Philips announces new flagship Wireless Audio Centre

The WAC7500 base unit (left) can be paired with up to five WAS7500 satellite units (right) for wire-free music around the house

Philips has announced the launch of an all-new flagship Streamium model that combines a slick new design and improved sound quality with the ability to stream internet radio.

The WACS7500 consists of a main base unit (WAC7500) and an additional satellite station (WAS7500). In total up to five satellite stations can be paired with each main base unit, all of which can then be used to stream different material from the base unit independently of each other.

Different strokes...

In practice, this means that while Dad unwinds to a Mozart concerto on CD in the living room, Mum can listen to The Archers on Radio 4 in another room while young Timmy nods his head sagely to Wu Tang MP3s upstairs in his bedroom. Sister Tanya, meanwhile, is free to dance around her room to Tag’s Trance Trip on SomaFM. Okay, so it’s a pretty dysfunctional family, but you get the general idea.

The main WAC7500 unit is used to rip CDs and store them as MP3s on the unit’s 80GB hard drive – enough for 1,500 CDs. The process uses an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection to the internet in combination with the GraceNote CD database to ensure each track and album is accurately tagged.

In addition to storing and streaming MP3s, the main unit also has the ability to tune into internet radio stations via an Ethernet or Wi-Fi router connection and can also be used to stream music files from a PC. There’s also the option to use the system with an iPod with an (optional) docking cradle.

Slimmer looking, better sounding...

While the new look of the WAC and WAS units is softer, (20mm) slimmer and altogether more contemporary looking, the flat-panel speaker system inside it has been thoroughly updated. Philips claims to have added new mid-range panels plus dedicated tweeters for a brighter sound, while an integrated sub-woofer takes care of low-end grunt.

The WACS7500 main unit and single satellite station package is available now and costs £700. Additional satellites are available for £200.