By Gregg Ellman
Most everyone has Wi-Fi somewhere in your house, but the word “somewhere” is the key in that phrase. The most common origin of the signal is a home office, which is great but won’t give you the same signal strength throughout your home.
When I first read about the Helios-EX, the company touted its ability to maintain Internet speed, which many other similar devices I’ve tried claimed to do, but didn’t. They did extend the signal, but not a strong signal.
Amped Wireless was true to its word. From one corner of my house to the other, which really wasn’t getting any signal, I could not only surf the web but stream was also possible. It said range could be extended up to 12,000 square feet.
You don’t have to be a tech head to set it up. It’s not plug-n’play but also not that difficult. Power it up, connect a computer, tablet or smartphone to access the setup menu. It’s really straightforward and walks you through each step including selecting your existing Wi-Fi network (with password). Honestly, it’s simple, easy and takes just minutes.
For most people, there’s no need to know whats inside the Wi-Fi extender, but if you need to know, according to the Amped website it’s “built with a powerful Quad-Core ARM Processor, 12 high power amplifiers, and 4 total high gain antennas, the HELIOS-EX delivers up to 12,000 square feet of additional Wi-Fi coverage.”
When you add stylish craftsmanship like Wren has done with its new V3US ($399), it’s a winner. A genuine wood cabinet makes it really attractive; not reason enough to buy it but it sure adds value after playing your music.
The sound is nothing short of excellent, crystal clear at an volume level. Over the last few days I’ve used it as background sound as well as turning the volume up to head banging levels.
Either way, this AC powered speaker stands out for many reasons. It connects with up to 16 speakers simultaneously on the same network, which is a lot but if it’s needed, the Wren V3US will do it. You can set the speakers up to hear the same music or different groups in multiple rooms with multiple zones.
In addition to Bluetooth, it streams AirPlay and Play-Fi with Apple, Android handheld devices and Mac or PC computer operating systems. An aux-in 3.5mm stereo jack offers a direct connection.
It measures 12-by-4.5-by-4.5-inches and can be positioned vertically or horizontally, even with its rounded edges.
Wren makes a portable version, the V3USP for $449.00, which has a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery.
www.wrensound.com available in almond crème anigre with a midnight black grille or espresso wenge with an arctic white grille
It features a mood sensor with built-in sound effect and will even yawn when’ he’s tired and snores while in sleep mode. When awake, the LED eye’s change colors to reflect its mood.
The remote lets you control forward and backward movements including spinning, shaking, and even wagging of its tail.
Robotosaur is available for $99.99 and can be found nationwide at major retailers.