Philips WAC5 Wireless Music Centre
- Easy to use, built in track naming
- Limited outputs on wireless station, not as pretty as its predecessor
An excellent system for anyone looking to stream music around the house.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
Philips' WAC5 Wireless Music Centre is designed as an all in one music solution for your house. The built-in 80GB hard drive offers more than enough space to store all the music from an average CD collection, while the wireless connectivity and extra music station means music can be beamed to any corner of the home.
The WAC5 essentially offers the same functions as a previous Philips' model, the Wireless Music Centre, but utilises a slightly more conservative design and notably, does not include speakers. The package consists of two main components: the Wireless Music Centre and the Wireless Music Station. The Wireless Music Centre is the core of the system, containing the hard drive, a CD player/recorder and the primary wireless connection.
The first stage when using the system is to get music on to the Wireless Music Centre. This can be done in two ways. The easiest way is to simply place a CD in the WAC5's drive and hit record. After about five minutes the tracks are copied to the internal hard drive. One of the great features of the WAC5 is the built in Gracenote functionality. Gracenote is the company behind CDDB, a database attempting to compile every compact disc and song name in existence. This means that unless your taste in music is extremely obscure, the WAC5 can automatically name the songs, album title and artist for you. This is obviously essential as otherwise you'd end up with a thousand songs all titled as 'track', which may make things a little tricky.
The second way to import songs is slightly more complex, and requires delving into the depths of network technology. The WAC5 can connect to a PC (no Mac users unfortunately) using Wi-Fi, and then transfer songs over the network. Setting this up requires you to briefly connect your PC to the main unit with an Ethernet cable, install the included software, and then disconnect it again. The Music Centre is then found as a wireless device that the PC can connect to. It's actually a relatively straightforward process, much simpler than we anticipated and considerably better than we've experienced with other wireless streamers. Once the WAC5 is connected to the PC, songs in MP3 or WMA format can be copied over. It's also possible to copy over updated Gracenote database listings to ensure future titles are covered. We were slightly disappointed to see that the database file hadn't been updated for over six months though, so it's not so good for newer music.
Next it's time to connect the wireless station, which is again fairly straightforward. We had no problems linking the station to the main unit; it's simply a matter of pressing a few buttons. Once the whole network was set up we copied over a bundle of music and set about listening to it. Using our three-pronged solution of station, centre and PC it was possible to listen to music directly from the main unit, or to stream it. The centre, station and remote control all include a small screen making it easy to browse music from anywhere. The iPod-style interface should be familiar to many people, and is entirely intuitive.
With both the Wireless Centre and Wireless Stations connected to speakers we had no problems playing back music. The quality of the music is more dependent on the quality of the speakers than the WAC5 system, and with high quality digital connections on the Wireless Centre it's also possible to connect the system to an AV receiver or amplifier. However we were a little disappointed to see that the Station only includes stereo plugs, as most decent home entertainment units ship with digital optical at the very least these days.
The WAC5 also ships with all the usual features we'd expect to see on a decent Hi-Fi: there's playlist creation, an FM radio, auxiliary inputs and sleep modes. Additional wireless music stations can be purchased, with a maximum of five possible on the network. This should be more than enough for most people and will enable anyone's music collection to be beamed throughout the house. One thing that's worth bearing in mind is Philips' warning that the unit shouldn't be placed near Plasma televisions, as they cause interference.
Overall, we thought the WAC5 was a great little system. It's easy to use and offers some useful functions. It may not look as attractive as its predecessor, and also lacks speakers, but the increased hard drive and reduced price makes it a good buy.
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
cloudandco Smart Cane
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Toys for Boys
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Bose SoundLink Micro
Google Daydream View VR Headset
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- BenQ Debuts True 4K UHD HDR Home Cinema Projector Designed for Modern Families
- Foxtel Now's new streaming device launched weeks after TelstraTV
- Logitech announce new MX Sound speakers
- Telstra looks to solve 'Entertainment Exasperation' with new 4K Telstra TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ Review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- TPCommunications & Change AnalystQLD
- TPInformation Security ManagerQLD
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectOther
- CCAdlib DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperQLD
- FTDevelopment manager - Product and PlanningOther
- CCService Desk AnalystWA
- CCWintel Engineer - BrisbaneVIC
- FTWeb Applications Developer (PHP)SA
- FTProject Manager/- Accommodation / Facilities ManagerOther
- TPAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTData EngineerOther
- FTSoftware Developer (Ruby on Rails)NSW
- FTIntegeration ArchitectOther
- CCWin10 Apps PackagerWA
- FTReporting AnalystQLD
- FTClinical Support Specialist - PermanentQLD
- TPPrincipal Business Analyst - ServiceNow | ITSMQLD
- CCField Services EngineerQLD
- FTAutomation DeveloperOther
- CCLead Pega Systems ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Digital AdviceOther
- CCSAP HR Functional ConsultantNSW
- FTJunior CRM Support AnalystOther
- CCGeospatial Project ManagerNSW