Review: IOGEAR Powerline Stereo Audio System

The IOGEAR Powerline Stereo Audio System connects your iPod or other audio input device to speakers in a different room through the magic of electricity, avoiding all the cancer enducing radio waves that pollute our air. The base station has an iPod dock, with several brackets included in the box to ensure your specific iPod model fits snugly, as well RCA jacks and a 3.5 mm input jack. The audio signal is sent through your home electrical wiring to the remote unit, which plugs directly into the outlet and connects to your powered speakers by RCA jacks.

When might you use something like this? If you want to hear music in one or two specific rooms without blasting your stereo to full volume, or when hosting a party and you want to make sure that everyone enjoys that special playlist you created.

Setup is extremely easy: simply plug everything in and select a “channel” to be used by both the base station and the remote unit. Included in the box are a pair each of RCA cables and RCA-to-3.5mm Y-cables, so you should be able to connect most any standard power speaker set you have lying around.

If you have a new enough iPod, you can use the base station — or use the supplied remote control — to control your music playback. If you connect a non-iPod audio source, the bundled remote control won’t do you much good.

I found the audio quality to be completely undiminished from its journey through the electrical system. I was somewhat dismayed, though, at the delay between making changes on my audio source and when that change made its way to the speakers: it was an appreciable couple of seconds between when I lowered the volume on the input and when the speakers actually got quieter.

Bottom Line

A decent way to get your music around without paying an arm and a leg, namely about $250.  Also good for folks averse to running speaker wire.