The NuVo P100 Wireless Player ($479 list) plays little brother to the flagship $600 P200 Wireless Player. Like its brethren, the P100 is a combination stereo amplifier and wireless media hub dedicated to music playback, with support for dual-band Wi-Fi and MIMO. The idea is that you buy P100s for smaller rooms with smaller speakers, and P200s for larger rooms, and then control the entire NuVo system from your iOS or Android device, with the ability to play back different music streams on each system.
The P100 is not a particularly good value, though, thanks to its still-high price, weaker amplifier, and smaller feature set. But it’s fine for use in smaller rooms that don’t need the P200′s additional power or Bluetooth wireless streaming.
Design and Connections
For more on how the NuVo system works, start with our P200 review. Here, I’ll focus on the differences between the two devices.
The 1.35-pound P100 looks like a shrunken P200, measuring 1.65 by 7.36 by 4.53 inches (HWD). Like its larger sibling, it’s made entirely of black plastic, with opposing vertical and horizontal curves on the left and right edges of the front panel, respectively. On the front, there’s one less button, since the P100 lacks Bluetooth streaming capability; instead, you get just the pair of volume capacitive touch buttons and the Mute button, along with the combination power and status LED.
Around back, everything is almost the same as well. You get an Ethernet port, a USB port, four gold 5-way binding posts, standard-size 3.5mm line in and line out jacks, a hardware power switch, and a port for the power cord. The power supply is still internal, which is a nice touch, as no one likes wall warts. The only difference from the P200 is that the P100 lacks the 3.5mm setup mic port, which isn’t a big loss, as the P200 manual says the port is for “future use” only.
Setup, Performance, and Conclusions
You set up the P100 in much the same fashion as the P200. The biggest bummer in the P100′s setup process is also what makes it such a good unit for wireless streaming of lossless audio: It requires the additional GW100 Gateway, which is another $199, if you want to use the system wirelessly. Otherwise, you have to plug it straight into your wireless router with an Ethernet cable. Aside from that, the setup process is the same, via the free iOS or Android app that you download and install on your mobile device.
The P100′s 20-watt-per-channel amplifier is considerably less powerful than the 60-watt x2 amp in the P200. That’s by design, of course; the P100 is meant for use in a smaller room in the house, such as a home office, a bedroom, or a small study, and still sounds good in that context. One other note: Unlike the P200, the P100 isn’t capable of driving 4 ohm speakers; it only works with 6 ohm and 8 ohm speakers. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem, but if you’ve got an old pair of PSB Stratus Minis or similar bookshelf speakers, you’ll want to go with the P200.
My biggest problem with the P100, though, is its price. The $600 P200 was already expensive, but you lose quite a lot for just $120 in savings. The P200 has a much more powerful amp, aptX Bluetooth streaming capability, and the Audyssey dynamic volume circuitry. Still, if you’re committing to a multi-room NuVo Wireless Audio System, the P100 could be just the thing for the smaller rooms in your home.
More Media Hub Reviews:
|Online Content Services||Pandora, Rhapsody, TuneIn, SiriusXM|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc