the-road sound.
In fact, we hesitated to call the Evolve “iPod speakers” because any analog stereo source can drive them; but Griffin clearly envisions its customers docking their iPods to the device so they can stream their music nearly anywhere in the house—and we do mean anywhere.
We were skeptical of Griffin’s range claim—150 feet? Riiight . So the first thing we did after charging the speakers’ batteries (more on that shortly) was take them into the double-walled media room at Maximum PC Lab North . The room has caused problems for many a 802.11n router, but it didn’t phase the Evolve in the least. In fact, the speakers didn’t as much as hiccup in any room we took them.
When we took them outside the house, we stared slack-jawed as they continued to play until we were 145 feet from the source. The stereo signal passed through an interior firewall and a fiber-cement exterior wall as if they weren’t event there. We didn’t get as much range on the other side of the house, because the signal had to penetrate multiple interior and one exterior wall, but our experience was only slightly less impressive.
The system sends and receives on the 900MHz band, which could cause problems with cordless phones that operate at that same frequency. We didn’t test this configuration because the cordless phones in use at our test location are based on the DECT standard and operate on the 1900MHz band. (But if you’re still relying on an old 900MHz cordless phone, it’s time to upgrade anyway.)
The two speaker cabinets are 5.5-inch sealed plastic cubes with magnetic shielding, a glossy black finish, and protective rubber trim. Wire grills protect the 3.5-inch drivers. A deeply recessed handle in the back of each makes them easy to pick up and tote around, one in each hand. There are power buttons on each, so you can shut them down to conserve the lithium-ion batteries when you’re finished listening. To recharge the batteries, you simply set them on their base—there’s no need for cables unless you want to use a source other than your iPod.
|GRIFFIN EVOLVE |
|AMPLIFIER||12 watts (RMS) |
|DRIVERS ||3.5-inch full range |
|BATTERY ||Lithium-ion (rated for 10 hours) |
|AUDIO INPUTS/OUTPUTS ||iPod dock, Stereo input and output (RCA) |
|VIDEO INPUTS/OUTPUTS ||iPod dock, composite and S-Video outputs|
|Wireless ||900MHz |