- Written by Steven Hornbrook
- Published on 20 May 2010
The closest comparison I have is using my PlayStation 3 to access media on my PC via Asset uPnP. Asset transcodes lossless files, like Apple Lossless and FLAC, to WAV or PCM which are compatible with the PS3. This solution works and is perfectly fine for background music, but there is so much noise generated from the PS3 and my projector that any serious music listening is quite hampered. This is my main reason I decided to run A-B comparisons between the Airstream and my Marantz CD player, instead of the PS3.
The Micromega Airstream is a joy to use and listen to. Browsing through iTunes via the Remote app is fairly straightforward. If you don't care about maximum battery life, I suggest you set the Remote app to stay connected to your library. That way you don't have to wait for it to connect to WiFi, then find your library and connect to that. The connection to my router was rock solid and I only had one break up- for about 3 seconds. It could have easily been caused by my PC or Linksys Router. Now, on to the important part, the sound!
The Airstream is very pleasant to listen to. I found it added a much needed softness to my system that allowed me to listen to music longer. Overall I found it much easier to get lost in the music, which I think is the ultimate goal of most audiophiles. I was able to close the door, turn off lights and just listen. I didn't think about what speakers i have, or what amp is running, i just listened to the music.
Miles Davis Live - Time After Time - The background percussion was more tangible, with more air around the brake drum and symbols. Miles' trumpet sounded cleaner, like the tone has been smoothed and molded. There was a bit more to the soundstage and the speakers disappeared a tad more.
Miles Davis - kind of blue - Flamenco Sketches - Sax has tons of presence. keys click like in the room. I really love the tonal quality of the Micromega Airstream.
E.T. Original motion picture soundtrack by John Williams - There was great depth to soundstage. I felt that the strings didn't have a "wirery" sound, but were more natural to my ears. My mind had an easier time placing each row of instruments in the symphony. I could "see" that oboe player seated in the music hall. . each click of changing notes. As a trombone player, something I always listen for is the sound of brass instruments. I can tell you that they sounded very good on the Airstream.