There are a ton of ways to take your music wireless these days -- so many, in fact, that we barely even take notice of them anymore. However, with a dead simple design, and the ability to make any sound system in your arsenal wireless -- from home theater to powered speaker -- a clever little Kickstarter success known as Cobblestone has risen above the rabble to catch our eye. Cobblestone's greatest attraction? Wi-Fi powered sound for $59!
There's a lot to like about this little hunk of audio dispersion. The design of the device itself, which looks a bit like a doorstop crossed with a hip paperweight, lives and breathes minimalism.
On the top of the Cobblestone are basic controls, allowing for easy command of a powered speaker should you choose to employ it that way. At the back is a WPS key to simply and quickly connect to your router for Wi-Fi connection, as well as inputs for a power cable, Ethernet connection, and a 3.5mm output, which is how the sound gets from the airwaves to your preferred audio device.
There are shades of Sonos here, including a brilliantly intuitive mobile app for iOS or Android that runs the show. From there you can stream tunes directly from your smartphone or tablet, pull lossless audio files from a storage drive, and run multiple Cobblestones together, playing different music across each simultaneously. However, unlike Sonos speakers which run $200 for the basic starter, the Cobblestone is so affordable you could easily order up two or three without a call from Mastercard. And thanks to the use of Wi-Fi, the audio transmission quality is better then what you'll hear from most Bluetooth setups.
Of course, the downside is that you'll need to provide your own audio system -- the Cobblestone is simply an administrator of wireless audio, not the full package like other multi-room speaker solutions.
As a product of a Kickstarter startup, Cobblestone's creator, Muzo, also has secured an impressive list of streaming stations for the system, including Pandora and Tune-in, along with the ability to play through your Spotify app with Spotify Connect, and even Apple Music over Airplay. DLNA is also supported, so you can easily transition from the dedicated Muzo wireless app to just about any other app that outputs music on your smartphone or tablet.
If you're starting fresh and looking for a fully-armed wireless music setup, the Cobblestone isn't for you. But for those of us who have one or two stereo systems hanging around the house, this setup presents one of the simplest, and most affordable ways we've seen to cut the cord on your favorite tunes. You can find out more at the Muzo website, or order one up for yourself now.