- Rep Power
I would like to write a few words about the AW2000, which I bought three weeks ago as a small and contained solution for my bedroom stereo (speakers & sub existed). The receiver that I used before was a cambridge audio sonata dr30+ + apple TV (for airplay) + external DAC (apple TV has only optical out). So I wanted one little box that could replace all these clumsy components.
Now, I was hooked by the idea of this system (AW2000) when I saw it first time. Streaming services (internet radio), digital input and nice class d amplifier, remote app and good looks. Given my very good experience with my Fidelio headphones (L1 and X1), which built somewhat of a reputation for the Fidelio label, I was sold and bought one of these.
Setting up was ok'ish, I guess there is no easier way to set such a device without display up. But soon after that the first disappointments came...
1) The Airstudio App
This app is absolutely terrible. A strong statement, but I can give you some very good arguments why it is so:
the two splash screens (intro and speaker setup selection): they might be nice for the first time user, but if you want to use the app on a daily basis, they are very annoying.
clumsy way of making connections between devices, simple dropdowns for sources and speakers/amps would have been much better
horrible ui, lots of unused space, no quick navigation in artists lists (letter bar to left or right), long loading times, terrible volume slider.
It could have been so much better, if you just look at the Linn Kinsky app, which is better in all of these aspects and is perfectly usable with the AW2000, except for the internet radio and switching inputs. I ended up using only this app for upnp playback.
2) The device itself seems unstable. After 20-30 Minutes of playback the AW2000 turns off or even reboots. The volume knob has a delay changing the volume. changing the inputs using the little button on the top is inconsistent. Sometimes, I need to press the button two times (w/o led changing) to get sound from the digital input.
3) no normal infrared remote control to control volume, input, radio stations (same functions as the knobs on unit itself). I would have expected at least a small infrared remote (e.g. cardtype) to change these fundamental parts of the system remotely. always firing up the app, getting past the two splash screens to just change the input is too complicated.
Philips could have done so much better, for 1) if they just included Airplay (then the whole app/UI stuff is done by Apple and they know what they are doing) and for 2) if they firmware was not as buggy. I still hope that a future firmware update addresses these issues, but for now I will box the unit and consider the Denon CEOL N5 as replacement, which can do everything the AW2000 can and a bit more, albeit at a slightly higher price.
Until these major issues are not fixed, I can not recommend the AW2000, although it is such a nice idea, just acted out wrong (up to now).
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